A new kind of ice bath is gaining popularity and its a cool way to achieve wellness.
I love the cold. Everything about it! Even in the depths of winter, I finish each shower with an ice cold rinse. It’s energizing and clears the morning blues away quicker than anything I’ve known……until I discovered Cryo Fitness Penrith in Western Sydney, which offers a unique kind of therapy call ‘Whole Body Cryotherapy’.
“It’s a modern day alternative to cold water immersion, ice baths or ice packs” says owner Peter Watson. “It involves exposing the skin to extreme cold, dry (below -140 deg) for one to three minutes.
Liquid Nitrogen is safely used to achieve the sub zero temperatures, which deliver numerous health benefits. Exposing the skin to these extreme temperatures briefly, triggers the release of anti-inflammatory molecules, endorphins, increased oxygen in the blood and a release of toxins” Peter says.
“When I left the chamber my thoughts were clear and my mood euphoric”
Cryotherapy treatments are beneficial for anyone experiencing chronic pain, arthritis, muscle soreness, recovery, weight loss and skin rejuvenation.
My Sciatic nerve had been twinging for over a month and my energy levels were depleted, so I couldn’t wait to get in the chamber. Within seconds the temperature dropped and I was engulfed in a cloud of white cold liquid nitrogen.
At first it was a tad chilly, but exciting. However as the temperature continued to drop, the feeling became somewhat prickly. By the 60 second mark, all I could do was laugh uncontrollably and jump up and down. It felt great and I could literally feel my skin toning up.
Then at around 90 seconds it got even colder. I had goose bumps all over me and it was starting to feel like tiny shards of glass pelting my flesh. It was quite uncomfortable and I was sure I’d last the full three minutes, but then Peter told me I only had 1 more minute left, so I stuck it out.
“It’s a modern day alternative to cold water immersion, ice baths or ice packs”
When I left the chamber my thoughts were clear and my mood euphoric. Then I experienced the most incredible rush around my body. My legs felt powerful and my skin was glowing like it was lit from within. My sciatic nerve had stopped hurting and I felt like I could trek home walking on my hands. Peter says many, like me find the results instant.
The moment you leave the Cryosauna your blood comes rushing back from the core of your body to limbs, triggering the release of anti-inflammatory molecules, endorphines, increased oxygen in the blood and the release of toxins.
I was on such a high that I went back in for another three minute session. The second treatment was far more bearable. I guess because I knew what to expect and the results lasted well over one week.
My energy levels improved, my back barely hurt and my skin remained in top condition (even a few little spots on my back seemed to clear up).
“Many people opt for treatments in close succession” says Peter Watson. “We even see people come in for daily sessions, with users reporting an improvement with stress levels, insomnia, rheumatism, muscle and joint pain and various skin conditions. Results are effective and fast”.
The science behind Cryotherapy treatments back them up. “Originally developed in Japan in 1978, the benefits have been studied and refined in Europe in that time” Peter says.
Celebrities and sports stars such as Demi Moore, Shaquille O’Neal, Koby Bryant and Christiano Renaldo endorse the treatment. Closer to home, so do the Penrith Panthers NRL team, Australian heavy weight boxer Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne, and actor Firass Dirani.
This is one cool fad that doesn’t look like it will go off the boil any time soon.
Shonagh Walker is the editor of this article and was featured in the January 2017 issue of Jetstar Magazinea.