I'm a huge wimp when it comes to cold water. I have a hard time getting in a swimming pool that isn't heated. I've never taken an ice bath and I hope I never have to. I first saw cryotherapy on Instagram (of course) when one of the Soul Cycle instructors I started following went. A couple days later I saw Lindsay Lohan posted a similar picture.
I did a little research and found that cryotherapy is a process in which you subject your body to extreme cold for a couple minute in order to reduce inflammation. It is used in the treatment of muscle soreness and swelling. Its also been credited with boosting the metabolism, reducing cellulite, stimulate collagen production, and increase energy. Wouldn't you know, a couple days later, Kryolife had a deal on Gilt City.
I show up and am instructed to take off all my clothes and use a towel to dry off any moisture to avoid frostbite. Of course it's a rainy day and I immediately start to panic about my hair or a limb freezing off. I put on a robe and nervously sit in the little waiting area. I tried comforting myself by reminding myself that if I could survive 45 minutes in a 150 degree bed, I can survive 3 minutes freezing.
The moment I step in the room I am engulfed in a cold wipe vapor that comes out of the machine which looks like a rocket ship. Apparently it's between -184 to -292 degrees Fahrenheit. They leave it on the "warmer" side for newbies so it was probably -184. I keep telling myself, 3 minutes, 3 minutes. I step into the machine and hand my robe to an attendant. The attendant is the best part. He talked me through the whole process step by step. Once inside the machine, the attendant keeps talking to me. He asked me why I was there, what I did for a living, etc. I really enjoy the distraction and definitely thinks it helps me take my mind of how f@**ing freezing I am.
So here's the bottom line. It's not that cold and I wasn't that uncomfortable in terms of my body temperature. My issue was that I had extreme shortness of breath like I was worried I was having a heart attack. It felt like I was having the worst ever case of the hiccups or when I've been hysterically crying and tried to talk but my words sound like hiccups (does this ever happen to anyone else?). I've been to two sessions and this happened both times. I spoke with the owner and he said that it's my body adjusting to the temperature and absorbing the liquid nitrogen which is producing the cold air. The next time I go, they can raise the platform so that I'm still freezing my butt off, but I'm not breathing in and absorbing through my nose and mouth the liquid nitrogen as much. In terms of all the other promises, it takes 10 times to notice a difference. Given the cost, the location, and the uncomfortable-ness, I think i'll resort to icing my sore muscles with some frozen vegetable bags.