Cryotherapy has been around for a while now. Ever since I saw it on one of the Real Housewives of somewhere or another, I knew I had to try it. It’s even on my to-do list : ‘try cryotherapy.’ And today, I crossed a fat blue line through that baby. I booked my appointment to Arctic Glow Cryospa in downtown Seattle through the Mind Body app on my iPhone. It was simple and easy to book.
How Does it Work?
Cryotherapy is submerging the body into air that has been super cooled. While I can’t speak for all cryotherapy centers, at Arcticglow, it was to -220 degrees Fahrenheit. Your body will be essentially shocked into a temporary survival mode and all blood flow is directed to the core. Total time in the session is a cool (see what I did there?) three minutes and upon exiting the session, oxygenated blood surges back through your body, easing inflammation, tension and therefore pain and muscle/joint soreness.
Cryotherapy is good for a variety of health and beauty benefits. Full disclosure, I wanted to try this treatment for the beautifying benefits (increase in collagen anyone?). But then I discovered it is also supposed to be really good for pain management which includes arthritis. Throughout all my pregnancies, I had sciatica in my back which has now developed into chronic arthritis that no chiropractor, acupuncturist, physical therapist or masseuse has been able to ease. Other benefits include cellulite reduction, sleeping better, increased collagen production, and weight loss promotion through increased metabolism.
When I arrived at Arcticglow, even though I was 15 minutes late (thanks downtown Seattle parking), I received a friendly welcome. I stripped down to my bra and panties and donned the provided robe, socks and slippers which were all fresh and clean. After entering the cryotherapy pod, I then took off my robe and handed it to the technician. So if you’re among the modest, fear not-no one ever sees you in your skivvies! You then put on two pairs of gloves. I left my hair down which she said would keep me a bit warmer. I also left my wedding ring and earrings on but took all other jewelry off.
The total treatment lasts three minutes but you are welcome to tap out earlier if you can’t handle the cold. I personally didn’t think it was too terrible but as I chatted with the lady I realized it was getting more and more laborious to speak and my thighs and shoulders started to shake. My head never went below the super cooled air. The tech stayed with me the entire time and prompted me to take a quarter turn every 30 seconds. After the three minutes she handed back my robe and I immediately hopped on an exercise bike to warm up. I drank some provided filtered water as this aids in the flushing out of toxins.
You can do this treatment while breastfeeding (but not pregnant). I had trouble finding health and beauty treatments that are safe during breastfeeding. The lady did not try and upsell me on buying any packages which I appreciated. I asked if I could bring my seven-month-old baby with me next time or if he was forbidden for any liability reasons. And to my surprise-babies welcome. Always nice to hear that you don’t have to find a babysitter! You can even bring your dog. So…when I could expect my arthritis to be cured? This afternoon? Tonight? She said that it would likely take multiple sessions to notice any significant improvement as the benefits are more cumulative…aren’t they always?
Cryo wasn’t nearly as scary and painful as everyone thinks. Driving and parking in Seattle was way scarier than subzero temperatures on my bare skin. Intro session was only $35 with subsequent sessions going for $55 each. I think I would definitely try this again. If you wanna bypass the hassle of down town Seattle, consider Northwest Cryotherapy Institute in Bellevue. Get your first session with them for only $25 on Groupon.
Have you tried cryotherapy? I’d love to hear your experiences with it!