Today I did a three-minute cryotherapy session at Polar Cryotherapy, which I was inspired to do after reading about the benefits in Tools of Titans.
I arrived and filled out a one-page paperwork documenting any illnesses or medication and signed the waiver.
I was taken to a dressing room and put on a pair of socks that came up to my knees. The Doc (Dr. Alan Christianson) said that the knee-high socks are best for a woman so they can cover their calves. Men usually have hairier calfs, so it is not as necessary for them. I also put on a pair of gloves for my hands and kept my bra and underwear intact. I then put on a robe and came out and watched while another young man went inside.
You enter the chamber with your robe on, then once inside you strip off the robe and hand it over the top of the chamber, and the doctor took it from me. There is a platform inside in which is moved up or down depending on your height so that your head pops out the top.
The doctor talked me through the whole process explaining what was happening and what I may be feeling. He also gave me plenty of time checks, so I knew how much longer I had left in the three minutes.
I saw the gentlemen before me dip his head under a few times into the cold chamber so I asked the doctor if I could do it too and he said definitely, just hold my breath while I go down.
I found the whole experience very refreshing (it was also a sweltering day in SoCal). The gentlemen before was going for his second time, and he mentioned to his lady friend with him that he felt a lot less “needle” sensation this time – so that, of course, freaked me out, but it wasn’t that bad for me. I kept the conversation going while I was in the chamber the whole time. I mentioned to the doctor that I had been using Tony Robbins “cold submersion” technique somewhat each day – meaning I take a freezing shower for at least 30-60 seconds to start my day. After I told him that, he cranked up my chamber so that it was much colder knowing I was into “cold submersion” lol. At this point, my last 30 seconds got very intense, and I did feel a needle sensation but still very tolerable.
After finishing, I felt very calm and refreshed. I don’t know that I felt a release of endorphins, but I was in a great mood all day and felt well. Where I do experience a considerable endorphin rush though is after a 90-minute hot yoga session – wow!
I asked the doctor how often I should do this; he said for the first time you do it – try doing it about three times in one week. Then you can taper off and do once or twice a month.
I wanted to try it because I’ve heard of many elite athletes using it to rejuvenate their muscles allowing them for faster muscle recovery and allowing them to train/work out at a higher intensity. Now I’m not trying to be a super athlete, but I was intrigued. I’ve also experienced amazing benefits using a hot sauna for muscle therapy, so I thought it would be neat to try the polar (get it :D) opposite for muscle recovery. Cryotherapy is also supposed to improve your mood and relieve depression/anxiety, reduce pain and inflammation due to illnesses such as arthritis or fibromyalgia. There are also countless beauty benefits. No need to tell me twice to try it.
There are also countless beauty benefits. No need to tell me twice to try it.
- reduction of cellulite
- tighter skin
- stronger/fuller hair and nails
- increased metabolism
- fewer skin blemishes & scars
- increased libido and more – I’m down for ALL OF THAT.
This is pulled from the Polar Cryotherapy website to explain better what Cryotherapy is (I don’t even want to try and put it into my own words and ruin the science of it):
Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) is the body’s exposure to extreme cold, triggering a systemic anti-inflammatory response. This modality was first utilized in Japan to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Studies conducted in Europe over the last two decades have established WBC as a powerful treatment for inflammatory disorders and injuries. The treatments have been used to accelerate the production of collagen, to improve skin elasticity and texture, to reverse skin aging, and to reduce the appearance of cellulite. WBC boosts the body’s metabolic rate, which accelerates weight loss outcomes. Professional athletes have discovered WBC as a powerful treatment to decrease recovery time and increase athletic performance.
The Cryosauna experience involves lowering the body’s surface skin temperature from approximately 90.5°F to around 32°F for about 2-3 minutes. This dynamic cooling is achieved by way of Nitrogen mist which gently surrounds the body at -238°F to -274°F. During this process, thermo-receptors in the skin send signals to the brain to release endorphins and beneficial biochemicals. The blood also becomes optimally oxygenated which accelerates the beneficial results. The vessels and capillaries in the skin undergo a period of severe vasoconstriction followed by severe vasodilation. This causes toxins in the body to be broken down and carried away through these vessels.
When the immune system is activated in this fashion, the body is affected positively. The result is an energy boost lasting up to eight hours, and skin rejuvenation due to the production of collagen. Elite athletes realize increased performance and endurance due to faster recovery and healing. Inflammatory, medical and skin conditions have reportedly been significantly alleviated or eliminated through this process. Cryotherapy increases metabolic rate as the body counters the cold by burning calories to create heat. The estimate of caloric burn is between 400 to 800 calories over the next twenty-four hours.
Polar Cryotherapy also offers more than just cryotherapy. They also offer infrared light therapy, a vibration platform machine, and other alternative health services.
All in all, I loved it and will be going consistently now!
UPDATE: I’ve been trying to go a 2-3 a months using my ClassPass. Still loving it. Still, recommend it. Get on it.