Cryotherapy. If you know what that is you know more than I did when I was first introduced to it. But if you’re just like me, here’s a little explanation: Basically, cryotherapy is a liquid nitrogen freezing therapy, commonly used by athletes to aid in the recovery of injuries, but now also available for beauty and general lifestyle therapies. I thought it sounded thrilling and off I went to CryoLiving in Plumstead, the only place currently offering cryotherapy, to willingly hand myself to people who would freeze me.
Now why on earth would I do that? Well, turns out cryotheray has numerous health and wellness advantages. As said, it is commonly used in the treatment of injuries, but it is also used as a beauty treatment to help against scarring, aging, and etcetera. And for all the foodies out there indulging in excessive eating, cryotherapy is supposed to help with weight loss. When the liquid nitrogen hits your body – and I went down to a temperature of -145 degrees (eek) – this causes an intense internal response and all the blood literally floods to the surface of your skin to fight against the extreme cold. This brings a surge of nutrients to all places the liquid nitrogen has hit, causing wonders in terms of healing and cellular regeneration. Of course, the time you spend in cryotherapy is extremely limited so as to prevent your body from actually going into hypothermia. Fun, isn’t it?
I love jumping into the ice cold ocean so thought cryotherapy would be a cool new extreme to try, but it wasn’t half as scary as I thought. I started with a cryotherapy facial, great to rejuvenate the skin, leaving you fresh, young, and plump again, and fighting against scarring and aging. Every woman’s dream. The cryofacial is pretty much like a normal facial in that you get face treatments, a massage, and relaxation time, but you also get the added benefits of cryotherapy. I found the cryofacial wonderfully relaxing. I loved the cold air on my skin, was completely relaxed by the massage, and honestly thought it was one of the coolest (no pun intended) facials I’ve had in a while.
After my cryofacial, I got ready for my whole body treatment. They make you look very attractive in socks, gloves, and crocs to protect your extremities, and give you a gown to cover up before you head in to the cryo sauna, a long cylindrical tube that looks like it’s straight out of an alien spaceship Hollywood film, pretty impressive looking with the steam coming out the top. The top of the cylinder is open, of course, so that you can breathe normally. The maximum time spent in the cryo sauna is three minutes and at first I found it quite comfortable and just wonderfully refreshing, especially with these hot days we’ve been having. You have to keep moving at all times but after two minutes, when the cold really started hitting me, I found I was moving around even more, trying to get rid of the thousand pins and needles hitting my legs. Patients are advised that they can step out of the treatment at any time if they start feeling pain. Mine wasn’t painful, just cold, so I pushed through for the full three minutes. Afterwards you get put on a stationary bicycle to cycle away and warm up again. I felt amazing. My toes were a little cold but other than that I felt great – refreshed, firm, and full of energy!
Obviously for the full benefit of cryotherapy you’d need to go more than once and engage in a proper treatment plan, especially if you’re there to treat something specific, but the physiotherapists and beauty therapists trained in cryotherapy will advise you. For more information or to try a session of your own, head on over to the CryoLiving website or give them a call on +27 21 823 1600.
Tomorrow we’re moving from the freezing cold body treatment to ice cold refreshments, so stay tuned for that!
Written by Benike Palfi
This article appeared on: http://ilovefoodies.co.za/feeling-revived-with-cryotherapy/