Hello! How’s it going? Last night I fell asleep in the middle of writing this blog post! Ha! It was a long day. I’m excited to tell you about my experience trying cryotherapy though!
First, breakfast. I am suddenly super into protein pancakes again. I made mini-ones the other night and made this big one today.
Okay. Let’s talk about if you cry in cryotherapy and all that other stuff…
Cryotherapy is the cool new thing right now. I’ve seen it on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, I’ve seen tons of Groupons for it, I’ve read about it online. I also met someone a few years ago who swears that going outside in the freezing cold helps slow the aging process and burn calories (don’t try that at home).
I bought a Groupon for a local Cryotherapy place and tried it after the OC Half Marathon this weekend.
My Cryotherapy experience…
“Whole Body Cryotherapy is a more effective alternative to an ice bath and is much easier to tolerate. It involves entering a small chamber that is cooled to below -200º F for a period of up to 3 minutes while under constant supervision.
As your body is exposed to the cold, vaso-constriction occurs along the exterior regions of your body, causing blood to rush into your body’s core (around key internal organs) where the blood becomes super oxygenated and nutritionally rich. Once you are removed from the chamber, your blood vessels expand, allowing all of that newly rejuvenated blood to rush back to the exterior regions of the body like your extremities and skin. This process increases your body’s innate ability to heal itself, resulting in an invigorating rejuvenation of your body on many deep levels. Whole body cryotherapy also triggers the release of endorphins (which induce pain relief), adrenaline, and other hormones that help restore youthful vibrance and proper balance in your body.” (source from the Cryocrib)
I went in and the guy gave me all the instructions and how the process works. Girls can take off all their clothes – but have the option to leave underwear on if you choose, guys have to wear underwear. You have to take off all your jewelry. You wear socks, gloves and slippers.
Right before I went in he took my blood pressure to make sure it was normal. Sometimes cryotherapy can make your blood pressure increase and I think they just want a to make sure it’s fairly normal before going in the chamber.
It is a stand up chamber and the height is adjusted for each person so your head is above the cold area. I stepped in and handed off my robe. As I was taking it off the guys asked, “You don’t have any body piercings right?”
I freaked out. (I was already nervous.)
“I have a belly ring! I can’t take it off, I don’t know how.”
He didn’t seem worried about it and just said, “Keep one of your hands over it.”
I kept my hand so tight on my belly button you would have thought it was about to fall off and roll under the dresser never to be seen again.
Luckily focusing on not losing my belly button kind of distracted me?
He turned on the freezer and the cold air started to come up from the chamber. He also turned on some music and talked to me the whole time. The person before me got ‘Vanilla Ice Ice Baby’, which I thought was funny. He said he had a different song for me and ended up putting on “I will survive”. Ha! Very appropriate since I was so scared.
Most people go in for 3 minutes, but for the first time they do 2.5 minutes and ask you if you want to stay in longer. I did the 2.5 minutes.
It is cold, but not painful. I was expecting it to be that piercing pain of an ice bath. I’ve done a lot of ice baths and I really hate them. It’s so painful for me (one time I almost passed out). I really really reeeeeeaally hate being cold more than anything else (besides being hungry). I joke that I was made to live in the deserts of Mexico so my body cannot handle cold. This was cold and uncomfortable, but not killer.
The time goes by fairly quickly. He told me when I had 90 seconds left and 30 seconds. (Someone should be there the whole time to supervise.)
I would rather do this than an ice bath 100%!
The results: I don’t know if I feel like it sped up recovery after my run. It was only a half marathon, which I recover from pretty quickly anyway. I think I have to try it after a full marathon or longer run. I would like to try it again. There is some debate on whether or not ice baths really help, but I feel like they do help me. So, I would assume that cyrotherapy would help me too. I just want to try it a few more times before I really decide my thoughts on how it affects my running.
Want more info on icing? Check out this post/video…