Cryotherapy–Why Hanging Out In A Cold Sauna Isn’t A Bad Thing

This morning I woke up feeling groggy. That doesn’t happen to me often, but after two nights of eating junk and being out late, I had a tough time getting out of bed for a 9am workout class at Studio Elevate in Culver City.

Long story short, I made it to the class but afterward I noticed the shop next door was opened, and I had seen pictures of it on Instagram and wanted to see exactly what was inside.

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This place is called Cold and Thirsty. It is actually an organic cold pressed juicery that NOT ONLY offers juice. They offer something unique (there is only one other place in Los Angeles that currently has this!) called WHOLE BODY CRYOTHERAPY.

So what is this cryotherapy?

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It is a cold sauna in which the chamber is filled with liquid nitrogen that reaches frigid temperatures nearing -250 degrees fahrenheit. It is supposed to have incredible anti-aging properties and helps decrease inflammation after workouts. It also has benefits for weight loss and chronic joint disorders and is said to be able to decrease injury recovery time by 50%. Sounds cool, right? Well it is…VERY COOL. So cool I decided to try it.

So how does this thing work?

Once a person is in the Cryo-chamber, your bodies skin receptors send a message to your brain that you’re freezing. The body reacts by rushing all the blood in to protect your vital organs. In doing so the blood is detoxified and oxygenated. The body then sends a map of your central nervous system to the brain. Once you step out of the machine and begin acclimating to the normal temperatures, the blood rushes back out and the body focuses on healing the problematic areas. One session is supposed to be good, but ideally, a person would want to come back multiple times to really see progress in skin tightening and inflammation issues.

So in deciding to try a session, I was lead to the back area where the Cryo-chamber is held. The facility has two changing areas where you disrobe and they give you a robe, special socks and gloves to wear in the chamber and these yellow rubber boots to put on your feet. Sexy, huh? No, but you want to keep these specific areas of your body protected in the chamber. You have to make sure your body is completely dry, so while it is good to have this procedure after a workout, make sure you have wiped sweat from your body before you go in the chamber.

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When I got into the chamber, I was immediately raised to the top where my head was sticking out. I was told to take off the robe and hand it over the top to the person monitoring the chamber. Then the session began. It is said to start with 2 minutes for your first session and work your way up to 3 minutes. One might think a temperature of under 250 degrees would be brutal. I am not going to deny that it is cold, but it feels refreshing and invigorating. I was reminded of being a kid and going to Halloween parties where the parents would have bowls with the liquid nitrogen ice cubes that looked like smoke was coming out of them…so I was technically inside one of those. Although I wasn’t standing on ice…kind of crazy!

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Two minutes is up before you know it. The chamber is turned off, you are lowered back to the ground and handed your robe in a matter of seconds. Then I went back into my dressing room and put my clothes back on.

How did I feel after? My legs took the longest to thaw out, but I have been having a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders and it does feel somewhat alleviated, which is nice. An hour later, I still feel refreshed. The owner of the shop said the initial feeling should last 2-3 days. They do recommend coming frequently and have different packages you can purchase.

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Overall it was a very cool (literally) and unique experience! You can find more information about Cold and Thirsty here.