Saturday, May 13, 2017

Athlete Essentials: Recovery: CRYOTHERAPY REVIEW


WITH the mercury rising-outdoor enthusiasts pursuing athletic feats-will probably need to change up a few routines post exercise-not just their workout clothes.

Part One: Cryotherapy

We've known about this temporary deep freeze 'experience'- (enclosed from the neck down to ankles... immersed in a closed environment in temps anywhere from about -180F to -240ºF (that's right, negative) , 2-3 minutes, typically)-as another version-a  multi-room, gradually colder -treatment-has been available at glammy health spas overseas for years.

With athletes-celebs famously advocating the benefits that a cryotherapy treatment can elicit... including healing sore muscles/anti-inflammatory, burn calories (500-800 per session), better sleep, increased endorphins (sense of well being), boosts immune system, oxygenate the blood...we were game to try.

At Drive 495-a VERY well-equiped boutique- two level exercise emporium-featuring one on one instruction-including golf- to small group workouts targeting those who want to not only 'just' want to get fit-but "own it"-as the pro athletes who use the facility-work with seasoned fitness trainers... do...we had our own interesting experience with cryotherapy.


First part---sign numerous legal releases (generally speaking-obviously not for people with heart /health conditions)---we went into a small enclosed room off the main workout floor...where we stripped down to our underwear (no worries-privacy for shy types) and put on gloves/insulated booties for the treatment. (We've read that some people wear knit hats or earmuffs too).

Duh but should be noted-NO metal piercings or underwire bras---NOR jewelry- gets left on.

The cryotherapy mechanism  itself-reminded us of those old sweat machines -basically one stands inside an open cryotherapy machine... on a small platform-height is adjustable-looks like an open wooden tub with openings for neck/head and feet...and is then closed shut -encapsulating the neck down to tops of our ankles ...leaving room to turn around-in our case-small turns every ten seconds. The owner/founder-and 3x a week advocate of cryotherapy, DON SALADINO then started the treatment-staying with us the whole time -programing our 2 minute 'beginner' time at -180º-and telling us when to make small turns-all the while-chatting with us which DEF helps passes the time.

Feeling's like being closely surrounded/exposed to the dry packs ice cream is shipped with-nitrogen iced whole body wise.

For us-the first 20 seconds or so-we barely felt the cold (2 turns worth)-but then our body started feeling it...and the last 40 seconds or so were very uncomfortable---but not enough to make us want to end the treatment-but def enough to be grateful for the "times up." Doubtful we could have gone a second more.


One can work out afterward...we've read that moving around is encouraged...but we had an appointment -and needed to leave though noted- we'd be moving around anyway-taking the subway, walking...
We felt-totally fine...and Drive 495 has well appointed,  gender separate locker rooms (with showers if so inclined) get ourselves together. Next time-we'd bring a thermos with hot coffee though ---


First off, we have no problems sleeping and work out a lot so already get that endorphin runner's high...but did have a very sore right front rotator cuff from, most likely- "bad mechanics' =courtesy of that elbow up drag the finger tips free-style swimming drill.  We had been doing the alternate ice and warm packs, aspirin plus arnica gel application treatments...that helped a bit.

BUT immediately after the treatment, that soreness felt noticeably better-not 100% better-but 20% better. Pretty good. About 45 minutes later-we started getting that body cold we get when we work out a lot- or after a triathlon race...and haven't replenished the calories we can vouch for the calorie burning benefit of our cryotherapy treatment too.

Best of all though...after our usual late afternoon nap-we woke up with our front right rotator cuff feeling -about 80% better now...and prior to a long run about an hour later-our usually needed warm-up time -  15 minutes of easy jogging...really was not necessary. a good way.

YES, we signed up for more treatments.



From Wikipedia:
The term "cryotherapy" comes from the Greek cryo (κρύο) meaning cold, and therapy (θεραπεία) meaning cure.