Being a former athlete who has struggled with my fair share of ailment and injury, I am always looking for different ways to make my body feel… Well, better. And most recently, instead of clinging on to my usual recovery routine, I decided to try something new – Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC).
How It Works
Cryotherapy has been a hot, yet controversial, subject amongst athletes as of late. It involves subjecting your body to subzero temperatures in order to jumpstart your “fight or flight” response. In your body’s attempt to “survive” the environment, the majority of your blood is rushed to your core and internal organs. Once you step out of the chamber, the fresh, oxygenated blood rushes back to your extremities to promote recovery and healing.
The use of WBC has its advantages to its counterpart Partial Body Cryotherapy (PBC). Because WBC uses oxygenated air versus nitrogen, you aren’t at risk for forced air burns or nitrogen gas exposure. This use, in turn, keeps the general cost of the WBC treatment low. The whole body approach also results in a larger drop in body temperature, allowing your central nervous system to initiate a larger anti-inflammatory response.
Associated Benefits of WBC
- Improved sleep and recovery
- Enhanced mood and energy
- Reduced joint pain and inflammation
- Decreased stress
The benefits described were enough for me to become more curious. I’m not one to knock something before I try it, so before venturing out on my own, I decided to go straight to an experienced cryotherapy user: Advantage Training’s own member, Carrie Birth. As an elite long distance runner, Carrie incorporates weekly cryotherapy treatments into her recovery routine. With a glowing face, she told me all about this place called US Cryotherapy in Scottsdale (located at the cross streets of Raintree and Highway 101). After an extremely reassuring conversation, I had agreed to accompany her to one of her recovery sessions.
The day had come. As I walked up to the doors, there was Carrie with the biggest grin on her face. I honestly didn’t know whether to smile back or run! We go inside and I am greeted by the general manager, Andrew Mauren and his golden retriever puppy, Fitz! I hadn’t even looked around yet and I was in heaven (puppies put me in a very happy place). :)
The suite was super spacious, the lighting was bright, and the overall energy of this place felt amazing. Initially, I noticed several treatment rooms and a double row of spin bikes in the front of the room. Following a few playful moments with Fitz, I feasted my eyes upon the mother of all food freezers: the Whole Body Cryotherapy chamber. There was a guy in there when I walked up. He was all decked out in gloves, special socks and slippers, and a face mask to protect his extremities from the cold. He was stretching and moving around to keep his muscle elongated, all while rocking out to his favorite song. I thought the music factor was pretty fantastic, as it is mostly a “mind over matter” type of situation. At this point, my adrenaline was through the roof.
Carrie and I got all suited up, we picked “Finest Hour” by Cash Cash for our song of choice, and then we were ready to roll! She mentioned that she was staying in for 3.5 minutes but, for my first time, reassured me that I could exit at the 2 minute mark. I agreed and proceed to get… My… Mind… Right. Andrew encouraged me to move around as much as possible, and if I had any problem areas, he suggested I focus on movement through those areas. He then scanned my starting skin temperature: 88°F.
Before entering the main chamber, we hung out in a smaller chamber for about 15 seconds to get semi-acclimated to the -170°F we were about to experience. The room went dark, Carrie opened the door, and then it was GO TIME. I walked into a frosty mix of oxygenated air; at first it was hard to see, THEN it was hard to breathe. My body was fine. My breathing, however, required bit of focus. I cupped my hands around my mouth and nose to get some warmer air into my lungs. THIS WAS MONEY. From that moment on, I was great. I felt amazing. I even looked down at one point and there were frosties on my dreadlocks! “One minute remaining” blares from the automatic system. I gave Carrie the thumbs up and next thing you know, 3.5 minutes had flown by.
I step out of the chamber and Andrew rescans my body temp. My external temperature dropped a whomping 47°! Almost immediately, I feel a rush of warmth flow into my extremities. This felt weird but wonderful at the same time! I finished my recovery session with a localized cryo treatment on my lower back and 10 minutes of leg compression with the Normatec boots (a post-game favorite in college). I left that place feeling more energized than I had in weeks, not to mention that I slept like a baby that night.
All in all, I would rate my experience with Andrew and his crew a 10/10! These guys were super laid back, yet professional. I was impressed with the number of other recovery options they had to offer alongside cryotherapy.
Additional services include:
- Cryo Facial Rejuvenation
- Normatec Leg Compression
- Hydro Massage Bed
- Far Infrared Sauna
After my first experience with cryotherapy, I would definitely go again – and I plan on it with these exclusive Advantage Training membership prices!
- Drop In: $30
- 3-Pack: $79
- 1-Month Unlimited: $159
They will honor a 20% discount off of all passes, packages, and memberships for Advantage Training members. Just show your Advantage Training Scheduler app at the front counter! Appointments are taken and walk-ins are also welcomed!
If you want to learn more about the awesome technology used and recovery options available at US Cryotherapy-Scottsdale, check them out here: https://www.uscryotherapy.com/location/scottsdale-az/. You will be impressed!