“Ice Ice Baby!” – Whole Body Cryotherapy Review
“Ice Ice Baby!” – Whole Body Cryotherapy Review
Before I tell you how cold I felt, I would like to give you some insights on Whole Body Cryotherapy. Why on earth would someone be willing to step into temperatures of -90°C (-200°F)?
Whole Body Cryotherapy involves exposing the entire body to ultra-low temperatures ranging from -80°C to -90°C. You stand in a totally enclosed sauna-like chamber for three minutes, fully exposed to freezing temperatures generated by an electrical cooling system. And as the cooled dry air flows over the skin it creates beneficial results. The procedure is completely pain free and doesn’t freeze skin tissue or organs.
Dr Yamaguchi first developed Whole Body Cryotherapy in Japan, in 1978. Initially, Dr Yamaguchi explored Whole Body Cryotherapy for the purpose of treating arthritis. He found that the treatment significantly reduces the soreness and pain during joint manipulation in his patients. And this is due to the rapid decrease of temperature of the outer layer of skin, which leads to the immediate release of endorphin hormones resulting in less sensitivity to pain.
As a result of the later research, scientists discovered many more benefits of this procedure:
→ Body Conditioning – The act of freezing the skin to -90°C stimulates your body’s natural defense mechanisms. The skin reacts to the cold and sends messages to the brain that stimulates the body to go into survival mode by moving blood from the extremities to the core, where the blood is enriched with oxygen, enzymes and nutrients. Enriched blood promotes internal organ regeneration, expels toxins from subcutaneous layers, initiates the cell renewal process, triggers replacement of damaged cells and eliminates dead cells from peripheral tissue. Or simply put, it rejuvenates the body at the cellular level.
→ Weight Loss – By ‘tricking’ your body into survival mode, you burn a huge amount of calories (500 – 800 per session), increase your blood flow and speed up your metabolism.
→ Sport Conditioning – Cryotherapy is helpful for muscle recovery and treating sports injuries alongside physiotherapy. It reduces muscle inflammation and encourages their repair. Moreover, the release of endorphins helps athletes to focus on their challenges and provides motivational support.
→ Beauty Enhancement and Anti-Ageing Properties – Boosting the body’s natural recovery and healing systems ensures the cells are working to their maximum, encouraging faster collagen production. The result is tighter skin, glossier locks and stronger nails.
→ Cellulite Reduction – Cryotherapy improves blood circulation and helps collagen production resulting in smoother, dimple-free skin.
Since I suffer from poor blood circulation, I’ve looked into Cryotherapy for a while now. So when Dr Yannis Alexandrides invited me to try his new 111Cryo Whole Body Chamber, I was more than keen.
When I arrived at 111CRYO at Harvey Nichols, I felt extremely tired and a little hungover as I was out the night before at my husband’s Christmas work event – and you know how that goes. After signing a waiver, I was shown the chamber and ushered to a dressing room where I was provided with specifically designed 111CRYO kit: vest, shorts, socks, thermal shoes, mask, gloves and ear protectors. As the practitioner explained, hyper-cooling your skin is so sudden that your body’s reaction is to pull blood from the extremities to protect the body’s core temperature. The vessels around the core then constrict, holding the blood in the core. Therefore the kit protects the areas that are most affected by this reaction to ensure your comfort and safety during the procedure.
As I geared up for the sub-zeros, the practitioner suggested that I pick music to dance to. Naturally, I was going to go for ‘Frozen’ but the practitioner strongly recommended something more up-beat. I laughed thinking that I would never dance in front of a stranger, however I quickly changed my mind once I stepped inside the chamber.
As the icy cold air hit my skin, I started to dance like I’ve never danced before. It felt like my skin was frosting over. And all I could think of was that if I stopped moving I would freeze to death! My hangover and tiredness disappeared as I endured the longest and by far the coldest three minutes of my life. However, it was a strange and somewhat pleasant sensation. Perhaps due to the endorphin release, I felt happy and energetic.
Once the session had ended, I felt like I was walking on clouds. I definitely wasn’t tired anymore and the gloomy London weather suddenly seemed like sunshine in the Caribbean.
Visiting 111CRYO was more of a spa-like experience. It’s conveniently located in Harvey Nichols, so you can take a break from your shopping spree and “re-charge” your batteries. Its futuristic, all-white design is very impressive. The dressing rooms are immaculate. You have everything from lovely 111Cryo skincare to dressing gowns and slippers to make you feel comfortable. And the 111CRYO practitioners on hand really make you feel at ease.
Would I do Whole Body Cryotherapy again? Absolutely! I loved how refreshed, uplifted and pain free (I suffer from excess calcium in my shoulder joints) I felt afterwards. My skin looked radiant, my eye bags disappeared, I had a slightly flatter stomach and I was a step closer to winning the war on cellulite. The bonus – you can skip your cardio that day as you loose 500 calories or more per session. Kudos to Dr Alexandrides for bringing Whole Body Cryotherapy to London!