These are the many faces of cryotherapy! What is cryotherapy, you ask? Well, we had the same question. Lucky for us, our friend Charis Wipfler owner of Grace Medical Aesthetics is the first to bring whole body cryotherapy to Connecticut and asked us to come along to check it out.
Knowing not much more about cryotherapy other than it being the latest thing in celebrityville, and that loads of top sports athletes swear by it, we decided to give it a whirl. We brought along Lora’s husband Michael for a male POV….and to go first!
What is it??
Whole body cryotherapy exposes the body to temperatures ranging between -200ºF and -240ºF (i.e. really cold) using liquid nitrogen vapor for up to three minutes. The body reacts to that and activates physiological responses that can be beneficial in a number of ways. More technical details here.
❄️ Reduces chronic pain
❄️ Reduces chronic inflammation
❄️ Improves muscular fatigue
❄️ Improves mood and experience of well-being
❄️ Aids sleep
❄️ Increases metabolism
Feeling cold yet?
Ok, no more dilly-dallying, time to try it! Here’s Michael…going first!
Kevin Calitri, in-house cryotherapy technician, was on hand to talk us through the whole thing, which really is very simple; strip down (keep on your funderwear or not…personal choice) put on the robe, socks, sheepskin gloves and clogs provided. Enter the pod and hand over the robe. Hang out for 3 minutes and feel the endorphin rush!
He’s still smiling!
….and I guess I’m next! Eek. Kevin explained that the anticipation and build up is way worse than the experience, which is really nothing more than taking an ice-bath, minus the wetness. Ok, I’ve done the Lake Waramaug Polar Bear race before, I’ve got this!
Handing over the robe, getting the mittens, and very much “anticipating” the next three minutes! Understand that I do not like the temperature “cold” at all!
Here’s my diary entry that evening when I got home…
Got cryotherapy tonight! Demi Moore does it and Jennifer Aniston does it…and yes, if they told me to jump off a bridge, I just might! But seriously…I’ve been hearing good things and wanted to check it out. Thousands of professional athletes must be on to something!
Three minutes of standing in my birthday suit with super duper cold liquid nitrogen being pumped into my pod – I feel like I should have asked for sponsors and done it for charity!
It was actually really quite bearable! They give you socks and mittens, so no outer extremities need be concerned! I had the most rotten head cold when I went, not exactly what you might choose to do under those circumstances…but post cryo I was feeling perkier than I had all day. Everything feels tighter! There’s also a fair bit of an adrenaline rush, so that’s always fun!
Side note: I slept like a baby that night!!
Here it comes!!
Hey Lora, how did you like it?!
[Lora] It was…actually not bad at all! As a newbie runner, the best way to describe the after effects, is that as soon as I stepped out of the chamber, I felt like I wanted to go running! There was this amazing urge to just move! My skin felt tighter and invigorated. I would definitely do this again. And trust me, I HATE cold. I hate winter. Never do winter sports for that reason alone. But with Kevin (and Bev and Michael) standing there talking to you for distraction and moral support, the 3 minutes goes by really quickly. Thank you to Kevin for giving me the, “It’s already at the halfway point!” Fabulous – my own cryo-cheerleader!
That adrenaline rush I mentioned.
Our cryo hosts – Charis Wipfler (APRN-FNP, BC) and Mark Wipfler (MD, FACEP)
Thanks, Grace Medical Aesthetics team, we really enjoyed being human popsicles and would most certainly do it again!
900 Straits Turnpike, Middlebury, CT
Words: Bev/Photos: Lora & Bev