Have you been looking for a way to improve your recovery rate after a workout? Are you looking for an effective treatment for your sore, achy, inflamed muscles? Do you want to boost your weight loss goals? Perhaps you want to ease your anxiety and depression (in these crazy times, who isn’t?), and boost your mood? Whatever the case may be, you might be thinking about giving cryotherapy a try.
Cryotherapy has become one of the chilliest health and wellness trends. Everyone from professional athletes, celebrities, weight lifters, avid gym-goers, and people who suffer from ailments, or you just want to relax and boost their overall well-being are going crazy for this sub-zero therapy. If you’re considering scheduling your considering your first cryotherapy session, before you book your appointment, there’s no doubt you have some questions. Below, you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that cryo-newbies ask the team at Muscle Lab, one of the hottest (or coldest) muscle recovery and wellness spas in Los Angeles.
What is cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy literally translates to “cold therapy”. It involves the use of cold temperatures over short period of time for therapeutic benefits.
What are the benefits of cryotherapy?
Many benefits have been attributed to cryotherapy. Some of the most notable benefits include:
- Relief for muscle pain and soreness
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved sleep
- Increased metabolism and weight loss
- Mood enhancement
- Reduced anxiety and depression
And those are just some of the benefits. Scientific research and clinical studies examining the effects and benefits that are associated with cold therapy are on-going.
How does cryotherapy work?
There are two types of cryotherapy: localized and whole-body. With localized cryotherapy, a specific part of the body is targeted and treated with cold temperatures, and with whole-body cryotherapy, as the name suggests, the entire body is exposed to freezing conditions. At Muscle Lab, we focus on whole-body cryotherapy (WBC).
WBC involves the use of a cryo chamber or sauna, which kind of looks like a big metal canister. The canister features a door and an opening at the top. When you step into the chamber, you will place your head up through the opening at the top and close the door, encasing the rest of your body, from the neck down. When you’re ready, liquid nitrogen will flow into the chamber, covering your body, and rapidly decreasing the temperature inside the canister and your body. You’ll remain in the chamber for a short period of time – usually 3 minutes, but no more than 5 minutes; however, you can end the session sooner, if you prefer. When the session is over, you’ll simply open up the door, step out of the chamber, and go about the rest of your day.
What do I need to do to prepare?
You don’t need to do much to prepare for your cryotherapy session; but, the things you will need to do are important. First, you’ll change into skimpy (for lack of a better word) clothing; a bathing suit, or shorts and a tank top, for example. You’ll also want to put on a pair of gloves and socks or botties to protect your hands and feet (otherwise they could sustain frostbite). Make sure that all of your clothing is completely dry, and use a dry towel to ensure that your entire body is dry, too; if any part of your body or clothing is wet, you could experience frostbite.
Before entering into the cryo sauna, you’ll spend some time in an acclimatization chamber. The temperatures in this chamber are cold than room temp, but are warmer than the temps in the cry sauna. Make sure that you spend a good bit of time in the acclimatization chamber so that your body will adjust to the sub-zero conditions cryo sauna, so as to avoid shocking your system.
Is whole-body cryotherapy safe?
It is! At Muscle Lab, we employ the most advanced techniques and technologies, and make sure that highly trained technicians are always available to accompany you with all of your needs throughout the duration of your session. A technician will thoroughly explain the process to you, and will make sure that all of your questions are answered. At Muscle Lab, safety is always our top priority.
Is there anyone who should avoid cryotherapy?
While cryotherapy is safe for the overwhelming majority of the public, there are some individuals that should avoid using this freezing treatment. If any of the following apply to you, you should avoid using whole-body cryotherapy:
- You’re pregnant
- You have been diagnosed with high or low blood pressure
- You have a pacemaker
- You have been diagnosed with a serious cardiac condition
- You suffer from acute kidney or urinary tract disease
- You have Raynaud’s Syndrome
- You suffer from an uncontrolled seizure disorder
- You’ve recently had an acute myocardial infarction
- You have an arrhythmia
- You suffer from a symptomatic cardiovascular disease
What does it feel like?
Whole-body cryotherapy, as you can imagine, feels extremely cold. The temperature inside the chamber can drop to as low as -300 degrees F. The treatment is totally dry, which enables you to withstand the cold temps. A lot of Muscle Lab clients say that they experience a pins-and-needles-like sensation throughout the session, but it clears up completely as soon as they exist the session.
Should I eat or drink anything before or after my session?
It’s always a good idea to eat and be hydrated before your session (if your stomach is growling or you’re parched during your session, you aren’t going to enjoy it as much as you should); however, it isn’t required. After your session is over, we do suggest hydrating yourself with fresh water. Eating post-session, however, is completely up to you and what you’re feeling, but deciding to eat or not to eat will not have any impact on the effects of your session.
Can I work out pre- and post-session?
Yep, you sure can! We have people who come into for a session right after they’ve completed a workout out or on their way to a lifting session at the gym. If you do workout beforehand, however, make sure that you are completely dry before your session begins. Change into completely dry clothing and thoroughly dry any sweat from your body.
Have More Questions? Ready to Schedule an Appointment?
If you have any other questions about cryotherapy or you’re ready to schedule your first session and you live, work, or workout in the Los Angeles area, get in touch with LA’s chilliest cryotherapy spa: Muscle Lab!