You might get a good night's sleep, but cryotherapy will leave you too cold to be cool
Updated: Aug 21, 2018
Author: The Inquirer
Before we delve too deeply into this frigid story, let me be frank: I hate to be cold.
I despise it so much that the onset of fall — despite its beautiful, fiery foliage and my birthday — saddens me, because the next stop is winter.
That said, one might wonder: “Elizabeth, why on earth would you even think about trying cryotherapy — a full-body wellness treatment that requires the immersion of one’s nearly naked body into liquid nitrogen cooled to subzero temperatures?”
Sigh. I do believe in the age-old adage of trying everything at least once.
But, more interesting, this kind of therapy, devised in 1978 by Japanese rheumatologist Toshima Yamaguchi, is said to work wonders on relieving chronic body pain caused by inflammation. Over the years, top athletes like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James have sworn by cryotherapy’s chillingly good effects on their athletic performance.
There is anecdotal evidence that the ice-bathlike experience treats a host of chronic ailments, including arthritis, psoriasis, osteoporosis, and several other autoimmune diseases. Some say cryotherapy improves sleep, helps with weight loss, and helps improve one’s overall mood.
But although scores of salons and day spas have started offering cryotherapy to their clients amid the ever-growing holistic approach to beauty, the Food and Drug Administration has yet to give cryotherapy its stamp of approval, citing the lack of scientific evidence supporting the claims.
Still, in addition to the beauty establishments that offer the arctic experience, there has been an increase in the number of facilities nationwide — there are at least three such establishments in Philly — that offer only cryotherapy. So for about $30 to $60 a pop, a cool and arguably healing experience can be yours.
Enter Robin Gupta, 45, owner of Conshohocken’s friendly neighborhood bar Guppy’s Good Times. In 2015, Gupta attended a Tony Robbins seminar. And on the last day of the life coach’s in-your-face positivity fest, Robbins started singing cryotherapy’s praises. He underwent a session nearly every day, and, Gupta said, “He told us it was the single-best thing you could do for your health. I wanted to find out everything I could about it.”