EDITOR’S NOTE: This month, with Monica Brant, we focused on recovery. Instead of a “workout” we have a “method” to share—in this case, a different take on the conventional recovery method of ice bath. Both ice baths and ice packs lower the temperature of the body (parts). With ice baths, the body reacts by sending blood to the chilled areas. With the extreme cold of cryotherapy, the body reacts by withdrawing blood to the core for self-preservation, circulating in a smaller cycle, increasing oxygen and nutrients in the blood. Following a cryotherapy session, blood rushes to the sore/iced areas bringing extra oxygen and nutrients.
Along with my new intense track program, my coach has laid out an equally intense recovery program that includes many ice baths per week. Ice baths are great but do take up quite a bit of time from picking up 30 pounds of ice, filling up the tub, sitting in the ice for at least 20 minutes, and then thawing out, which can take up to two hours depending on how cold I end up. Sometimes, it’s hard enough to walk afterwards with ice-cold, numb legs and feet, so I can never take an ice bath too close to an extreme event. While cold therapy definitely helps my recovery process and is necessary, the time it takes as well as the timing of doing it becomes challenging.
A couple of months ago, I was warming up for one of my recent track meets here in Austin (anyone interested in learning more about the events can visit www.trackforlife.com). I was speaking to a friend and fellow track athlete/coach about my ice baths who told me about cryotherapy (CT), and I decided that I wanted to learn more about the two-to-three-minute cold therapy procedure.
Upon reading about the benefits of CT, such as speeding up recovery, enhancing the immune system, and flushing out toxins, I was excited to try it out. Soon enough, I met with the owners of CryoStudio and set up a schedule for sessions. Since CryoStudio is open for sessions 24/7, I was able to go in at 4 a.m. prior to a flight, at 11:30 p.m. coming back from the airport, and even just a couple of hours before a track meet. None of those times would have worked for a regular ice bath! CT and the flexibility at CryoStudio allowed me to stay on my schedule and go about my business without delay from any ice bath ‘thawing’ time.
CryoStudio is located in an easy access area along Bee Caves Road. The owners, Derek and Anya, are educated and dedicated to their client’s individual needs. Having both been elite athletes, they understand the importance of recovery and the timing of the sessions.
Since starting the sessions, all of my times have dropped in my races (100m, 200m, and 400m) and I am feeling strong. CT has been an amazing addition to my recovery and training program and I highly recommend CryoStudio to ANYONE. Even if you are not competing, CT has some amazing benefits that you just can’t get anywhere else in 2.5 minutes! Where else can you go for that short amount of time and have an opportunity to burn up to 500 calories while just standing, improve skin tone and smoothness, and possibly reduce the appearance of cellulite all while providing fantastic recovery properties to your entire body? Well, I am sold anyways and look forward to many more sessions!
CryoStudio of Austin
6836 Bee Caves Rd. Bldg 2, Suite 101
Austin, TX 78746
• Schedule the session (appointments can be made 24/7; no walk-ins)
• Complete a health history questionnaire and waiver
• Dress accordingly. For men, be sure to wear cotton underwear and cotton or wool socks. Women should have cotton or wool socks. For best results, minimum clothing should be worn. If modesty is a concern for women, simply make sure garments are dry and preferably cotton or wool, realizing that results will be less than optimal
• Greet and address questions and concerns
• Blood pressure measurement will be taken
• You will be escorted to the procedure room, given instructions, and left alone to change
• Remove clothing except for socks (and underwear, if male). Hand covers can be provided, or hands may be kept at the top (outside of) the chamber
• Enter the chamber, which is a cylinder large enough to step into and stand inside. The top is open so that your head and shoulders are above the height of the machine. Close the chamber
• Ring the bell for technician to enter room and begin the session
• The technician explains the process as it happens
• Cooling begins, as the temperature of the cryo chamber drops gradually but rapidly
• Rotate slowly to promote an even cooling effect on the skin
• Breathe normally and feel free to talk during the session
• The procedure is dry, quick (sessions are 2.5 minutes or less), and painless as the cold only penetrates
½ mm into the surface of the skin, keeping underlying soft tissue safe from the possibility of frostbite
• The technician will leave the room so you can dress
• Blood pressure measurement is taken again
• Athletes: two to three sessions a week during competition season and after hardest workouts during off seasons
• Amateurs/ weekend warriors: as needed for recovery purposes, injuries, chronic pain, or to promote performance
• Anyone: five to ten sessions for energy, mood promotion, anti-aging
Special thanks to Hair Goddess (hairgoddess.net) for continual great hair design.