Essentially, whole body cryotherapy is a hack that tricks your body into thinking it's hypothermic (aka dying), to accelerate recovery, improve health, pain management and more. It's a fast and healthy process where you step into a cold chamber that swirls a -140ºc mist around you for up to three minutes, stimulating your fight or flight response. Of course, your body doesn't know its on a strict timer, so to survive it sends blood to warm and protect your vital organs. This sets your metabolism racing, re-oxygenates your blood, and triggers anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits.
We went to visit London Cryo, who specialise in whole body cryotherapy (WBC), providing treatments for sports, fitness, anti-ageing, beauty and pain management in London. Think of WBC as a more advanced, efficient form of ice therapy. Ice baths can last up to 20 minutes, are painful and damaging to the skin, whereas cryotherapy can deliver physical and mental wellness in just three minutes.
Injury to muscles, bone and tissue repair is enhanced by reduced inflammation from highly enriched, oxygenated blood, improved blood circulation and lymphatic detoxification.
Cryotherapy effectively reduces local and systemic inflammation, a major source of pain and chronic health problems.
Recovery occurs more quickly (and completely) in the anti-inflammatory and enhanced blood flow environment, meaning DOMS (delayed onset muscular soreness) is significantly reduced.
Cryotherapy triggers the release of analgesic (pain-relieving) endorphins such as norepinephrine.
Mental recovery is accelerated due to energy increase and release of endorphins.
Sports performance is enhanced by increased energy, the natural endorphin high and reduced perception of symptomatic pain.
We love founders' stories, so we caught up with LondonCryo's founder, Maria. She's a dedicated career woman, mother of two, as well as a health and fitness enthusiast. As she waved her thirties goodbye (while trying to keep up her six-day a week training habit), she noticed she wasn’t recovering as quickly and was more susceptible to injury. While visiting New York, Sydney and Melbourne, she gave whole body cryotherapy a go, and found that she felt fantastic for it.
Upon returning home to London, she saw there was a real a lack of opportunity to continue the treatment. Fascinated by the physical and mental uplift behind it, and wanting to be able to add to her life – as well as give others the chance to benefit from it – Maria quit her job as an accountant, and opened LondonCryo, the first whole body cryotherapy centre in the City of London.
Single sessions are £90, and their packages offer great value for money.
They're currently running a marathon special of three weeks of UNLIMITED cryotherapy and 20 mins of normaetc compression therapy for £249.
London Cryo, 20 Artillery Lane, London E1 7LS
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