By: Pearl Maalouf BS, FMSC, CPT, CF-L1
Outside the day was a humid sticky 40C with just a few clouds. Even too hot to go to the beach, but rather the perfect day to turn the AC on high and chill. What if we wanted it a bit colder than just the AC? What about stepping into a -180C chamber? With almost nothing on? Sound like a good idea to you?
Well that’s exactly what we did at Cryo Lebanon this past weekend! Cryo is a greek word meaning “icy cold”. These cryo chambers cool your skin down to -120C in 20- 40 seconds. Athletes all over the world travel to rehabilitation centers in cold areas like Poland as the cold temperatures reduces inflammation, improves blood circulation, and speeds up recovery from injuries. Thankfully for us Cryo opened up right on Bliss Street in Hamra, so we don’t have to travel too far to enjoy the benefits! They also have locations in Dubai and Los Angeles.
How it Works
When your body gets cold your blood vessels get smaller (vasoconstriction) which causes more blood to be pumped into the internal organs. Once you exit the chamber you body does the opposite- vasodilation- which boosts blood circulation and flushes toxins out from your joins, skin, and muscle tissue!
With all of this happening during your three minute stay in the sub-zero chamber your body is really working overtime to maintain your body processes and internal temperature by release adrenaline and endorphins. Which is why one session can burn from 500-800 calories! Once you are out of the chamber you will feel your insides are really warm while your skin is cold to the touch.
The list goes on and on of all things that cryo therapy can help including eczema, psoriasis, immune system function, pain management, headaches, and more! The specialists are very knowledgeable and can answer any questions that you have if you have a specific case you are concerned about.
What Happens during a Session
When you arrive for you appointment you fill out a detailed health questionnaire to make sure you’re qualified to recieve treatment. Then you go to a room to change into a robe-leaving just your boxers/panties on and special socks, gloves, to protect your extremities. Before they let you into the chamber you have your blood pressure and temperature checked. Once the chamber reaches the ideal temperature you go inside.
Once in the machine with just your head popping out, you will remove your robe and the the cold air begins to swirl around my body. The first two minutes are tolerable, as your body is slowly adjusting to the cold. The last minute is a bit tougher, your teeth may start chattering and it will be a bit of a mental battle to stay the full 3 minutes. But trust us, it’s really quite easy to pass the three minutes in the chamber!
Once the session is over you put your robe back on and press your hands to areas that you wish to improve- either old injuries or to reduce fat. The heat from your hand will immediately draw increase blood circulation to the areas that you touch.
During a cryo-facial small tube blows out freezing air almost numbing your face. The specialist moves the wand around different parts of your face and neck area soothing and revitalizing your skin. Even after one treatment I really felt like my skin was tighter and smoother. This same wand can be used to apply this cooling treatment in localized areas like necks, shoulders, elbows, wrists, back, etc. If you have any pain, spasm, or inflammation in those areas this can be a huge help on your road to recovery!
Because the cold is from air swirling around you instead of right on your skin like an ice pack, you don’t feel the “burning” sensation. It’s even easier to tolerate than a cold shower making truly unlike any cold you have ever experienced in your life. It is very refreshing, relaxing and highly enjoyable.