Athletes and non-athletes, young and old, are hampered by small aches and pains and constantly seeking avenues of recovery which get them back on their feet while not compromising recovery. Now, a growing cryotherapy practice which does that and more, has opened its doors in the local neighborhood.
The machine was initially designed to help with rheumatoid arthritis, but iCryo Heights owner Steve Crane said founders discovered it also aids in overall joint pain, muscle recovery and other types of muscle pain and Heights residents will no longer need to travel far from the neighborhood to remedy those nagging aches and pains.
iCryo’s chamber freezes the body in nitrogen gas for about three minutes at anywhere between -90 and -120 degrees Celsius as the treatment works to decrease the overall inflammation in a person’s body, which Crane said is a vital component of the body’s recovery.
“When you’re in the chamber, all the blood rushes to your core to help protect your core organs,” Crane said. “When you get out, your body’s trying to re-acclimate and get that warmth back.”
Because of the body working as such, Crane said customers will also naturally experience a slightly elevated heart rate and metabolism and a boost of endorphins for the next 4-6 hours following treatment. Additionally, customers will burn anywhere from 300-700 calories during that time frame.
“It’s not just about the cold, it’s about what you experience when you get out of the machine itself. Your body is reacting.”
Cryotherapy may possess the outer appearance of a ‘young man’s game’, but Crane said treatment works for anyone regardless of age, from high school athletes dealing with a nagging ache up to older adults with issues such as rheumatoid arthritis and more.
“Doctors once told you to use a heating pad to loosen muscles, now they’re finding that it’s good to use cold to reduce the inflammation,” he said. “What this process does is use cold on your entire body from the neck down, essentially freezing your entire body for the purpose of reducing overall inflammation and speeding up the muscle recovery process.”
Further, he said while an ice bath (common remedy for ailing athletes and others) offers relief in its own form, cryotherapy offers similar results on an accelerated timetable.
“Three minutes is equivalent to about 20 minutes in an ice bath, the difference being that getting out of the ice bath, your muscles are stiff,” he said. “Here, you’re fully functional and fully mobile. There’s no impact on your body overall.”
As a bonus, the natural process of the body revving back up creates another positive side effect, according to Crane.
“When your body’s trying to heat back up, you get a rush of serotonin and melatonin, so you’re going to find that over time, the more you do it, you’re going to have a deep, comfortable sleep,” he said. But the health and wellness experience does not end there at iCryo.
Beyond the chamber
Crane and iCryo also offers Normatec compression boots, which wrap around the leg all the way up to the hip, with an air sac that tightens up around the entire leg, then pulsates up and down.
“It compresses and really helps improve the circulation in the legs. The legs are the biggest muscle in your body, so it helps get that blood flow going, and reduce lactic acid buildup,” he said.
Once finished there, customers can make their way over to another area where infrared light is used to heat to about 140 degrees in efforts to mimic the effect of a typical sauna.
Finally, several individual rooms are available for patients seeking more localized care. There, iCryo uses the same cold technology for facials focusing on the neck, scalp and face.
“The cold helps stimulate the blood vessels in these isolated areas. In doing so, it also stimulates collagen production. Over a few treatments, the cold will help tighten up the skin,” he said. “We can also do spot treatments to reduce inflammation and pain isolated on problem areas such as knees, shoulders, elbows, and back.”
Overall, Crane believes cryotherapy offers many long-term health benefits, and iCryo brings this service to the local community.
“Reduction of inflammation benefits your entire body, and cryotherapy is a technology people are starting to become more aware of. The more familiar the public becomes with the wide range of benefits, the service basically sells itself,” he said.
iCryo is located at 187-A Heights Blvd., call 832-667-8700 for information.