What to Expect at Cryotherapy Studio
When you first go into a facility for a cryotherapy session, you can expect a staff member to help you through the process and answer any questions you might have.
There’s no preparation required, but you will want to avoid wearing any lotion or jewelry below the neck for your session. The staff will even provide you with the socks, slippers, and gloves needed to ensure your extremities are safe during the session. If they don’t, you may want to consider a different cryotherapy studio, as this is standard safety protocol.
During your session, you’ll experience a rush of cold air for two to three minutes.
In order to get maximum results from cryotherapy, it’s recommended to do 2-5 sessions a week for at least two to four weeks, depending on what your goals are. You will see benefits from one session, but as with any new health practice, consistency and routine are key.
Potential risks associated with cryotherapy are frostbite, cold burns, rash, and suffocation; however, many of these are alleviated by the trained technician who will prepare you for your session.
Additionally, there are certain health conditions that prohibit the use of cryotherapy. Although we recommend asking the staff at a cryotherapy facility if you may have any complications, consulting your primary care physician before trying cryotherapy is your best bet.
What are the best cryotherapy locations?
Cryotherapy is a form of deliberate cold therapy that exposes the body to air cooled to -150°F to -240°F in a chamber. You can normally find cryotherapy in longevity or wellness focused studios near you.
So what makes one cryotherapy studio different from another, and what are the best cryotherapy studios?
Focus on Safety and No Gimmicky Marketing
Because cryotherapy isn’t FDA approved, it’s important to find a studio that takes the time to educate you on the risks and side effects of cryotherapy. If their marketing is over-the-top or makes exaggerated statements in order to make a quick buck, steer clear of these studios.
Although cryotherapy sessions usually take about three minutes, a proper studio should take more time with you during your initial session to educate you about cryotherapy. If you find your initial session rushed to get other clients in the door, you may want to find a different studio.
Types of Cryotherapy Offered
There are many types of cryotherapy. Most commonly, you’ll find studios offering cryotherapy to offer partial-body cryotherapy in a chamber (also known as cryosauna), where the head is exposed to normal air, with the rest of the body inside the chamber.
Whole-body cryotherapy, on the other hand, is when the head is also enclosed in either the chamber or room. The benefits of whole-body cryotherapy can be greater, as it has been shown to be more effective at cooling the skin and activating the parasympathetic nervous system because the head is inside. Since 70% of the body’s cold receptors are on a person’s head and neck, whole-body cryotherapy promotes 300% more cellular function than partial-body cryotherapy.
That being said, partial-body cryotherapy is still a great option for cryotherapy and is likely what you’ll commonly find in studios. You may find this option to be more cost-effective than whole-body cryotherapy options, which may weigh in on your decision.
With cryotherapy being recommended multiple times a week, you want to make sure the studio you visit provides pricing options that make regular cryotherapy sessions an affordable choice. Studios can offer a variety of membership options, including monthly or annually, unlimited or limited, and even sharable memberships.
Other Wellness Services
Normally, if you’re interested in services such as cryotherapy, there’s a good chance you’re interested in other services such as red light therapy, compression therapy, saunas, IV therapy, and more. Having other services doesn’t make a studio “better” than another studio, but it does provide you with a convenient one-stop-shop to take care of all your wellness needs.
As with any service, consider your overall experience and interaction with the staff from start to finish. Did they make you feel welcome and comfortable (as comfortable as you can be in cryotherapy)? Did they address all your concerns and safety guidelines?
Chains Offering Cryotherapy
Here are a few studios that offer cryotherapy, which you can check out to see if they have a location near you:
Cryotherapy vs Ice Bath, What’s the Difference?
Cryotherapy and ice bath are two different types of cold therapy. An ice bath involves submerging yourself in cold water, but cryotherapy involves standing in a cryochamber.
Many would argue that cryotherapy is a much more pleasant experience than an ice bath. Doing a cold plunge can be more jarring of an experience than being in a cryo chamber. However, there are pros and cons to both.
Cryotherapy does not build mental resilience the way cold plunges do because of two reasons:
The cryo chamber gets gradually cold, versus the immediate cold of a cold plunge
A cryotherapy session is two to three minutes, versus the optimal length of a cold plunge at 10-15 minutes
Additionally, compared to cryotherapy, ice baths have been shown to better improve mood, balance the immune system, and burn more fat.
That said, both cryotherapy and cold plunges can help speed up physical recovery, alleviate injuries, improve cognition, and boost production of collagen (hello, anti-aging).
Overall, some might consider cryotherapy an easier or lighter version of cold therapy that is more accessible from a comfort and time perspective. If you are new to deliberate cold exposure, try cryotherapy first. You can always work your way up to an ice bath after you get adapted to cryotherapy.
However, cryotherapy is not easy on the wallet. Treatment costs can add up if you do multiple sessions, which any type of ongoing health routine would require for maximum benefits.
Benefits of Using Cryotherapy
Cold therapy as a whole provides countless physical and mental benefits that can improve health and one’s longevity – cryotherapy is one of many forms of cold therapy.
Although the studies on cryotherapy are much less extensive than with other forms of cold therapy (such as cold plunges), cryotherapy has been shown, anecdotally or otherwise, to:
How Much Does Cryotherapy Cost?
The price of cryotherapy can range anywhere from $60 to $100 for a single session. However, many cryotherapy studios offer monthly subscription plans that significantly reduce the cost.
Although cryotherapy is less established and researched than other forms of cold therapy such as cold plunges, it can be an easy and convenient way to incorporate cold therapy into your longevity toolkit.
If you can afford to splurge on a few sessions a week (or month) to see and maintain health benefits, consider cryotherapy.