Would you endure -200 degree temps to reduce pain?

Whole body cryotherapy has become a trendy treatment popular with both athletes and celebrities, such as actors Mandy Moore and Derek Hough.

So, what exactly is it? In whole body cryotherapy, you step into a cryotherapy chamber, which turns liquid nitrogen into vapor and exposes the body to temperatures that are minus 200 degrees Fahrenheit for two to four minutes. You may be wondering why someone would willingly do this, but the arctic temperatures reportedly help improve blood flow and reduce pain and inflammation.

“What’s happening when you’re in the cryochamber is all of the blood rushes to your core in a ‘fight-or-flight’ response to protect your vital organs,” Alexandria Charles, manager at Chill Space NYC, which offers cryotherapy, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “That’s what’s kind of giving you that rush of energy, that release of feel-good endorphins and also is helping remove inflammation and improve circulation.”

Can whole body cryotherapy help reduce inflammation? (Photo: Getty Images)
Can whole body cryotherapy help reduce inflammation? (Photo: Getty Images)

Full body cryotherapy costs around $85 per session. It’s worth noting that icy therapy is still in its infancy, with more research needed on its benefits and risks. However, a 2017 study found that, at least for athletes, cryotherapy may be beneficial for a “whole set of inflammatory conditions.”

If you’re not ready to take the whole body plunge, there are also cryofacials, which blast your skin with subzero temperatures and remove dead skin cells, leaving your complexion smoother and glowing. Cryofacials cost around $55 per session.

Devon Kelly, Yahoo Lifestyle’s social media editor, tested both whole body cryotherapy and the cryofacial. “I was pretty nervous to try cryo before I did it,” she says. “But a lot of my friends swear by it, so I was also excited. But it’s the coldest I’ve ever been, and once it was over, I felt super refreshed.” Her verdict? “I would definitely do it again.”

As with any new treatment, it’s important to talk to your doctor first to make sure cryotherapy is safe for you.

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