Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Cryotherapy Plus

Photos by OHventures

Cryotherapy Plus
87 Springside Dr.
Akron, OH 44333
(234) 466-0292

Anyone who leads an active lifestyle - whether it be through team sports, running, biking, or just working out - should take note of cryotherapy! Cryotherapy is an anti-inflammatory treatment involving skin exposure to ultra-low temperatures for a brief, controlled time, in order to help enhance athletic performance and recovery.

Cryotherapy is gaining newfound popularity due to the many ways in which has been shown to benefit your overall health. In addition to treating athletes and fitness enthusiasts for the common soreness that comes with being active, cryotherapy is also known to help with post-surgical recovery, musco-skeletal injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, and certain skin disorders. It also improves skin elasticity, increases energy, speeds metabolism (helping you burn up to 800 calories in one session), and help you achieve a better mood and a good night’s sleep.

Cryotherapy Plus is Ohio’s first full-service whole body cryotherapy center, and the only one located in Northeast Ohio (two others exist in the state, both in the Columbus area). Cryotherapy Plus is committed to providing the latest developments in cryogenics to help people reach their goals in health, athletic performance, and beauty. This location opened in August of 2014 and was immediately a hit. Even more success came when NBA superstar LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers revealed Cryotherapy Plus as one of his “secrets” to his success, as it helps speed his muscle recovery.

As an avid runner and fitness junkie, I have had my fair share of aches, pains, and even minor sports injuries (such as my runner’s knee and sprained ankle from soccer). As much as I do not enjoy being subjected to cold temperatures, I was eager to give cryotherapy a try, as there is no denying its many benefits.

At Cryotherapy Plus (located in the Fairlawn/Akron area in Summit County), a fantastic staff is on hand to help you enjoy your experience from start to finish. Being my first time, I was required to fill out a waiver, and I was given a run-down as to how things worked.

For a whole body cryotherapy treatment in the CryoSauna, you are given dry socks, slippers, gloves and a robe (optional) to change into prior to your session. You are also given a blow dryer to ensure that you are completely dry (no sweat), and will be given athletic shorts if needed.

The CryoSauna is a cylindrical chamber that pumps air as cold as anything you would find in Antarctica! The liquid nitrogen air circulated is extremely dry and reaches temperatures as low as -293 degrees Fahrenheit! The session lasts for 2-3 minutes (no longer than that). Your head stays out and above the tank, and you must keep your hands and body from touching the sides of the tank.

Entering the chamber, I was a bit nervous, but Kim (the manager) and Kimmie Amity (the owner) assured me that the process is incredibly safe. They stayed in the room with me the entire time (a technician will ALWAYS be present while someone is using the tank – no one is permitted to be in the tank unsupervised).

While the cold air was cranking, and the extreme temperatures were being reached, I was able to talk to the technicians and my friend Greg, who was there with me for a whole body cryotherapy treatment of his own. There was also some light music playing, which helped pass the time. I was able to withstand the cold for the entire three minutes (although it does seem much longer).

Thumbs up after my very first cryotherapy session!

When I stepped out of the tank, my body immediately began to reheat and come back to normal! My sides (laterals/obliques) were oddly the only part of me that remained cool for a few minutes after my cryo (they said this is normal). I had a smile on my face, and a rush of adrenaline. I felt energized and refreshed. And, best yet, the minor soreness I had in my lower legs seemed to have vanished! 

All of this is possible due to the fact that the liquid nitrogen vapor "tricks" your brain into thinking that the body is freezing, which then triggers production of anti-inflammatory proteins in your bloodstream.

As I warmed up, it was time for Greg to give the CryoSauna a shot! He also made it the entire 3 minutes (-293 degrees is not as bad as you think) and he too felt immediate effects, especially after having had many heavy workouts recently.

In addition to the whole body cryotherapy in the CryoSauna, Cryotherapy Plus offers several other services. These include: local cryotherapy (a cryodevice that uses a beam of nitrogen gas to focus on one area of your body that might be injured or needs special attention), the CryoFacial (specifically for your face to stimulate collagen production and decrease pore size), infrared sauna, and organic spray tans!

The experience at Cryotherapy Plus was fun and rewarding. The staff said that some people become pretty hooked, especially after seeing the benefits for themselves. With a few big races coming up in the near future, I will be coming back for back-to-back sessions to get a feel for what multiple sessions can do for my performance. 

If you are active in any way, want to experience the benefits of cryotherapy, or you are simply curious and want a "chill thrill," Cryotherapy Plus is your answer.

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