I am so excited to tell you all about today’s topic! It is something that has been growing in popularity around the country and now, it has been made available right here in central Arkansas by Wesley Griffin and the team at Restore Cryotherapy! I was given the opportunity to try out each service they offer at Restore and I cannot say enough positive things about this place, the people there, and the experiences I had each time I visited. If you are looking for a one-stop shop to go in and leave feeling better- no matter what your situation, Restore is your place.
Because so many of their services are completely different from anything that has been offered in this area, I am going to make this a blog series discussing my experience with each different service. I wanted to start off today by talking about their whole body cryotherapy service. Per their brochure, they describe whole body cryo in these words: “The 3-minute treatment reduces inflammation and releases endorphins that help to alleviate pain, boost, energy and metabolism, and increase the body’s natural healing abilities.” Yes, there are that many benefits to cryotherapy and even more! It also facilitates collagen production. Yes! During my experience, I really got to talk to Welsey (owner) and her team more about cryo and they explained it all very well. I can honestly say I went into the cryo chamber without any feeling of anxiety because they had walked me through it all so well beforehand.
WHAT IT IS
Whole body cryotherapy is essentially a set up built to trick your brain into thinking your body is freezing to death. I know, that sounds scary, but hear me out. It’s a chamber you stand in and they fill with liquid nitrogen. The temperature progressively drops and gets down to around -240° Farhenheit within a very short amount of time. Your brain’s reaction to this acute, extreme cold is to go into crisis mode and begin steps of self-preservation. All of the blood draws away from your extremities and toward your core to protect the vital organs. You actually FEEL this happening. It’s so strange but really neat at the same time. Your blood becomes highly oxygenated as it circulates in your core and your brain goes into that fight-or-flight response that increases the metabolism and releases endorphins. You can be in the cryo chamber for up to 3 minutes, and afterward all of the oxygenated blood-high in nutrients-rushes back out to your extremities and your body is restored. Talk about a rush!
WHO IT’S FOR
Pretty much anyone can benefit from a whole body cryotherapy session. It has been known to help improve joint pain, muscle soreness, flexibility, sleep patterns, and did I mention that you burn a lot more calories in a day following a cryo experience than you would otherwise? Cryo works from the inside out so it can really be beneficial no matter where you may be having pain or stiffness. Cryotherapy originally gained a lot of popularity due to professional athletes using cryo chambers, but really an average Joe with no athletic ability has just as much to gain as, say, Lebron James from this experience.
Prior to my session, I was taken to a changing room where a robe and socks were provided. You aren’t allowed to wear jewelry from the neck down and can disrobe down to your level of comfort- keeping underwear on if desired. I changed into my socks and robe and then had my external skin temp taken. My skin temp read 86° before getting into the chamber. Next, I got into the chamber and took my robe off. They adjust the height to bring you up to where your head and neck are out of the chamber. Then came the cold. The liquid nitrogen looked kind of like a white vapor but I didn’t notice a smell or anything like that. It got cold fast! Like I said earlier, you can feel your body start to respond and all of the blood pulling away from your extremities. It feels a little bit like when your foot falls asleep with the tingling but there was also a tightness sensation. Didn’t take long for me to start shivering involuntarily. Hello increased metabolic rate! I definitely want to point out that I was never left unattended by staff and we were just chatting it up throughout the whole thing. I started dancing around about half way through to try to distract myself from the cold. My session was 2 minutes 30 seconds and if I’m honest, the last 30 seconds was really intense. I got a little panicked just at the thought of “What if my body doesn’t respond correctly and what if I never warm up?” Well that was nonsense, because of course I warmed up immediately when it was over. WHAT A FEELING! They compare the feeling of coming out the chamber to a “runner’s high” and having never been one to really love a long run, I’m not sure about that. But I am sure that I felt a huge surge of adrenaline and relief and that warm tingly feel-good feeling. My external skin test after the session read 49°. That’s a 37° drop! I went back into my changing room and put my clothes back on. From start to finish, changing room to changing room, the whole process was probably 7 ish minutes. How about that?! All of that goodness in under 10 minutes. Notable effects from the rest of the day are that I really felt good with high energy, and I was hungrier than I typically am. Because my day job keeps me on the go, I typically have a protein shake for lunch and that afternoon I realized I was going to need more than my usual shake. But it’s because of all those calories I was burning!
Have I convinced you this is something you really need to try yet?! Seriously, you need to go see for yourself and let me know how much you love it. It’s so easy to get an appointment! Restore Cryotherapy is located in the Pleasant Ridge Towncenter in Little Rock at 11525 Cantrell Road #605 and you can call to make an appointment at (501) 747-2261 or they also use the Mindbody App that is free to install and you can book your session that way. They prefer you have an appointment, but because cryo is such a short session, you could walk in if you need to! They offer memberships at Restore that are really a good deal. They start at $69 per month and with that you receive 2 free services each month and membership prices on any services following the initial 2. Regular Retail price for one whole body cryotherapy session is $39, and membership price is $25. After seeing the facility and using the cryo chamber, I was really surprised to see how affordable this service is. What I’m saying is, going to Restore is a highly valuable experience. When you go, let them know you heard about them from The Bold Condition! Happy freezing, friends!