The sweat life can be tough. After experimenting with different exercise classes day after day, we become sore, tired, and in need of some recovery. Cryotherapy is the perfect way to relieve muscle tension and soreness to regain the strength for another week of spin, barre, yoga, and kickboxing. Icebox Cryotherapy, located on Roswell Road in Buckhead provides a warm and welcoming environment to counter the three-minutes of frigid torture that you will endure.
The cold, hard facts
Cryo- comes the Greek word “krous,” which means “icy,” or “cold.” Cryotherapy technically includes any time ice or cold is used for healing purposes, such as using an icepack, or even cryosurgery (when extremely cold substances like liquid nitrogen are used to freeze and remove moles or other skin lesions). At Icebox, they use Whole Body Cryotherapy, a treatment that was originally designed for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Inflammatory Joint Diseases. The freezing temperatures cause blood vessels to constrict, thus reducing chronic inflammation, and alleviating pain and swelling. With WBC, nitrogen gas is used to cool the "cabin" down to -250 to -270 degrees Fahrenheit and the body is exposed to these extremely low temperatures for three-minutes. Since it's a dry cold, it doesn't freeze skin and muscles like a wet cold would and it only penetrates the first layer of skin. In the icebox, blood rushes from the skin and muscles to the core, where it is circulated through major organs, thus filtering and detoxifying the blood. After the session, the filtered, oxygenated blood rushes back to the muscles, joints and extremities.
There has to be a payoff for making yourself a human popsicle for three minutes, right?! Some of the most cited benefits of cryotherapy include increased performance, improved circulation, pain management, better mobility, faster recovery time and a boosted immune system.
My not so sweaty experience
When we arrived, we were greeted by an extremely friendly staff who assured us that no one had ever died and that we were in good hands. They took our vitals (blood pressure and heart-rate) and then gave us our "protective clothing" (robe, socks, shoes and gloves). After getting set up in my trendy ensemble, I was taken to the Cryo-chamber. I stepped inside and was asked to take off my robe and give it to the operator (only your hands and face are visible to anyone outside of the machine). The operator was great about explaining what was going on and talking to me throughout the three-minutes to keep me distracted (and conscious?) It's hard to explain exactly how it felt—yes, it was freezing, and like the longest three minutes ever, but it was very tolerable. When the time was up, the machine stopped releasing air, and the operator handed me my robe so I could exit the chamber. When I stepped out of the machine, I felt light, energized and pretty thrilled that it was over.
Your first treatment is $50 and that comes with two sessions. A regular session is $65, but Icebox provides affordable packages, membership option and even the opportunity to "double dip" (a second session in the same day as the first) for $25. Icebox is extremely affordable compared to many other places, some which charge $100+ per session.
The Bottom Line
While cryotherapy might sound alike an insane and sadistic concept, it's actually an incredible healing therapy. If you are ever seeking relief from muscle soreness, pain or fatigue, give it a try! With their hard-to-beat prices and welcoming atmosphere, Icebox Cryotherapy is a SWEAT SCENE go-to spot and we can't wait to go back!