Ok, so who else admits to thinking Cryotherapy was something to do with being frozen when you die? Yep…me too. How wrong was I (were we)?! It seems this is the latest “craze” (although I am sure that this is here to stay!) that sports people and celebs are raving about; effectively tricking your body into thinking it's dying, thus releasing those much needed endorphins (something to do with the body’s’ fight or flight procedure). The process is pretty cold but the results impressive.
The term "cryotherapy" comes from the Greek cryo (κρύο) meaning cold, and therapy (θεραπεία) meaning cure. So, I’ve done a bit of research, and found my interest piqued…
I’d read a few things about Cryotherapy and how it can help with sports injuries etc., so I contacted Founder & Owner of Cryojuvenate UK, Ruth Hyde and made an appointment to visit her Sevenoaks clinic.
From the moment I walked in, I felt a real wow factor. The décor was mainly white and electric blue, with a thoroughly modern, dare I say, futuristic reception area. It was here that I sat and chatted to Ruth about where this all started.
Ruth has had an interest in sports from a very young age, and was involved in trampolining, and both short and long distance running. She embarked on a career in the city, where she spent most of her time commuting whilst learning a corporate approach to business. Fast forward a few years and she was made redundant. Ruth says she saw this as a blessing, as it bought her some time to do the research and embark on a new path.
“Cryotherapy is a leading treatment for Sports conditioning and pain management, and we also promote it for a natural beauty boost, as well as wellbeing. We everyone from really young athletes and sports people, to the elderly who suffer with Arthritis and other age associated issues, coming down to the clinic.
They use the Whole Body Cryotherapy, which uses super-cooled air over the whole body surface to trigger powerful natural defence mechanisms, which can help to reduce inflammation and muscle pain, which is perfect for sports people, whether they are professionals or just enjoy taking part. It also increases the metabolism and energy levels, as well as improving skin quality. It’s also estimated to burn between 500 and 800 calories after one use of the Cryotherapy chamber!”
The Cryotherapy Chamber Process
“OK, so the user has to wear protective sock, shorts, appropriate footwear and mouth and ear protectors, as well as for other extremities. Clients then enter the chamber, which is temperature controlled, and this is where they are exposed to super-cooled air, which can go down to as cold as -93degC. We advise they move around during this therapy.”
The chamber is very impressive, even if a little “Sci-Fi”. There is a glass door, which allows visual contact with the client during the 3-minute treatment.
Something else they offer at Cryojuvenate UK, is the Local Cryotherapy. This uses a hand held device (looks a bit like a futuristic hoover attachment). It applies cold air (-32 deg C) topically as required, to the specific parts of the body that require treatment. So, if you suffer from a muscle pain E.g. a strained neck or back pain, simply lay down on the bed and they’ll apply the cold air to the affected area.
This is localised therapy that reduces pain, inflammation and swelling, as well assisting in relieving symptoms of some chronic joint and back conditions.
With regards to her own ailments, and she said: “if Cryotherapy was around when I had to have operations as a result of sports, it would have improved the recovery time and I would have spent less time recuperating.” They do stress that they are NOT doctors but their therapy helps to aid recovery.
Everything4Rugby’s very own Tom May recently paid a visit, and was amazed how good he felt after stepping out of the chamber.
Having a background in Rugby, I was interested to know how this could help the rugby players at my local club. Ruth explained…
“In a sport like Rugby, the body is taking a physical “beating” during every game. Times that by 26 (an average number of games played in rugby season), and it doesn’t take much to work out that injury can have a huge effect on a 1st XV squad, and their recovery times.
Many coaches are becoming aware of just what Cryotherapy can do to enhance (and shorten!) the recovery time for their players. This has a massive impact on having the right players for each game, and being game ready. The treatment also allows players to train with greater intensity, reduce muscle soreness, aids sleep and provides an exhilarating post-chamber sensation. We are all aware of the benefits of the Ice Bath – this is just that but goes deeper and is more intense.”
Ruth really does believe in what she does, and I'm not surprised that her new venture is going well. She welcomes everyone with a warm smile, helps them chose the right treatment, and is happy to talk at length about Cryotherapy and how everyone can benefit. She offers me a quick “freeze” and I tell her that I will definitely book in and take her up on it soon.