Could You Survive This Cool New Beauty Treatment?

By Cristina Cleveland

If you’re one of those people who feels they don’t have time for a wellness practice, then A) you probably need it the most, and B) you should probably try cryotherapy. Our art director Jenn Rose was sold the second she found out it takes 3 minutes from start to finish. Granted, these 3 minutes were to be spent in a chamber full of liquid nitrogen at temperatures below -220ºF, but you can survive anything for 3 minutes – right? Jenn Rose and I met at Austin’s Cryo Body Works bright and early in the morning to find out.

Athletes, dancers, and doctors have been icing injuries for hundreds of years, but the practice of whole body cryotherapy (WBC) originated in Japan in the 1970s. In recent years cryotherapy has become a popular way for athletes to recover from injuries and soreness, and for celebrities to allegedly boost their metabolisms and energy levels. Jenn Rose has now joined the likes of Jessica Alba, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Kobe Bryant, all avid users of WBC.

Cryotherapy is said to improve blood circulation, psoriasis, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, athletic injuries, immune systems, insomnia, metabolisms, and energy levels. On a more superficial level, cryotherapy claims to increase collagen production, decrease cellulite, improve acne, have anti-aging effects, and perhaps most noteworthy of all – burn 500-800 calories with just one session 3-minute session.

The list of benefits of cryotherapy is long, but the list of studies that substantiate these claims is short. Even the act of icing injuries, one that most people have come to accept as law, is one that is being questioned by health professionals.

Like many wellness practices, much of the “evidence” is anecdotal, so Jenn Rose shed her clothes and slipped into a robe, knee socks, and mittens to test this out for herself.

Immediately after Jenn stepped out the difference was clear. While videographer Nikki and I were still speaking quietly and wiping sleep from our eyes, Jenn was clearly on level 100. She was making proclamations of being a new person, with the bright eyed enthusiasm that’s typically reserved for the first day of a new year. “I think everyone should try this,” Jenn said, “I want the rest of the team to try this, I seriously think they’d love it!”

Let us know in the comments, have you tried cryotherapy? And tell us what weird wellness practice you’d like to see us try next on the Wellness Report.


Photo by Darroch Putnam for Lauren Manoogian