Chill Out with Cryotherapy

The cruel Midwest winters were just one reason we moved to Asheville. The cold would ‘burn’ my skin, freeze my nostrils and basically paralyze any movement in my extremities.

Now, I find myself standing in my undergarments, voluntarily. I’m wrapped only in a towel, about to step into a chamber full of swirling nitrogen gas that brings the temperature around my almost naked body to 130 degrees fahrenheit BELOW zero.

It’s called Inner Chill Cryotherapy Wellness Center, a new business which recently opened its’ doors in south Asheville. I visited with owners Craig and Maryann Zimmerman who walked me through the process of a whole body cryo treatment.

After donning a pair of socks, special booties and gloves (all provided by them) to protect my hands and feet from the effects of the cold temps, I stepped into the ‘cryosauna’….yes, the word oxymoron comes to mind.

Maryann instructed me to keep my gloved hands above the top of the chamber, as Craig slowly turned the nitrogen gas tank handle. The cryosauna immediately filled with cold, dry ‘steam’, and I thought, “I can handle this, it’s only for three minutes”.

One minute passed, and my knees and thighs began to tingle. During the two minute window, my upper arms and shoulders became very cold. Craig asked if I wanted to stop at the 2-minute mark, and defiantly I said “nope’. However, that last minute tested my maturity. I practically bounded out of the cryosauna when they opened the doors, and felt an immediate tingling, which turned into an all-over body vibration. Any sensation of cold was immediately gone, and I felt invigorated and full of energy.

Craig and Maryann became interested in cryotherapy after reading a magazine article. Their research included visiting other cryotherapy locations, and talking to manufacturers. They admitted that the more they learned, the more interested they became. They were motivated by the thought of spending their days making people feel better!

Cryotherapy attracts a varied client base. Maryann goes on to say, “the athletes who are in-tune with their bodies recognize how much better they feel and are able to perform, and cryotherapy quickly and noticeably decreases muscle soreness and speeds recovery”.

There are also clients suffering with constant pain from car accident injuries, bad knees, and fibromyalgia. Testimonials include a client who claims immense decrease in knee pain for at least a week; another whose itchy scalp was quieted for 2 days after suffering a form of neuropathy; and others were able to move their fingers freely where there was limited mobility prior to the cryotherapy.

Craig and Maryann knew that Asheville would embrace cryotherapy, believing “the people of Asheville and WNC have long recognized the importance and effectiveness of treatments that help the body heal itself. Cryotherapy boosts the body’s immune system, and attacks inflammation in a very core way by triggering its’ own healing mechanisms. Acupuncture, yoga, mediation, physical fitness, proper nutrition, herbal remedies are just some of the many holistic approaches in which the people of Asheville readily participate, and now they can add cryotherapy to their self-care routine!”

Client consensus is that cryotherapy provides an overall mood lift and energy boost, and I can certainly attest to that. After my whole body session, I felt as if I had a good strong cup of coffee, or a lovely healthy green drink! Everyone chooses cryotherapy for different reasons, and reactions to the machine and how long the relief lasts also varies.

There are many other benefits to cryotherapy such as improved collagen production, even some weight loss, and it helps to reduce the effects of jet-lag and hangovers. Perhaps an appointment for early January would be wise!

Inner Chill Cryotherapy Wellness Center also provides cryo facials and localized treatments. The chilled facial procedure left me feeling refreshed and renewed, and I’m heading back for another one soon. They are located in south Asheville at 1863 Hendersonville Road, Suite 133, and you can make your appointment on line or by calling them directly at 828-785-4001.

Tell them you saw this article on Edible Musings, and you’ll enjoy a 10% discount on your first full body treatment!