Igloo Cryotherapy – Freeze Your Way To Better Health

Igloo Cryotherapy – Freeze Your Way To Better Health

As temperatures outside continue to dwindle, most of us can’t get inside and warm fast enough. This time of year, our favorite places tend to be curled up by a fire, under the covers, and daydreaming about our rapidly fading memories of summer at the beach. Some people, though, are opting to get even colder: -200º to -250º F. (No, that’s not a typo.)

Say what? It’s a “cool” alternative treatment called cryotherapy, and it may help with issues ranging from muscle soreness to weight loss.

Just ask 29-year-old Daniel Spyridon, who likes to spend two to three minutes every day in these conditions and is so passionate about the benefits that he opened his own cryotherapy treatment center, Igloo Cryotherapy, in Allentown. “It’s like an ice bath on steroids,” Spyridon says.

The practice of whole body cryotherapy was introduced in 1978 by Japanese researcher Dr. Toshima Yamauchi to relieve pain and treat rheumatoid arthritis. Later, it was redeveloped in Europe for sports recovery and has been used there for the past 20 years. Today, Spyridon says it helps with reducing pain and inflammation, improving athletic performance, increases energy, depression, weight loss, beauty and anti-aging.

Donning just socks, slippers, and gloves, the daring enter a liquid nitrogen subzero chamber that Spyridon describes as a “stand-up tanning bed.” From there, they will spend two to three minutes immersed in temperatures ranging from -200º to -250º F before emerging from the freezing machine. After a quick warm-up to increase blood flow, they’re ready to return to their day feeling energized with endorphins pumping, and end the day with a good night’s rest.

Anyone who has ever been peer pressured into participating in a polar bear swim has probably already heard enough to say no, but Spyridon says that the cold sensation experienced during cryotherapy is different: “A lot of people are scared at first, but it’s a dry cold – not a wet cold -so it doesn’t feel like dipping your hand in ice water,” he assures.

When we injure ourselves at home, our first trip is usually to the freezer for an ice pack (or bag of frozen peas). Similarly, athletes have been shivering through ice baths in hopes of reducing recovery time from grueling exercise for years, so the concept of attempting to find relief through cold isn’t new.

Whole body cryotherapy chambers lower the skin’s surface temperature with air that was hyper-cooled by gasiform nitrogen – while the chamber itself is cooled with liquid nitrogen, clients do not come into direct contact with the liquid nitrogen. The subzero temperatures penetrate only 1/8” of skin, which make the body think it is freezing. Spyridon says that this shock to the system stimulates recovery and natural healing.

Although it has not yet been approved by the FDA, proponents of cryotherapy say that the body’s central nervous system’s response to the cold stimulus releases endorphins – our natural mood elevators and pain inhibitors – while the enhanced blood stimulation throughout the core decreases inflammation. The treatments release anti-inflammatory molecules so people who suffer from muscle inflammation and nerve pain like fibromyalgia have experienced relief.

Spyridon, who has been involved in martial arts for several years, had previously accepted the soreness of his discipline as a fact of life. He became interested in cryotherapy after his roommate Zach Maslany, a local mixed-martial arts fighter and owner of Finishers MMA in Easton PA, tried the treatment. While in California for a martial arts event, Maslany was having trouble walking after a fight, and his coach suggested he try cryotherapy at a center in Beverly Hills. After two back-to-back sessions, Maslany regained his mobility, range of motion, and “pretty much eliminated his pain,” Spyridon reports. Given Maslany’s success with cryotherapy, he was excited to share his experience with Spyridon.

As Spyridon learned more about the alternative treatment and realized the closest cryotherapy center was nearly two hours away, Spyridon decided to bring cryotherapy to the Lehigh Valley. ‘

Igloo Cryotherapy, which opened this fall, is Spyridon’s dream in action. “I’ve always wanted to help people, and I’ve always been an advocate of natural healing and alternative medicine,” he says. “Cryotherapy gives people the opportunity to feel good by doing it naturally!”

At Igloo Cryotherapy, clients first fill out a readiness form to make sure they’re healthy enough for cryotherapy. Then, they’ll enter the cryotherapy chamber, where they make slight turns throughout the treatment while staff members talk to and encourage them from the sidelines. “There’s a tingly feeling, but it’s not painful,” Spyridon assures. “It’s
very tolerable.”

This shock to the system stimulates recovery and natural healing.

Although clients aren’t required to take any preparatory measures prior to cryotherapy, Spyridon suggests that athletes and gym-goers give themselves an hour of rest before receiving the treatment to allow their blood pressure to return to normal and for any perspiration to cease.

He says that clients with chronic problems and athletes with rigorous training schedules experience the best results with more frequent cryotherapy sessions. “There’s no limit to how often you can come,” he says, noting that his friends who are professional mixed-martial arts fighters and Crossfit competitors use cryotherapy in their daily routines. And, as an added bonus, at each cryotherapy session, you can burn between 500-800 calories, which helps with weight loss.

Igloo Cryotherapy’s 1535 sq. ft. building in Allentown features Normatec compression therapy, sports massage therapy, and the cryotherapy room. Spyridon hopes to bring cryofacials to Igloo Cryotherapy in the near future. Because each session lasts only two to three minutes, Igloo Cryotherapy is able to accommodate a volume of 30-50 people a day.

The first cryotherapy session at Igloo Cryotherapy is $25, with following single sessions running $49 each. Igloo Cryotherapy also offers package deals without an expiration, as well as unlimited monthly passes.

Interested parties should speak with their doctors before starting treatment. Igloo Cryotherapy does not accept clients under the age of 14.

Visit Igloo Cryotherapy online at igloocryo.com, or call 610.351.9222 for more information.

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