5 Common First-Timer Fears and Why They SHOULDN’T Stop You from Trying Cryotherapy

Much like trying out anything new for the first time, Cryotherapy can be scary. We get it. I get it.

Let’s be real: before I tried Cryotherapy, I’d never heard of it before, and that’s what I’m here to talk to you about today.

I’m here to level with you. As somebody who had just as much – or more – trepidation about Whole Body Cryotherapy, I’m also here to address some of those first-timer fears that might be holding you back from the pain-relieving, anxiety-reducing, collagen-producing treatment that you should TOTALLY give a try.

 

Full disclosure: I am not a Cryotherapy expert.

To be totally honest, when I first saw the whole-body Cryosauna in all its glory just a month ago, I couldn’t help but imagine Mike Myers just before his defrosting procedure goes down in Austin Powers.

Nevertheless, my body did have a few complaints that I was looking to remedy (joint stiffness, lower back spasms, general anxiety, and a whole lot of stress). I figured, what with my lower back threatening to seize up at any moment, it couldn’t hurt to stop being such a baby and give it a shot (and I’m so glad I did!)

Still, a myriad of fear-based objections crowded the forefront of my mind.

It turns out, after talking to other cryotherapy patients, most of us were held back at first by some of those same “fear-based objections”. Now that I’m on the “other side” of the Cryo experience, I’ll address some of those common reservations that might be holding you back from the relief you need.

If you’re nervous about trying Cryotherapy, let me guess what you’re probably thinking:

  1. I hate the cold! I would never be able to stand that kind of temperature for three whole minutes!

Now, it depends on your frame of reference, but this fear was the loudest for me. I’ve never had an ice bath, am not a Coloradan native, and generally put on six more layers than the temperature actually demands.

Trust me. I am more fluent in understanding this particular fear than most.

So, is Cryotherapy cold? Oh, you bet. But even at the range of -180 to -260*F, it still isn’t “too cold.” Why? The beauty of Cryotherapy is that, very much unlike an ice bath (wherein you are submerged in icy water for an extended period of time – yuck), the Cryosauna is a dry cold.

It’s really the moisture and humidity that makes cold temperatures so biting, and in the technician-controlled atmosphere of the Cryosauna treatment room, with nitrogen cooling the tank, there is no moisture at all. Without the humidity, you lose the discomfort involved. What you will feel is more of a cool breeze blowing circulating, which was very much unlike what I had been imagining.

Add in some feel-good tunes, a spa-like environment, and the technician talking you through it the entire time, and I have to be honest: I was genuinely surprised at how tolerable the treatment temperature is (and that those three minutes felt like a blip on the radar!). It’s no walk in the middle of May, but if I can stand it, so can you. In fact, some clients find it soothing!

 

  1. And they want me to get in there naked?!

Well – this one I can’t deny. Yes. Yes, they do. To be honest, this one made me nervous on a couple of points. The first obvious fear I’ll address in just a minute: whether or not your appendages will make it through the cold without waving the white flag (see point #3).

The second is just about a tie with the first, and it has to do with modesty. Yes, you will be in your birthday suit – for the most part.

As your treatment begins, you’ll step into the machine and the technician will close the door behind you. This, my friends, is the point of disrobing. While your face and head will be exposed at all times, the Cryosauna conceals your body.

When the treatment ends, the technician will hand you back your robe (this time, nice and toasty warm), at which point you will be able to make yourself decent before exiting the Cryosauna. The technician will open the door for you to step out, but not a second before you ask them to do so.

In other words: nobody sees anything. Promise.

  1. Okay, but seriously — What about frostbite? Won’t I freeze my _____ off?
    Your ______ will be just fine.

 The technician will provide you with tube socks, a choice of fun and fuzzy slippers, gloves, and a robe to change into prior to your treatment. These articles will protect the appendages that might otherwise be susceptible.

Honestly – just follow the guidelines explained to by your technician (and by the waiver you sign before treatment): no wet or damp clothing and no metal worn below the neck and you’ll be totally prepared for the Cryo- experience!

 

  1. Ok, fine. But I could never get into the Cryosauna anyway – I’d feel too claustrophobic!

I’m not even claustrophobic and the thought crossed my mind. However, you’ll see that the Cryosauna is very do-able for people who don’t enjoy close quarters. Why?

 Though the therapy is described as a whole-body treatment, your head is – for the duration of your cryotherapy session – above the machine and in clear sight.

Not only will you be able to see the technician, the room, and your surroundings, your body movement is in no way constricted. Sure, if you’re built like a linebacker, don’t expect to spin in circles with your arms outstretched. Even with the door closed, you’ll be able to move your arms, legs, and entire body freely and with a surprising degree of ease.

Even if you did decide, mid-session, that you needed an immediate “out” – you have three simple options for escape: 1. ask the technician, 2. hit the emergency “off” button within your reach, or 3. simply press the door with your palms and step out of the machine. It’s that easy.

So if you’re new to Cryotherapy and your inner voice is shouting some of those same irrational fear-based objections, I’m hoping my Cryotherapy experience will help to quiet your disquietude.

Doubtful as I had been to start, following my treatment, I was pleasantly surprised. I was able to get relief from some of those nagging aches and pains – I felt like I had more energy. I warmed up more quickly than I imagined would be possible, and when I did, it felt pretty spectacular. My back was no longer crying out in pain if I bent forward.

One minute, I was terrified of the cold and skeptical of the outcome, but before I knew it, my three minutes had passed and I found myself chuckling with some degree of discomfiture that I’d been such a baby about trying Cryotherapy up until now.

I felt so silly for having prevented myself from feeling this relief earlier just because of nervous apprehension and skepticism. Why haven’t I ever tried this before?

Here’s a better question – why haven’t you?

 

By Charlee Bollinger

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