Last week I had the opportunity to go and try whole body cryotherapy (WBC). If you’re not familiar with what this it’s kind of like being in a stand up tanning booth but instead of being strayed with tanning dye you are blasted with nitrogen gas.
In the picture above you can see me standing in the capsule. When you first enter the capsule your head is below the level of the top of the unit. You are then raised up until your head pokes over the top.What you can’t see is me in my undies, thermal booties and gloves.
The whole process takes 3.5 minutes total. But trust me, you’ll want someone else standing there talking to you to distract you from the time remaining. If you’re too much of a wimp you can always push open the back door and stop the experience whenever.
So what are the purported benefits of WBC? Some of the more popular claims are increased recovery after exercises and how it facilitates rehab post-injury. Since most days involve a training session and I’m currently mending an ACL surgery, it made perfect sense to go and give this a try.
While there may be enhanced subjective recovery and decreased muscle soreness the research has yet to come out showing additional benefits (1). At minimum there doesn’t appear to any adverse effects to WBC.
After the experience I did notice my glutes were cold. And I did feel more alert. I guess this is similar to jumping in the lake this time of year. You will definitely feel refreshed after.
If you are interested in knowing more or giving WBC a try, go and talk to the guys at Cryo Care. They’re almost next door to us here at Okanagan Peak Performance Inc and would be happy to show you around.
- Bleakley CM et al. Whole-body cryotherapy: empirical evidence and theoretical perspectives. J Sports Med. 2014; 5: 25–36.