As many of you are aware, back in October I tried out Cryotherapy for the first time (You can read that post here). Since then, I have lost count on how many times I have been back and how many friends of introduced to the idea of freezing your aches/pains/stress away! Each time I post something on Facebook or Instagram about going, I get people who ask all kinds of questions. I figured it was time to sit down and give you an update and fill you in on why I keep going back!
First off, if you have any questions on how it all works, check out Cryotherapy of WI’s Facebook page! My dear friend Mandi does an awesome job with videos etc to answer all your questions. Still have questions, keep reading and then ask your questions in the comments below. If I don’t have the answers, I will work with my Chilly Friends to get them answered for you!
There are so many reasons why people first decide to check out Cryotherapy, but even more reasons why they keep going! For me, it was all related to running, my continued training, to keep me moving towards the next goals (whatever they may be, as there are always new ones added!) After that initial freeze, and seeing how freezing helped post race recovery, I was curious to see how it helped with other aches and pains, which resulted in a follow-up post.
Now, here we are, 4 and a half months later and I am still a fan of freezing!
Why? Glad you asked!
The simple answer: Because it makes me feel fabulous!
The better answer: Because the staff at Cryotherapy of Wisconsin is AWESOME!!!
For many long distance runners, an ice bath is part of their post race/long run routine. The theory is that the ice bath decreases the inflammation and helps with recovery. The problem is, an ice bath routine can often be 15-20 minutes of discomfort, and the average skin temperature drops to anywhere from 45-60 degrees F. A trip into the Cryo-sauna is 2-3 minutes and can drop the skin temperature down to 30-35 degrees (don’t worry, it doesn’t stay that low for long!). It also does help with the inflammation and speeds up recovery, but that is just the start!
Cryotherapy is not just a glorified ice bath! The true effects of cryotherapy do not happen during the 2-3 minutes you are “chilling”… that is just the action that gets the body a jump-start into healing! Your brain sends out the message that you a going into hypothermia (even tho you really are not) and it send all your blood rushing to your core to help protect your vital organs. Then 2 minutes later when you step out of the chamber, your body realizes it’s no longer freezing and it starts the healing process.
This usually leads people to the question, “Does Cryotherapy Hurt?” NO, Cryo does not hurt. I know most people have read about athletes doing the crazy and often painful cold treatments. But truth is, cryo is not even uncomfortable for most people. Yes, it may be for some (as everyone’s cold tolerance is different) – but so is soreness, pain, inflammation, arthritis and the variety of other reasons people start to look into Cryotherapy. Remember, it’s only 2- 3 minutes. If you need to ask how it compares to sitting in an ice bath… yes I have done it, and it is not nearly has uncomfortable as sitting in that ice bath!
Yes, I know that the 1st time I tried cryo was after I finished a half marathon, but the truest test for me on post tough workout recovery was last November. On Veterans Day, I participated in the HOOAH Ruck March, 22 miles of hiking on the Fox River trail! After 16 miles, I could tell that I was putting my body through a tough day. My muscles were already starting to voice their pain. I sent Mandi a message while I was still on the trail, making an appointment for right after I finished! As I crossed that finished line, my legs were screaming at me. I had just walked 22 miles in 7 hours. I was sore, tired and hungry. I grabbed a slice of pizza and headed to see Mandi. A half hour later, I was back hanging with the crew, having a celebratory drink and eating a few more slices of that pizza! I had energy and already was feeling relief through all of my muscles. That 2 minute freeze already had me on the road to recovery! The next morning, while I was still a little sore, it was nothing like the soreness I felt after the Titletown Ultra and my 26+miles on the trails (After which I used the ice bath method since I had not discovered cryo yet!) I was convinced!
I was a true believer in the process! I was hooked!
Yesterday was the first race of 2017. It was the Seroogey’s Valentines run and I signed up with a friend of mine to run the 15k. We are both running the Cellcom Full Marathon this year and are doing many of our long runs together on Saturday’s. Since this run lines up with training, we figured we may as well run and get chocolate at the end! (race recap coming, so stay tuned for Race Recap Monday!). As they have done in the past, Cryotherapy of WI offered a post race chill special for those running! Bring in your race bib and get a chill for $20! Sign me up! After 9.3 miles, a good chill was going to be needed.
The only issue this time was that I could not get there right away since I had to work as soon as I finished running. I had planned to head there straight from work, and Jennifer said she’d wait for me, since they normally close at 3pm on Saturdays. I headed there straight from work, hitting every red light and getting stuck behind every slow driver, but I made it! Now, I should also add… since I had to head straight to work, I didn’t have enough time to get a good stretch or foam rolling session post 15k race. By the time I finished with a busy day at work, my body was telling me that I needed this freeze!
In less than 3 minutes, I had the start of the relief that I needed!
Now today, I can truly say that I am ready to get out for another run!
As a long distance/endurance runner, I am always looking for ways to keep me moving, recover from long runs or tough workouts and keep myself going. I still am seeing my chiropractor on a regular basis (more now that we are getting back into prime training) and will continue my cryotherapy as part of the recovery plan. I have found that once I push through a long run, a tough workout (or back to back classes at the Y), I need to give my body time to recover. With adding cryotherapy in, I can get back to training sooner and with less aches and pains! I have found that for me, I generally go back about every week and a half or 2 weeks, just to keep everything going. I am also planning on added a session as part of my post race recovery this year. Once I cross that finish line, it’s food, shower and cryo!
There are so many other reason to try cryotherapy! It’s not just for runners or athletes! I have friends and family that have tried (and still use) cryo for chronic back pain, migraines, post surgery recovery, arthritis and so much more! Like I mentioned earlier, check out their website and FB page to see if they can help whatever your needs are!
I hope that I have answered a few more of your questions about cryotherapy and how it might you as a runner or athlete. To all my friends in the Green Bay and Appleton area (YES! they have a location open in Appleton now too!) give it a try! These guys know what they are doing! Let them know that the Crazy Hamster sent you! I promise you, they will answer all your questions, explain everything to you and make sure you are comfortable with the process! Don’t want to go alone? Let me know! I’ll come chill with you! Yes, even if you are in the Appleton area and want to chill there! I am willing to make the drive… besides, I still have not visited their facility there and need to check it out!
**All opinions presented are my own. I was not paid by Cryotherapy of WI for this post or any advertisement of their services. I do receive a bonus for anyone that uses my name as a referral (new clients only) but no monetary compensation is received. I simply love the service they provide and the way it helps in my running adventures.**