Cryotherapy Something So Cold…is So Hot Right Now.

Mandy Moore on instagram.

Actress Mandy Moore said on her instagram page, “I’m obsessed.” The New York Knicks, Christine Aguilera, Jennifer Aniston, Lindsay Lohan and Demi Moore all do it…So Should You?

I hate to be cold. I wear sweaters in the summer, get goose bumps with the slightest breeze, and I cannot even watch polar bear plunges. But, I am considering whole body cryotherapy, and not just because I want to be cool like Jennifer Aniston. I am thinking about because the concept makes  sense to me, and I’m tired, feeling my age more and more, and my joints are starting to ache — which I can only assume is going to continue to get worse with each passing birthday.

There is no clear scientific evidence immersing your whole body in way-below-freezing temperatures is quantifiably beneficial. However, cryotherapy has been used in medicine for a really long time. We use ice packs to constrict blood vessels, decrease inflammation and pain, and promote healing. We cool down people suffering from hyperthermia with ice. We use cryosurgery to remove skin lesions like warts and to remove diseased tissue.

First developed in Japan in the 70s to treat rheumatoid arthritis, proponents of immersion cryotherapy claim it has anti-inflammatory effects, will reduce pain, improve appearance, and with its anti-aging properties, will turn back the hands of time. Users claim they feel better and stronger status post a deep freeze.

Before taking the plunge, I decided to do a little of my own research. I spoke to Michelle Marshall of Revivify in Summit, NJ.

Karen: “Michelle, no one likes being cold. Tell us why it’s worth it.
Michelle:
“Yes, whole body cryotherapy (WBC) is cold, no doubt. But unlike when you go out in the snow and get chilled to the bone, WBC’s cold is surface level only. Your core temp actually heats up so as soon as you get out, so you begin warming up immediately. And 3 min of this intense low temp is worth it for its benefits. WBC reduces inflammation within the body, reduces toxins, increases your endorphin level, strengthens the immune system, speeds up recovery time after physical exercise, reduces the risk of injury, improves sleep, increases collagen production and reduces cellulite.”

Karen: As a doctor, I like to be open minded about different therapies. What kind of a patient might I recommend for cryotherapy?
Michelle: The origin of cryotherapy is to reduce pain and inflammation in clients with autoimmune disorders. Over the years much research has proven that WBC benefits not just those with autoimmune issues but athletes — both professional and those who just love a good workout — clients with tick borne diseases, those with thyroid issues and women who are perimenopausal or in menopause. That being said, I would recommend cryotherapy to ALL of your patients. Because of its anti-inflammatory and detoxifying effects it is an integral part of wellness just like eating right, exercising and drinking water.

Karen: How soon would someone see benefits?
Michelle: Most clients feel the effects immediately. They come out of the chamber feeling invigorated, notice that the little aches and pains our bodies experience day to day have dissipated and report having great nights sleep. For people who have never tried WBC before I recommend that initially they come five days in a row. When you do WBC you are in the cryochamber for 3 minutes which stimulates the sympathetic nervous system in motion resulting in the anti-inflammatory and detoxifying effects in addition to all of the others. The treatment itself is 3 minutes however your body continues to run in that healing state for 6-8 hours after. By stacking 5 treatments in a row, you are not giving your body time in between each treatment to rebuild the toxicity and inflammation. This results in a quick healing and recovery process, giving you a new “baseline” to start from, so to speak. After the initial five, we have a consultation with the client to figure out which maintenance regimen would be best for his or her body and lifestyle; I have some clients that come twice a week and some that come everyday.

Karen: With any treatment, I am often concerned about side effects. Are there any side effects to cryotherapy?
Michelle: As long as the client is honest on their health history form, so we are aware of any possible contraindications and the technician is performing the sessions properly then no, there should not be any side effects.
Karen: Michelle, I’m assuming you’ve tried it. Give us the lowdown. What has been your personal experience with it?
Michelle: I have! And yes, I am one of those people who HATE the cold, but I wouldn’t trade WBC for anything. As the Manager of Revivify, I often spend hours a day sitting for long periods. I also have had chronic pain in my hips my whole life from a childhood deformity in the femurs and hurt my knee about 5 years ago. In addition to that, in 2015 I was struck with blood born sepsis, which has left me with a multitude of issues. I am also historically not a good sleeper.

When I first started doing cryotherapy, the first thing I noticed was that my hip and knee pain were gone. I went from taking anti-inflammatories everyday, as I lay on my couch nightly icing my knee, to not needing them at all.  Then I noticed the sleep. As a single mom of two, I need my sleep. Cryotherapy has given me that gift. My overall health in regards to my post sepsis syndrome has also improved. Before having sepsis I never got sick, after I was sick all the time, had brain fog and random aches and pains all over my body. Not any more. My head has cleared and my immune system has been functioning so much better.

If you want to give cyrotherapy a shot, you can call to schedule an appointment at
Revivify: 908.273.2222

Or, if you want to know more, check out Revivify’s website.


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Author: Karen Latimer

Karen is a Family Physician, founder and president of Tips From Town. She loves combining all she learned as a doctor with all she continues to learn as a mom of five to bring you interesting, useful and fun information on the Family Pages.

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