It’s quite easy to be a post-training recovery refusenik when you are time restricted, which is why a trip to newly opened LondonCryo Belgravia feels like finally I may be low on excuses. Like many modern day multi taskers, the prospect of an hour of physio sounds unachievably boring, but I desperately need an option to help my sluggish legs and rather sadly, my diminishing performance.
At LondonCryo, who conveniently have luxury locations in both Belgravia and The City, I was about to try two treatments: Normatec Compression Therapy and Whole Body Cryotherapy.
Honestly, I felt a bit daunted before the treatments as they appear somewhat SciFi but on meeting Denise, my certified technician, her level of knowledge and detailed friendly responses to my questions soon allayed any hidden fears. My main concern was that like many sporting hobbiests I had shirked my optimum time for recovery and had in fact left things a bit late. Hearing that this is quite typical doesn’t validate my poor planning, but does reassure me that I can gain from the day.
I started with a 20 minute Normatec Compression Therapy. The simplified technical bit – Normatec uses compressed air to massage your limbs. With my legs encased in the thigh-high astronaut style equipment, Denise sets the pressure. I enjoyed the uniformity of the pressure rather than having someone focus on the tightest areas of my limbs every area is a target. It is also reassuring to have Denise checking on the pressure and talking through the treatment.
I like to understand what is happening in a restorative treatment and think we can all benefit from being active participants in our own healing. It’s an easy treatment that can be done over your gym kit or on skin so if you need to zip in and out for a session there isn’t a big fuss over getting undressed. Twenty minutes went in a flash and stepping out of my thigh-highs I was relaxed and my legs felt instantly lighter.
Usually during physio I am very sensitive around over-worked areas and shy away from too much pressure. The uniformity of Normatec worked for me as there’s no tensing up when I preempt pressure in the areas that need the most care. I’m surprised at how good my legs feel in such a short time and genuinely happy that there seems to be a new set of treatments for recovery.
Next up is the Whole Body Cryotherapy. Another over simplified technical bit – super ice cool non-invasive treatment.
Thick socks and booties on and gloved donned, under the excellent reassuring guidance of Denise I step into another SciFi scene. As this is my first session I am only doing two minutes at minus 130 degrees centigrade. The essence of this treatment is the fight of flight reaction the body goes into.
I’m apprehensive, two minutes actually seems like a really long time but I am determined to get my body back into an optimum training state, especially in the winter months when I train sporadically. Denise is with me through the entire treatment and while you are inside the ‘chamber’ you can open the door and leave the treatment at any time. I step in the steaming ice and with my head above the chamber Denise talks about what’s happening and ensures I turn my body at intervals and keep myself comfortable. Two minutes is gone and the cooling was exhilarating and as soon as the treatment is over I feel elated and light.
I’m soon back in my clothes and ready to jump to my next appointment of the day. I feel great. The sceptic in me thinks this is a short-term buzz but later in the day I am told I look glowing and honestly I feel amazing. That evening, when I am out with friends and end up dancing for a few hours my legs are moving with ease and well of course it’s made my dancing better!
The reality of any treatment is how you feel after a good night’s sleep. Usually after a strong sports massage I can feel quite tender but even with my dancing exploits my legs feel recuperated and the tightness in my upper thighs is vanquished and that strange niggling pain I’ve had a my right shoulder for months has vacated.
This is an easy choice for me as usually treatment is three minutes and with such an easy location I can easily jump to a treatment without disappearing from my hyper connected life. I look forward to returning to LondonCryo to sample their other options including massage, IV drips and non surgical beauty treatments.
I have another idea for my general wellbeing from cryotherapy – long haul recovery. It doesn’t seem to matter how comfortable my flight is when I come off a long flight from Asia my legs are tired so next time, I’m coming straight for a Normatec session. I can feel my legs smile inside at the thought of this.
To discover more and book, visit: www.londoncryo.com
By Vicky Parrish