On my way to Belgravia, I couldn’t stop thinking this is not how I intended my first session at LondonCryo to go. A few weeks ago, an unfortunate accident left me with a fractured wrist and the impossibility to exercise. My inability to attend HIIT classes made me particularly sad, as I knew my upcoming cold therapy is great at boosting stamina and eventually helping with athletic performance. On the phone to LondonCryo, I found out I might actually be in a bit of luck. Well, sort of anyway.
LondonCryo specialises in both wellness and recovery treatments in particular whole body cryotherapy. These so-called cold treatments are great for sports recovery, fitness, anti-ageing, beauty as well as pain management and are especially useful if you’re recovering from an injury like me.
Being quite a sports enthusiast, I knew a lot about cryotherapy already. I’ve read all about the use of low temperatures in medical and cosmetic therapy, but never tried it myself before. You might have seen people swimming in the ponds in winter or jumping into snow after a hot sauna thinking they’re crazy, but exposing your body to super-low temperature is proven to improve overall wellbeing and energise the body. Cryotherapy is a dry, non-invasive process that lowers a person’s skin temperature during a session of up to 180 seconds. The benefits of cryotherapy are triggered when you reach -110ºC or colder, something that LondonCryo offers without the need to experience the penetrative cold of cold water immersion.
I was a little bit nervous at first, knowing I’m about to get completely naked and exposed to freezing temperatures, but thankfully I was eased into my first session by the helpful staff members.
An LED Facial
Before I even had time to ask all my questions, they invited me for a LED facial in a separate room, promising to get me relaxed and ready for the cryo itself. A great idea. After my face was cleaned with a gentle foam and wipes, a face oil was applied and my skin was gently scraped with Gua Sha to improve its natural blood circulation. I also have a Gua Sha at home, patiently sitting on my bedside table and waiting for me to pick it up, which happens maybe once a week. I was amazed by how easy and calming the beautician made it seem, which only proves you’re in the best hands here. The harmonious smell of herb oils and her gentle strokes put me in the state of zen and for the last 10 minutes a lymfo facial LED mask was held above my face with blue light that stimulates muscle and skin cells for a plumper, younger-looking complexion.
This 30-minute facial is perfect as a mid-week treat after work and I felt completely rejuvenated and peaceful afterwards.
My Full Body Cryo
Socks, gloves and a bathrobe are already waiting for you in your designated changing room and after removing all my clothes except the bottom part of my underwear, I slipped into the linens and followed the staff through the corridor.
A simple pared-back room with a bench where you can leave your belongings, fluffy snow boots hanging on the hooks for those who get particularly cold on their feet, and of course the cosmic-like cryo pod were the only things in the room. The cryo cabin is built with the highest quality materials and industrial-grade components with a tractable floor to adjust to your height. Straight away I could see a pulsating mist blowing from the top of the cabin which made me a bit hesitant, but somehow also excited. When a digital screen similar to an iPad signalises that the temperature inside the pod is at -130 Celsius, it’s time to hop in.
The door is opened, for a few seconds a frosty haze covers my sight and I drop my robe as she closes the door behind me. My head stays comfortably over the top of the cylinder, and the friendly staff member is talking to me to keep me entertained. After a few seconds, I could feel my elbows and knees freezing up, but as the conversation flows and I’m turning around 90 degrees inside the pod while making sure not to touch anything around me, I don’t even realise how fast the time goes. Once I let the cold take over my body, I entered a state of complete serenity. This is when the cryotherapy activates the body’s ‘fight or flight’ mechanisms, driving extra energy to muscles and narrowing blood vessels.
Three minutes fly by and when the door opens again, I spill out to the room with the cold mist in tow feeling instantly rejuvenated. As I rub my frozen limbs with my hand, I’m told that whole body cryotherapy works best when done repeatedly, so I can’t expect visible benefits just yet. Nonetheless I already feel more grounded and peaceful, ready to tell everyone at the gym about this unique experience and hope that I can visit again – this time hopefully without an injured hand.
If you’re not particularly into whole body cold therapy or you’d like to explore more similar treatments, LondonCryo has an extensive list of services on offer to help with particular health problems and beauty needs. From cutting-edge CryoSkin treatments offering non-surgical CryoSlimming, CryoToning and CryoFacial to targeting specific areas and offering IV drips, infrared sauna and lymphatic drainage massage, LondonCryo is the place where you can get your wellness regime and recovery to the next level.
Prices for whole body cryotherapy at LondonCryo start at £90 for a single session and personalised membership at £200 per month.
To discover more, visit: londoncryo.com
All imagery courtesy of LondonCryo.
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