Kriotherapy (sometimes spelled Cryotherapy) is the latest feel-good therapy which has apparently been known to heal muscular injuries, chronic aches and pains, help alleviate arthritis, and boost circulation, the immune system, and help fatigue, insomnia and the central nervous system !!
It involves spending two to three minutes at a temperature between -60C and -135C depending on your size and fitness level. It is stated that it is not suitable for people who suffer from claustrophobia and no-one should undertake it until a full medical history has been taken.
You are put in front of a fan to dry out your body thoroughly then put into a cabinet where the dry ice begins to seep in while you acclimatise to the -60C, then another door opens and where you are in a -135C atmosphere. After three minutes you are put through paces to help the released blood (which is sent out to protect vital organs in freezing temperatures) surge through your body, with ten minutes on the treadmill, an exercise bike and exercises.
The fact that you are cold, then warm apparently makes the blood swirl into action to help heal.
According to an article in Treatwell, writer Charlotte wrote about the treatment at Champneys Health Spa in Tring.
“Instead of trying out the usual Massage or Facial, we decided to test something different in the name of health & wellness – Kriotherapy. Becoming human ice-cubes doesn’t sound too appealing but in the end we had the most fun we’ve had in ages, and left with the softest skin we’ve ever had.
The fountain outside made us immediately unwind (and so did the complimentary fruit juice), and the smell of Elemis products got us in the mood for some pampering right away. Walking through the corridors, Champneys Tring is full of things to do and offers a homely feel even though you’re wearing your robes in front of complete strangers. You’re welcomed the very second you step through the door and everyone offers a polite ‘Hello’, even the guests!
Kriotherapy isn’t a treatment for the faint-hearted or the fashion-conscious. We didn’t walk around in our designer bikini, rather some very attractive shorts, a crop top and some clogs (don’t say we didn’t warn you…), but it’s supposed to be a brilliant therapy for those with sports injuries or who suffer from depression, fatigue, psoriasis and insomnia.
The qualified cryotherapist, Renata, gave us a brief examination, taking our pulse and blood pressure to make sure we were fit enough to handle the freezing chambers. If you have high or low blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy, heart conditions, or are claustrophobic – it’s best you steer clear from the thrilling treatment. Renata then handed us our outfit – if you’re a fashionista who would never be seen dead in a white woolly crop-top, Kriotherapy might not be your favourite treatment! We wore two pairs of white shorts, two crop-tops, two sets of white hockey socks, and a headband to protect our ears from frostbite (eek). Then Renata told us to make fists with our hands whilst she covered them with gloves and tugged on some bandages over our elbows and knees.
We started to get a little nervous once we were dressed up, but Renata ensured us it was all for our safety. We also stood in front of a fan for a few seconds to dry any perspiration or water lingering on our skin, to ensure any water didn’t freeze and burn our skin inside the chambers.
Once we’d fixed a mask over our nose and mouth and all our extremities were covered up we were led into the first chamber, which is at a chilly -60c. After 30 seconds of acclimatising we jumped straight into the second chamber, which sits at a very frosty -135c. Squealing and laughing, we spent the next 3 minutes marching in circles, jumping up and down, laughing, giggling, anything we could do to keep warm in the freezing temperatures. Renata stood in the warmth holding a timer so we knew how long we had left, and held her thumbs up as we counted down the last 10 seconds between giggles.
After tumbling out of the chamber, we cycled on an exercise bike for a couple of minutes, then spent 15 minutes on a Powerplate to get the circulation going and our rosy body back to its usual colour. Whoever said feeling great didn’t require a bit of hard work?
Whilst we felt a little embarrassed in our outfit, the treatment itself made our skin feel the softest it’s ever felt and those big gulps of freezing air did wonders for our breathing. Any aches and pains we had previously had gone and we were left excited for a good night’s sleep later. We had been nervous about the freezing chambers, but Renata put our mind at ease and we ended up giggling throughout the whole thing.”
I’m not sure if I’d fancy this and wonder if ice packs, followed by warm packs, would hit the spot just the same? I think I would rather have another type of treatment at this amazing Spa in Tring.