Staying Fit Like a Supermodel: Cryotherapy

For science, and uh, fun, a journalist gets a cure popular with supermodels for losing weight and staying fresh while globetrotting. Read on!

Last week, I experienced how the stars recover from sickness– by getting an IV drip. This week, I tried cryotherapy. You know, that thing people do in science fiction movies where they freeze themselves for future generations? Of course, I didn’t die. It turns out, super cold temperatures are actually great for the living– if you have $45 to spare for an introductory session.

I walk into Drive495, a huge gym in Soho, and am immediately intimidated by the gorgeous humans tossing ropes, lifting heavy things, and generally fitness-ing.

Thankfully, I’m saved from my awkward staring by the club owner, Don Saladino. 

Just kidding. Way more staring ensued. He might’ve been wearing a shirt, but I was totally imagining him without one.

I didn’t drool, because I’m a professional

Moving on.

Don is there to tell me about the benefits of #cryotherapy, and guide me through a three minute session in a negative 140 degree Celsius environment. Oh, the things I do for a story.

Don has helped a lot of #celebrities train for movie roles– and cryotherapy is a part of that process. “When Blake Lively is getting ready for a movie, she’s working a gruelingly long day,” Saladino says. “When you put yourself under that type of stress, you need something to help you bounce back. But cryotherapy is helpful for anyone. People ride around in subways, and drive in cars, and travel, and drink.” And while sleep is great for #recovery, a lot of people-- like #models-- can’t squeeze in enough  zzz's. That’s why a three-minute cryotherapy session is ideal. Plus, it helps reduce cellulite and signs of #aging. All good stuff!

The cryotherapy unit that I step into is made by a company called Impact. Saladino loves it because someone else, other than the person who steps inside, has to operate it. I assume that means no gruesome freezing accidents– but I’m too afraid to ask.

Then, it’s finally time for me to get my cryotherapy on. Don leaves the room, and I get naked. (He really could’ve stayed.) Next, I put on wool socks, some sort of rubber slippers, a robe, and gloves. When Don comes back in, I look like this:

Thankfully, he doesn’t have to see me in that state for long. I step into the unit, which is essentially a hollowed out tube. Don closes it behind me, and tells me to take off my robe. I’m officially naked, and inside a hunk of metal that is going to freeze off my lady bits.

As Don pushes the button to start, I feel a wave of panic wash over me. How badly is this going to hurt my boobs? Will I be able to feel my body? Can Don see any part of my nakedness?

Thankfully, Don talks to me throughout the entire three minutes. He’s a pro. Every few seconds there’s a beep, and I rotate my body like a chicken on a spit. Except, you know, the opposite concept.

For the first minute and a half, I don’t feel exceptionally cold– which is pretty unbelievable, considering I’m being subjected to frostbite level temperatures. But then, around 90 seconds in, I lose feelings in my legs. It’s a little bit uncomfortable, but nothing too intense.

Finally, the three minutes are up. Don gives me a congratulatory high five– I'm never washing my hands again– and I put my clothes back on.

As I leave, and get one last look at Don, I wonder if the cryotherapy will actually make a noticeable difference in my day. Sure, I feel more alert, but I could arguably do the same by splashing some really cold water on my face.

Later that night, I have my answer. I #sleep harder than I’ve slept in a long, long time.

The conclusion? If you have the money, and are jetlagged or generally exhausted, I definitely recommend cryotherapy. As Saladino says, “You can add cryotherapy into your life, whether you’re healthy or unhealthy, and you’re going to see a benefit. And there’s not a lot of things that can do that.”

Bye, Don!

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