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What Cryotherapy Chamber Is Best After COVID-19?

With wellness centers and gyms reopening many business owners are asking What cryotherapy chamber is best after COVID-19? With the entire landscape of health and wellness changed from the global pandemic many industry leaders are warning that all equipment must satisfy the post-pandemic customer. What does this mean for current cryotherapy chamber owners after COVID-19 and how can new businesses satisfy what the customer wants?

Four people standing in a cryotherapy chamber after COVID-19
Cryotherapy after COVID-19 will not be a group activity anymore, even with masks, according to a poll of 3500 CR readers.

The Best Cryotherapy Chamber After COVID Is…

Without endorsing any specific brand the best cryotherapy chamber after COVID is the one that makes the client feel safe. By and large most people will not want to participate in cryotherapy in pairs or groups. This has become a problem for electric based chambers such as the US Cryotherapy and Cryo Arctic.¹ Consumers want a personal experience where they are not exposed to another person’s germs. Chambers must now have an anti-porous interior. Some chambers I reviewed have antibacterial materials (such as the XR by Cryo Innovations). Others, such as the Juka have padded cloth interiors that do not allow wipe-downs effectively, and actually absorb liquids.

Is Head-out Cryotherapy The Best Now?

There has long been a healthy debate about whether or not cryo is best with the head exposed or not. While clinical studies are conclusive that it doesn’t not matter the debate continues due to marketing pressure. But cryotherapy and COVID have changed a lot. A Cryosauna Reviews poll of 3500 households (with 2965 people responding) the head-out cryosauna option is a clear winner. The reasons stated by respondents were telling: clients simply did not want to be in a chamber that could contain someone else’s breath even if everyone was wearing masks. The psychological effect of having one’s head out of the chamber was enough to make clients feel safer.

Is This The End Of Enclosed Chambers?

Enclosed cryotherapy chambers are here to stay, but with pandemic concerns now a regular conversation it may not be the time to invest in one. Clients are highly concerned about their immune systems and seek out cryo for its potential immune system benefits. Enclosed chamber owners should immediately address how they will sanitize the chamber and provide air-out times. For clients who do cryotherapy regularly it appears a definite shift is happening to choose cryosaunas instead of enclosed chambers.

  1. http://Louis, J., Schaal, K., Bieuzen, F., Le Meur, Y., Filliard, J. R., Volondat, M., Hausswirth, C. (2015). Head Exposure to Cold during Whole-Body Cryostimulation: Influence on Thermal Response and Autonomic Modulation. PloS one, 10(4), e0124776. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0124776
  2. Both the US Cryotherapy C1 and Cryo Artic are single person chambers by design; however, in practice this author has seen operators allow two people in these chamber at the same time.
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Will Cryotherapy Help Baseball Spring Training?

Major League Baseball will be returning for spring training on July 1st, 2020. Will cryotherapy help baseball players perform at peak levels after the quarantine? Furthermore, with hamstring injuries being “the most common injury for professional baseball players” teams must use proactive recovery for player safety.¹

cryotherapy can help baseball
Cryotherapy can help baseball

Help! Baseball Injuries Are On the Rise

In the years between 2011 and 2016 there were 2633 hamstring strains in the MLB, and the number was growing. The MLB determined that a hamstring strain removes a player for an average of 24 weeks. Now that COVID-19 has put baseball on the sidelines for a significant time greater risks have arisen. Players are excited to return, but have not trained regularly. Team owners are excited to return, but are pushing for wins and aggressive play. Older players worry this may be their last season and might play harder than normal, adding unnecessary injury-risk to their bodies. Many are turning to cryotherapy to help with their baseball.

Is Cryotherapy Safe during COVID?

MLB has approved whole body cryotherapy for single-use cryosaunas. Cryotherapy in this method allows for social distancing and does not require the player to touch anything. Facemasks are easily worn in the cryosauna and actually provide a sense of comfort to the player. Additionally, viruses are not known to survive long on dry surfaces. Modern cryosaunas do not require a dry-out period, meaning that their inside surfaces remain dry even after multiple sessions. Moreover, advanced cryosaunas are lined with anti-microbial fabric; any germs landing on it will soon be unable to survive.

Benefits of Cryotherapy for Health

Finally, with the current pandemic many people are becoming concerned about their immune systems. While cryotherapy all by iteself cannot necessarily improve your immune system it can help you enjoy a more active life. Cryotherapy helps reduce inflammation and muscle soreness, allowing you to exercise longer and more frequently.² Sports teams have found that cryo allows their players to compete with more confidence and aggression. Many professional athletes attribute their reduced fear of injury–and confidence–in whole body cryotherapy.

  1. Okoroha KR, Conte S, Makhni EC, et al. Hamstring Injury Trends in Major and Minor League Baseball: Epidemiological Findings From the Major League Baseball Health and Injury Tracking System. Orthop J Sports Med. 2019;7(7):2325967119861064. Published 2019 Jul 30. doi:10.1177/2325967119861064
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5411446/
  3. Photo by Matt Slocum/AP/REX/Shutterstock (10220334g) Bryce Harper, Jorge Alfaro. Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper, left, hits a two-run double off Miami Marlins starting pitcher Trevor Richards during the second inning of a baseball game, in Philadelphia. At right is Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro Marlins Phillies Baseball, Philadelphia, USA – 27 Apr 2019
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How Will You Open After COVID?

America Wants to Return to Work

With many states and counties relaxing social distancing guidelines cryotherapy businesses are reopening and reinventing new ways to find and retain clients. How will you open your doors in the “new normal” economy?

Survive to Thrive

Small businesses in the United States learned a valuable lesson after the housing market crisis of 2008. Many businesses went bankrupt and their clients were forced to search elsewhere for services. The surviving businesses quickly found their salvation in identifying those clients and converting them into repeated customers. The same pattern is expected for cryotherapy businesses.

You Didn’t Come This Far To Fail

Do you remember starting your business? Long nights planning, meetings with banks, attorneys, contractors, and everyone else under the sun? It wasn’t easy, but you fought against the temptation to fail and you did it. You may have been closed down for two months but that doesn’t mean you are absolutely knocked out. Now is the time to fight for your business, and your competitors will either fight to win or fail. For those that fail you can position yourself now to be ready to benefit. Some will offer customer lists, others may offer equipment or lease takeovers. If you have the ability to do it you should expand.

Reopening Strategies

Two major strategies helped businesses in the 2008 recession survive: discount packages and aggressive marketing.

  • Discount packages: While most cryo businesses already have discount or package pricing those deals were based upon a booming economy. In fact, our economy was the longest growing economy in the history of our nation. Those days may be long gone, so discounts must be repriced. This is your chance to undercut your competitors simply by reducing your price by a few dollars. Others have realized success in offering goal-rewards. These deals work by rewarding clients with a free service after completing a specified number of cryo sessions.
  • Marketing: One aspect of marketing that we always hear is not being used is Instagram marketing. Every cryotherapy company has an Instagram account, but very few are actually paying for advertisements. These advertisements are not expensive, and more importantly they are able to target specific areas of your city, such as your competitors’ areas. Remember, many people are spending more time on social media right now due to the quarantine. Advertise your deals, target your ideal clients, and make those connections.

Do you have any ideas you would like to share with the community? Subscribe below!

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Group Sports and Coronavirus

How can we keep our kids healthy during this pandemic of COVID-19? Many parents and student-athletes are concerned about group gatherings and rightly so. Both federal and state governments have issued guidance that people should not meet in groups larger than 10 people. But many athletes have been training for years to earn a college scholarship. Should they actually stop practicing if they are healthy and not sick? I hear the questions everyday:

  • Will a senior lose their chance at a scholarship?
  • How can a sports team practice as a group now?
  • How can someone competing for a scholarship train effectively?

How COVID-19 is Spread

The novel coronavirus (aka COVID-19) is spread by droplet. That means it is present in sneezes, coughs, mucus, and saliva. According to Harvard University COVID-19 can survive for a long time on different surfaces.

A recent study found that the COVID-19 coronavirus can survive up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. The researchers also found that this virus can hang out as droplets in the air for up to three hours before they fall. But most often they will fall more quickly.

Explaining this pandemic to your kids is not as easy as it seems. The Mayo Clinic has published an excellent article on this that we have reviewed. You can access it through this link here.

Is It Safe To Play Sports?

With our kids at home all day it is a relief to know that they can still receive expert coaching and some outside time. The CDC has told all of us to practice social distancing of six feet.

What To Do If You Are Sick

If you show symptoms of illness, such as coughing, running nose, or a fever, then you should not play sports. Part of being on a team is to know when your actions are not helping the team as a group. If you are sick you might get the entire group sick. Don’t feel guilty for not showing up while sick. Follow your doctor’s orders and stay inside for as long as they say you should.

Should We All Just Stay Inside?

Isolating oneself and social distancing are effective measures and should be used as often as possible. Staying inside may become part of a county wide “shelter in place” order. If that happens here is an at-home list of exercises each student can do to stay sports ready:

  • 30 second plank
  • 10 push ups
  • 10 squats
  • 10 lunges
  • 10 sit ups

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How Often Should I do Cryotherapy?

People often ask How often should I do cryotherapy? The answer depends on what results you are looking for. Most people try cryotherapy out for the first time and realize that it eliminates pain and inflammation within minutes. If they purchase a bundle of sessions and use cryotherapy on a regular basis they will maximize these benefits.

How often should you do cryotherapy?  Woman in cryotherapy chamber.

Is Weekly Cryo Enough?

Cryotherapy done weekly is an excellent start for new customers. It allows them to benefit from the treatment and reduce any inflammation from that week. Many customers will choose Friday afternoons to reduce any mid-week inflammation and aches and pains. As a result this allows them to enjoy the endorphin rush for the evening and enjoy a pain-free weekend. The main point of using cryo on a weekly basis is to continue doing it. Doing cryotherapy only one time can and does provide immediate benefits. However, regular sessions as part of a routine provide the true benefits.

Should I Do Cryotherapy Everyday?

Daily cryo sessions are the dream of nearly every professional athlete. NFL and NBA teams often have many chambers in their training facilities. Coaches instruct their players to do cryotherapy directly after every workout and game, and it pays off. Teams experience less injuries, and players become emboldened and work harder in the game. For non-professional athletes there are two ways to enjoy daily cryo sessions.

  • Purchase your own chamber and put it in your home
  • Purchase a more affordable “unlimited” package and enjoy cryo whenever you want

By and large most cryotherapy centers have an unlimited package, ranging around $300 dollars. Cryo Recovery Lounge centers offer an unlimited package for $299 that offers daily access to cryo, hyperbaric chamber, NormaTec compression, and Infrared Sauna.

How Much is Too Much Cryo?

The rule of thumb for non-professional athletes is one session per day at a maximum. Why? Because cold therapy is a bio-hack. As a result it works by using the human body’s healing response to the cold-induced stress. Contrarily, professionals may choose to have more than one session per day. However, they also have the benefit of expert trainers, conditioning coaches, massage therapists, doctors, and anything else they may need for peak performance.

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Why is Cryotherapy so Expensive?

Why is cryotherapy so expensive? Cryotherapy is often compared to an ice bath, but an ice bath is fairly inexpensive if you do it at home. Why pay $40 for a cryotherapy treatment? The reasons are many. Scientists designed cryotherapy to be better than an ice bath and to provide faster pain relief. Over the decades many teams and athletes have discovered that cryotherapy has more than just cold-air benefits.

Why is cryotherapy so expensive?  Dollar bill frozen in ice cube.
The cost of cryo does not have to freeze your wallet!

What Makes Cryotherapy so Expensive?

What makes cryotherapy so expensive is the cost of the chamber and liquid nitrogen costs. Cryotherapy chambers cost anywhere from $50,000 to over $120,000 dollars. Added to this is the rental cost of the liquid nitrogen tank and the liquid nitrogen itself. Small business owners also have the added cost of payroll for their employees and the building lease. For a cryotherapy business owner the lowest cost is often $40 dollars.

How You Can Get a Better Price!

If you enjoy cryotherapy you can often save money by purchasing cryo in a bundle. Most businesses sell 10-packs or even an affordable monthly unlimited cryo pass. This is also a better method to approach cryotherapy. From my experience in nearly every type of chamber it seems that lasting results take about 5 sessions minimum. For a temporary muscle pull, hangover, or headache a single session often does the trick. But for psoriasis, arthritis, overuse-injury risk-prevention, heaving athletic training, and other conditions it is best to incorporate cryo into a regular routine.

Cryotherapy as an Investment

Athletes, models, and people with chronic pain take a different approach to paying for cryotherapy. LeBron James of NBA fame spends over 1 million dollars per year on his athletic recovery. Many NFL teams and Olympic athletes depend on cryotherapy to keep them in the game. Athletic injury can ruin a sports career, so for them cryotherapy is an investment in better athletics. For the non-professional athlete cryotherapy can help train harder with confidence, burn more calories, improve your skin, and endure less pain.

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Results from Cryotherapy: How long does it take?

Results from cryotherapy: how long does it take?  Woman in XR Cryotherapy chamber.

Are results from cryotherapy noticeable right away? How long does it take to feel less sore, lose weight, or help my skin improve? Certainly there are immediate and long term benefits of cryotherapy for all people. Here are the most common and sought after results from cryotherapy that you can expect.

Results from Cryotherapy: Immediate

A cryotherapy chamber provides immediate results for anyone who is experiencing the below aches and pains:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle soreness from exercise
  • Inflammation
  • Arthritis
  • Lethargy or exhaustion

Cryotherapy is not designed to heal any injury or disease. However, the vast majority of people discover pain relief after a single session. Furthermore, those who want to prevent injury can benefit from cryotherapy’s inflammation reducing results.

Mid-Term Results

Cryotherapy becomes most noticeable after 5 or 6 regular sessions. The earliest noticeable difference is less Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS. This type of soreness is what athletes feel after exercising a muscle group harder than the muscles are accustomed to. Consequently, bodybuilders, fitness models, and professional athletes benefit by being able to recover from extreme exercise faster. Concurrently with less soreness they also will be able to return to workouts with proper form, lessening their risk of injury. Mid-term results from cryotherapy also include:

  • Weight loss assistance (500-700 calories per session)
  • Skin tightening
  • Reduced risk of overuse injury (e.g., tennis elbow)
  • Increased energy
  • Greater gains from more effective exercise
  • Diminishes the production of sebum, which causes acne breakouts

Long-Term Results

The long-term results of cryotherapy are different than those listed above. Long term results are based in injury prevention and joint protection. Professional athletes all over the world use cryotherapy to stay in the game. Entire NFL and NBA teams (e.g., Lakers, Dallas Cowboys) use cryotherapy for their athletes in their full-court press to avoid overuse injuries. Athletes also benefit from their increased confidence that they are less-likely to injure themselves while playing.

  • Overuse Injury prevention
  • Fewer workman’s compensation cases from injuries
  • Bolder and more confident athletes
  • Lessened need for physical therapy

Overall Results

Certainly there is always a cost-benefit-ratio for anyone investing in their health. But an investment in regular cryotherapy sessions makes sense when weighed against other costs:

  • Physical Therapy copay costs
  • Lost work from injury at the gym
  • Weight gain from injury at the gym
  • Dissatisfaction from lack of self-care
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How to Start a Mobile Cryotherapy Business

A mobile cryotherapy trailer with a liquid nitrogen cryosauna inside.

Surely starting a mobile cryotherapy business may seem like an impossible task. With new advances in liquid nitrogen cryosaunas the mobility of cryotherapy is real. Some manufacturers build mobile cryo chambers on trucks. Others offer to install their machine in your van or trailer. This allows you as a business owner to bring cryotherapy anywhere in your city. Your partnerships with local gyms and trainers can bring you a constant flow of new customers.

Locate Your Target Area

Without a doubt a mobile cryotherapy business can indeed travel anywhere. Particularly targeting areas with many clients is the trick to keeping you in business. Look for the following businesses accordingly:

  • Physical Therapists
  • Gyms and Fitness Centers
  • Chiropractors
  • Personal Trainers
  • CrossFit Boxes
  • Tanning Salons
  • Medical Spas

These locations all share two things in common: physical recovery and fitness.

Design Your Vehicle or Trailer

A cryosauna can fit into a Dodge Ram ProMaster van or a Mercedes Sprinter van! Cryo Innovations has installed the XR in trailers and vans for this exact purpose. Because of the liquid nitrogen and the weight of the chamber (i.e., 600 lbs.) it is necessary to use professionals for the design and build. Once it is ready you are quickly in business! One successful mobile cryotherapy van began running sessions the same hour the van was finished.

Market Your Services

Driving your van around is not enough. Contact your target areas and offer free cryotherapy for a day. Allow the trainers to have free cryotherapy in exchange for posting their experience on their social media. Their followers will see the liquid nitrogen fog and want to try it themselves. Another successful mobile cryotherapy company routinely offered their service free of charge at high-school football games for anyone. This seems like a losing strategy. However, this business owner parked her van near the local news van and soon was able to convince the field reporter to include it in the evening news.

Build Your Edge

By all means having a mobile cryotherapy van will allow you to provide a service that brick-and-mortar cryo shops cannot. First, most people who use cryo also use a gym, esthetician, or physical therapist. Second, once they know that you will come to them you can add them to your regular client list. If you are willing to be shrewd you can park your van near an existing cryotherapy shop and offer coupons for people who inquire. Furthermore, you can also partner with cryotherapy shops to offer profit sharing for referenced clients on days that they are closed.

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Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Does Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) keep you from performing at 100% following a workout? This pain is common in all types of exercise, from marathon running to yoga. What makes this pain different from “normal” athletic soreness?

Delayed onset muscle soreness man with sore muscles red black and white photo

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness after a workout

Different from other types of soreness DOMS results from tiny tears of muscle fibers. These microtraumas are actual tears of your muscles, and they take time to heal. During that healing process there is inflammation causing sensitivity throughout the muscles. Prior thinking in training circles thought lactic acid build-up caused soreness. This was scientifically proven as inaccurate, as reported by Sports Illustrated (click here for the article).¹

Is it soreness or pain from injury?

Pain from exercise comes in two forms: sore muscles or injury pain. Basically sore muscles have a wide area of pain. Injury pain is stinging or stabbing pain in a small area. If you have pain immediately while working out you may have suffered an injury. On the other hand, soreness develops slowly, growing in intensity, until you are in serious pain. Most people simply massage their sore muscles and wait. But athletes who need their bodies to work will use ice packs, creams, stem therapy, and cryotherapy.

Whole Body Cryotherapy for soreness

Cryotherapy takes a space-age approach towards healing and preventing soreness. Instead of an ice bath that takes 20 minutes and is a hassle many athletes are using whole body cryotherapy to help heal soreness in 3 minutes. During a cryotherapy session the chamber fills with cold, dry air that reaches temperatures as low as -230°F. This causes vasoconstriction, which is a squeezing of blood vessels that pushes the blood inward towards the body’s core. The ultra-cold temperatures cause the body to anticipate a shock to the system and respond by preparing the body for healing from the anticipated trauma. This results in a body-hack: the blood is hyper-oxygenated and filled with inflammation reducing enzymes. Once the 3 minutes are over the now-rich blood returns to the skeletal muscles and reduces DOMS faster than any other recovery method.

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27409551

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Is “breathable air” better?

Breathable air cryotherapy machine with door open in blue, black, and white colors.

Is breathable air better for cyrotherapy? The controversy surrounds the difference between electric and nitrogen based cryotherapy machines. Liquid nitrogen machines chill the air with a cold gas. In contrast, electric machines chill the air in the same manner as a freezer or air conditioner. If you have ever been in either machine you know that breathing becomes noticeable as soon as the cold hits your skin.

What is “breathable” air?

Electric cryotherapy chamber designers use the phrase “breathable air” in their marketing. Sometimes people are afraid that they may inhale liquid nitrogen gas (or “gasiform nitrogen”) in an open-top cryotherapy chamber. But this rarely happens because the person’s head is far above the cold clouds of gas. Nitrogen chamber designers also point out the fact that the air we breathe is 78% nitrogen. Breathing pure nitrogen is not healthy; however, a small whiff of a cloud–such as at Creamistry–will not cause any problems.

Breathable air is harder than you…think?

You are breathing right now, and you have been since the day you were born. But breathing during cryotherapy becomes noticeable as the temperature begins to drop. In the current marketplace you have two options: a chamber powered by electricity alone or by liquid nitrogen alone. Electric cryotherapy chambers are walk-in type of chambers that chill your entire body from head to toe. When I first tried one I was excited as I thought it was a superior method. But I quickly noticed that my breathing was noticeable and that it was VERY COLD air. I did not panic, but the air felt thick and I had to mentally calm myself down.

What is the big difference anyway?

My cryotherapy journey began when my gym bought a nitrogen-based chamber a few years ago. My workout days are the same and I still use that machine every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I make my recovery a priority, but my evaluation of different chambers requires an open mind. I like trying EVERY cryotherapy method I find, and they are all pretty good. Whether the air is “breathable” doesn’t matter to me since I am not (and never have) had a problem in an open-top nitrogen machine. What I have noticed is these two major points:

  • Electric machines “feel” colder. When my head felt the cold it made my entire body feel cold. But overall the temp was not as low as what I am used to.
  • Nitrogen machines get the coldest of all but are more comfortable since my face and scalp do not feel cold.

These points seem a bit contradictory: one feels colder but is not as cold as the other. From my clinical understanding the head-in chamber feels colder because my head has all five senses getting cold at the same time. Head-out chambers keep my head warm while chilling me from the neck down so they don’t feel as cold.

Price Points

Blogging in this small field puts me out there. I am approached nearly once a week. Companies want advertising space on this site which we never sell. We don’t do that, so I won’t recommend either type of chamber over another. Instead I will leave you with these facts gleaned from the industry:

  • Nitrogen based machines cost anywhere from 45k to 65k. Most are made in Europe but two are made in the USA.
  • Electric machines cost anywhere of 80k to 150k.
  • Nitrogen machines are roll-in and go. They can operate as soon as they arrive. They do require a vent in small rooms.
  • Electric machines require professional installation and 220 volt power, along with some plumbing.
  • Hybrid machines that use liquid nitrogen gas to make a “breatheable air” environment are not as cold as a pure nitrogen chamber.