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.
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.
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:
Muscle soreness from exercise
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.
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)
Reduced risk of overuse injury (e.g., tennis elbow)
Greater gains from more effective exercise
Diminishes the production of sebum, which causes acne breakouts
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.
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:
Gyms and Fitness Centers
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.
With so many options why start a cryotherapy business? Cryotherapy is one of the newest innovations in the world of health and fitness. It has turned the heads of several fitness entrepreneurs due to its increasing popularity. Professional athletes and trainers rely on cryo to boost their energy and aid in recovery. While cryotherapy provides amazing health benefits to its users, it’s also extremely lucrative for the business owner. Financial analysts project the cryotherapy business exceeding $5 billion by 2025. This is only the beginning for this rising business. Many cities still lack a cryotherapy business in their area and for the moment, it’s still a land grab.
Is Starting a Cryotherapy Business Hard?
Cryotherapy is a plug-n-play business that requires little to no overhead or maintenance costs. After obtaining and installing the machine you can begin selling sessions immediately. Cryo sessions sell for $40, but only cost the owner a total of $5 for the nitrogen used. Therefore, a 3 minute session yields a whopping $35 profit. That alone can work as a business; however, it can also open doors to offering other services for more money.
Is Cryotherapy THAT popular?
You’ve probably seen cryotherapy being used by some of the greatest athletes on the planet. Lebron James uses cryo to continue dominating the NBA. Zac Efron also uses cryotherapy in maintaining and caring for his incredible physique. He even has guests on his fitness show use the cryo chamber after each of their workout sessions. The mainstream attention for this new innovation has piqued the interest of many business owners and fitness consumers, causing a growing market for cryo chambers. Once you have a cryotherapy business in town consumers will be eager to discover what’s behind all the mainstream attention surrounding cryotherapy which will help with marketing.
How Should I Start?
If you’re interested in a cryotherapy business, now is the time to start! It’s so easy to start and maintain that there should be nothing holding you back. Start by first comparing cryotherapy chambers here and reviewing the top performers from 2019.
The best cryotherapy machines of 2019 is a tough call. I have done a cryo session everyday for over two years now. I have only missed my cryo on days when I was traveling. In total I think I have enjoyed a crotherapy session about 4 days per week for the entire year. How did I afford all of this? Ironically most companies offered me cryotherapy for free for a “positive review.” I always tell them that I will write a positive review only if my experience is positive, and it often is. But you may notice that I have never officially endorsed a cryotherapy machine for a reason: I want to remain as impartial as possible.
The Best of the Best Cryotherapy Machines of 2019
For the most part what makes a top performing cryotherapy machine? In my humble opinion it meets three criteria:
The session is not interrupted by a system failure
The temperature reaches below -200°F
I feel safe
Those are three easy goals for becoming one of the best cryotherapy machines of 2019. Nonetheless many machines and cryotherapy providers just cannot meet all three. Sometimes my session is started only to suddenly stop and I have to get out, wait, and start again. This wastes my time and gives me concerns that I am not safe. I also want the temperature to reach colder than -200°F. This often means I am drawn to use liquid nitrogen machines because electric cryotherapy machines cannot reach below -160°F. For the record I am not opposed to electric machines, I just feel they do not provide as effective therapy because electric cryotherapy machines cannot reach below -160°F.
The XR by Cryo Innovations
First place for 2019 is the Tesla-looking XR by Cryo Innovations. This cryotherapy machine immediately looks impressive. Solid and sturdy with illuminated blue lights this cryotherapy machine is hands-down different from anything else. Comfortable inside I always felt VERY safe as it has 8 safety features running at the same time. It even has an earclip that measures my pulse and blood oxygen levels which was actually fun to watch. I also quickly realized that the machine was ready to go almost instantly. The “pre-cool” time was faster than I could get undressed, and before I knew it the temperature was -230°F.
The Impact by Impact Cryotherapy
The Impact Cryosauna is popular for being such an old model. Made in the USA like the XR gives the Impact a feeling of reliability. Many foreign made cryosaunas concern me. If a part breaks it may take awhile to have it replaced. The Impact made my “best of” list simply because it is a popular machine and I see it all across the country. Like the XR it gets cold, often below -210°F. I am comfortable in it as a consumer; however, if I were to buy one I would have the following requests for the manufacturer:
Make the walls sturdier. They are thin walls and it seems that they could be thicker for longevity.
The head-hole makes me feel trapped. It somewhat feels like a cigar-cutter and that my head and neck stick out like I am in a guillotine. The lid-with-a-hole feels weird, so why have it? It also forces the nitrogen gas towards my face, making me constantly worried I am inhaling it.
Onward to 2020!
This year is bringing huge advances to the cryotherapy world. New technology will enhance safety and bring cryotherapy to nearly every city in the country. Look for:
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 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.
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.
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.
How did Antonio Brown get frostbite? 2019 was a rough year for Antonio Brown on and off the field. He underwent a cryotherapy session in France and suffered frostbite on his feet. This event took him out of the game and brought cryotherapy back to center stage. How did this happen, and was it preventable?
Antonio Brown got frostbite on accident
Antonio Brown’s frostbite was an accident, that much is clear. The cryotherapy community experienced a lot of negative attention after this happened. Everyone who enjoys cryotherapy knows that every session must include proper protection. Firstly, this is usually thick slippers and gloves for head-out chambers and slippers, gloves, earmuffs, and a mask for walk-in chambers. Secondly, blood vessels and skin in the hands, feet, ears, and lips is sensitive and can be damaged by the sub-zero cold temperatures.
Can I wear thick socks?
Antonio Brown reported wearing socks in the chamber, but he also had just finished a workout. Antonio Brown exercises harder than most, and his socks absorbed a lot of sweat. In my own experience I have always worn socks and slippers (along with gloves), but I do not think that even thick dry socks offer enough protection. Why? Socks are knitted and even thick socks have holes. That is how they stretch to fit our feet. Slippers have multiple layers of fabric and padding that insulate the feet. Remember: cryotherapy has temperatures lower than anything ever recorded on Earth. Slippers and gloves and all other personal protection equipment is required for a reason.
Take a nurse’s advice
As a nurse practitioner I see the good and bad of every hospital patient. Those that heal faster and live a better life are those that follow healthy advice. Cryotherapy is a healthy option for athletic recovery and for stimulating adipose tissue browning, and elevating your metabolism. Make sure to wear ALL protective equipment, especially thick slippers and gloves. I wear my own socks because I don’t want my feet in the slippers everyone wears, but I always check to make sure my soles and toes are dry. I would rather take off wet socks and wear dry slippers–even if someone else has worn them–than suffer an injury to my feet.
Cryotherapy leads the way in revolutionary and popular recovery modes. For a healthy lifestyle today how do you know which cryotherapy chamber is right for your clients? We compare two: a new technologically advanced chamber and an old standby. Both incorporate popular features. This blog will hopefully help you choose the best way to provide healthy recovery options in your spa, gym or medical office.
Head Sensor – this ensures that if a user’s head falls below the line the cryo chamber will shut down.
Onboard O2 sensors
Pulse oxygen reader to monitor oxygen levels while standing in the chamber
Built- in skin temperature sensor
Thermal imaging camera to ensure temperatures are safe and even
Door safety that never locks. If it is leaned on, the door opens.
Emergency button and shut off are available to the technician and the user, allowing either to shut it off instantly.
Cordura® Military grade anti-microbial, tear-proof, waterproof fabric, hand crafted for all interior panels. (Used by Nike and Space-X.)
Impact Elite Cryosauna offers classic technology and American workmanship in their cryotherapy sauna.
“Smart Sauna” software that allows for direct monitoring for the cryotherapy specialist operating the machine.
Simplified user interface with built-in safety protocols and has earned an independent laboratory ETL Mark for safety.
Technician has all the safety features at their fingertips. An instructor teaches a course Impact calls “Whole Body Cryotherapy Operator Training: Safety is Essential,” at the installation of your cryosauna.
Onboard O2 sensors
Adjustable height riser system so users are always elevated correctly for their size within the chamber.
Acrylic interior panels – to ensure the cleanliness of the chamber and the health of users.
These both offer state of the art technology with safety as a top feature. Having the ability for the user to be in control within the Cryo Innovations XR is unique. We found comfort in being able to shut down the chamber or simply lean on the door to open it. It also felt good knowing that the interior shape of the XR will pop the door open if someone collapsed for any reason (it is a slight inverted cone shape). The Impact Elite Cryosauna has an adjustable floor that ensures the user’s head is in the exact position above the nitrogen, and this is a good safety feature.
Along with the safety features of both chambers the technology of each is critically important to safety and operational ease. Both companies offer training to their buyers, so technicians are well prepared for operation. Both are nitrogen cooled and are made in the USA. The Cryo Innovations XR has a smaller footprint at 44″ x 34.” The Impact Cryosauna is 72″ x 36.” Each offers a warranty: one year with Impact, and three years with Cryo Innovations. Impact has a vapor delivery system to regulate the flow. Cryo Innovations has a proprietary Cyclone Flow Technology of less than 3 liters of nitrogen per session.
The looks and structure of both chambers offer aesthetics that can suit any office or venue. Each has their own unique design. Impact offers a laser cut aluminum structure. The Cryo Innovations model has glowing blue LED lighting that adds to any aesthetic. The XR is also highly mobile with locking wheels.
If you are interested in financing visit their respective sites to learn more and all of the extensive features that are offered beyond what we have covered here.
Cryosaunas are not cheap, so for many it comes down to financing a cryotherapy suana. This is common in the recovery industry. Small business owners may not have the cash on hand to buy a sauna outright. For most entrepreneurs the fastest way to a cryotherapy startup is financing a cryotherapy sauna.
What are the steps to financing a cryotherapy sauna?
Financing a cryotherapy sauna is easier than you think. While small business loans may not approve for a cryosauna there are other options. Cryotherapy has a small but dedicated group of lenders who will finance your cryosauna and who understand your needs. This niche market developed because of entrepreneurs such as yourself. Cryotherapy is an entirely new market that is expected to exceed 5 billion dollars by 2025. Many people are sprinting to become the first cryotherapy business in their area, and small banks are noticing.
Do I need really good credit?
The terms for financing a cryosauna are about the same as other small business loans. For most cryotherapy manufacturers you will need to show 1 year of being in business, a personal FICO score no lower than 650, and reserved funds in a company bank account. If you can meet those requirements you can get financed quickly.
Is financing a smart option?
Everyone wishes they had an unlimited source of funding, but the reality is that most entrepreneurs do not. In fact, one estimate of new startups measured that over 90% of entrepreneurs use other people’s money. The estimate also noted that most loans are paid off earlier than expected. This is because the entrepreneur is highly motivated to make the business work, and that inner drive is what makes it a success.
How many people are under a finance plan?
About 25% of new cryosauna owners receive financing, and surprisingly they are often those who are more successful in the long run. Part of that success is the fact that a cryosauna begins making a profit almost instantly. The other part of that is hard work. If you need financing it means that you are serious about your business, and if you have been in business for over a year then you are on your way to success.