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Best Cryotherapy Machines of 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

Best Cryotherapy Machines of 2019. 
The XR cryosauna by Cryo Innovations with door open and woman standing inside.  Cryotherapy machine.  Liquid nitrogen based cryotherapy machine.
The XR is a pro-athlete favorite

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

Best Cryotherapy Machines of 2019. 
The Impact Cryosauna in black color with door closed.
An Oldie But Goodie

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:

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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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How did Antonio Brown get frostbite?

How did Antonio Brown get frostbite?  Man talking about Antonio Brown.
Cryotherapy Dangers in the National Spotlight. ABC News.

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.

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Zac Efron Heats up the Cold Cryo Chamber Scene

Zac Efron knows how to make cryotherapy fun! Rockin’ a great new look and headed into an ‘impromptu’ dance session in a cryotherapy chamber, Efron does it for his greater good- a better way to healing and recovery. Many Hollywood celebrities are climbing into the cold for rejuvenation, healing from work stress and sports injuries, and to always be looking runway ready.

Earlier this year, Zac sustained an ACL tear injury while he was tearing up the ski slopes, and opted for surgery to correct the major tear and get him on his feet quickly. With post-op recovery physical therapy, he also chose cryotherapy as a way to expedite his healing. Understanding the benefits of cryotherapy for inflammation and injury, Efron delved into the treatments to utilize a more natural way to get him back into shape.

With a group of friends, Efron decided to do his whole body cryotherapy recovery session while dancing with them in the cold, to ‘Ice Ice Baby’ by 90s rapper Vanilla Ice. [1] An appropriate way to endure the few minutes of -200 degree temperatures for sure! Efron understands the many benefits of using cryotherapy in his recovery. From muscle inflammation reduction, pain relief and the benefits of nutrients and oxygenated blood that rushes to the extremities after a session; cryotherapy offered a natural and healthy way for Efron to improve after his ACL surgery.

On his Instagram account he shows how he utilized the cryotherapy along with exercise and training to recover and get back his strength. Cryotherapy is a major bonus in wellness and for dealing with pain and inflammation as well as helping to remove post-op toxins from the body. It increases endorphins after a session and can help some people find more restful sleep. Efron says, “Better every day. Taking it literally, 1 step at a time…”

Recovery with whole body cryotherapy is becoming a popular choice for athletes, celebrities and the rest of the public seeking wellness and healing through natural body processes. Lifestyles are changing when it comes to looking and feeling good, and natural ways to treat healing and stay on top of one’s health and fitness are a trend that continues to grow the interests in technologically advanced treatments like cryotherapy.

[1] https://www.menshealth.com/entertainment/a26986835/zac-efron-cryo-dancing-acl/

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The Denver Broncos Kick Into High Gear with Cryotherapy

In 2018, the Denver Broncos completed their upgrade on the team’s training practice facility. They shared how the latest technology in physical therapy is helping their players stay on top in the NFL. Included in their major overhaul, were two whole body cryotherapy (WBC) chambers. “It’s important to give our players the best facilities possible,”Chip Conway, VP of Operations, said. [1]

For a few years prior to the new facility, players were seeing a local chiropractic office that had a cryotherapy chamber, where they could receive the treatments pre-and post workout, to help with inflammation issues, injuries and performance. They understood the importance and value of cryotherapy sessions on their bodies, as well as for their career longevity.

“We’ll actually use it with a lot of the guys Sunday morning before they go to the stadium, so about three hours before kickoff we’ll go through and use the cryotherapy on them because it cleans out any inflammation, soreness that they have, but it also kind of dumps endorphins back into the body,” said Dr. Ryan Tuchscherer, a chiropractor and the co-founder of Cherry Creek Spine and Sport Clinic. “It really gets them amped up and ready to go, versus the old, traditional way of doing an ice bath or an ice tank.” [2]

Healing sports injuries faster and getting players back in the game was a key differentiator for the Denver Broncos in choosing the cryotherapy chamber treatments in-house. When players can do a 3 minute session before a workout, they experience less pain, more endorphins to boost them mentally and the ability to do a more intense workout. Afterwards, they can use the cryo chamber to relieve muscle swelling, joint strain and overall tiredness. Many say they even sleep better at night after using cryotherapy.

Cryotherapy has become a friend to athletes everywhere- helping injuries, speeding the natural healing process and providing a lifestyle fitness opportunity for those that want a long-term health opportunity to improve their athletic performance.

[1] https://www.denverpost.com/2018/07/26/denver-broncos-new-training-facilities-dove-valley-photos/

[2] https://www.denverpost.com/2015/10/22/why-broncos-players-turn-to-cryotherapy-to-help-keep-them-in-the-game/

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Leicester City Footballers Know the Winning Value of Cryotherapy

The Leicester City Football Club champions know winning. With over a hundred year history of winning football matches, the team uses every winning strategy at their disposal, especially when it comes to recovery and healthy strategy for the well being of their players. Sports science and healing have moved into the technology spotlight, where players are finding new and cutting edge recovery and training methods to change their game. Cryotherapy is one such opportunity for the team to advance their recovery, their endurance and ultimately their winning abilities.

Dave Rennie, the team’s lead physiotherapist has every player use the whole body cryotherapy chamber (WBC) at least once a day, to recover after a hard workout, as well as improving any injury issues they are battling. “This unit affords us the opportunity to return players to fitness fast. Coaches then get more time with the players to work on the games. It’s become central to a player’s adaptation [their recovery and physical development between matches]. It affects the central nervous system and we notice big hormonal changes in players – changes in mood too.” Says Renne. “From a physio’s point of view I’m impressed with the therapy’s ability to shut down the acute soft tissues injuries much faster.” [1]

Cryotherapy advancements have substantially improved player’s recovery times, and allowed for more intense training sessions. Players such as Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Wes Morgan all find great benefits from treating their bodies with the power of cryotherapy. A cryotherapy chamber takes the body temperature down to -200 or more degrees Fahrenheit, and a player stays in the chamber for three minutes. Upon exiting, the body immediately rushes oxygen rich blood and nutrients from the core to the extremities, directly to the tired muscles and injury locations that are in need of healing. The body uses its natural cold response protective system, allowing for inflammation reduction and endorphin releases to aid the blood systems in returning healing nutrients to the extremities.

Football players are finding that they can recover from injury much more quickly, as well as train at a higher level when using cryotherapy on a regular basis to assist their body in its overall performance. Jaime Vardy believes that the help he receives from cryotherapy has helped him stay in the game and recover from his injuries to go on to become a championship winning player.

[1] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/cryotherapy-the-cutting-edge-technology-that-could-be-the-secret/

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From Injury to Inspiration in Healing – How A Training Team Uses Cryotherapy to Win

The Washington Redskins NFL football team has had more than its fair share of injured players over the last couple of years. Slammed with dozens of hurt players, many who didn’t play for long stretches, the Redskins head trainer Larry Hess, took a long look at how he could improve the overall fitness model he implemented for his players on and off season. Creating a state-of-the-art training and recovery center and adding cutting edge treatment modalities, Hess developed an all-star treatment balance to his training model. Plagued by injuries, the Redskins began improving and healing with therapies such as whole body cryotherapy, zero gravity chairs and float tanks in their new recovery room.

Cryotherapy has helped players recover from injuries such as ACL injuries, blown knees, torn pectorals and other muscle, deep-tissue and joint injuries. Trainer “Hess said the team reduced soft-tissue injuries — such as sprains, strains, tendinitis and damage to muscles, tendons and ligaments — by more than 50 percent last season.” [1]

Improving health and healing for the Redskins was the top of importance and the trainers stepped up to the challenge in a big way, even winning a prestigious 2018 Ed Block Courage Award NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year. award for their cutting edge recovery center and healing treatment plans. [2] They understood that the opportunity to have cryotherapy readily available to reduce inflammation and help heal injury was critical for their team.

With medical studies continuing to support the effects of cryotherapy, athletes and laypersons alike are finding natural recovery results with whole body cryotherapy. A recent study on the effects states, “Results indicated that muscle pain was reduced in 80% of studies following WBC. Two applied studies found recovery of athletic capacity and performance with WBC improved, variables of this nature were also improved in 71% of studies using controlled exercise. Further benefits of WBC treatment included reduction of systemic inflammation and lower concentrations of markers for muscle cell damage.” [3]

The Washington Redskins training team stepped up to the challenge of healing a long list of injured players and getting them back into a healthy lifestyle both on and off the field. They knew the power of whole body cryotherapy and other treatments would sustain their players and reduce injuries for the future. Professional athletes value cryotherapy as a way not only to recover from injury, but to help them perform at the top of their bodies’ potential.

[1] https://www.apnews.com/508fef72700f455d98280e6559b8afa9

[2] https://www.redskins.com/news/redskins-training-staff-earns-ed-block-training-staff-of-the-yearaward

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29161748

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The Knicks’ Cool Training Regimen

The NBA New York Knicks are all about training, recovery and keeping the players in optimum health, and one of the ways they support their players recovery is through cryotherapy. The Knicks purchased two cryotherapy chambers in recent years, to help in post workout and post game recovery.

The anti-inflammatory benefits of cryotherapy cannot be matched by other non-invasive treatments. The cold temperatures bolster the blood systems with antioxidants, oxygen and nutrients, and rush the best the body has right to the muscles and joints. Flooding the extremities with the body’s own healing properties, whole body cryotherapy can bolster the recovery of even the most extreme athlete who has endured an intense workout.

New York Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis has been nursing an elbow injury. Thankfully, Porzingis is closing in on what he believes to be 100 percent health.

The Medical Study

In a medical study titled “Whole-body cryostimulation as an effective way of reducing exercise-induced inflammation and blood cholesterol in young men”, the findings of consistent cryotherapy sessions showed that many markers in the body were positively affected and the anti-inflammatory properties of non-invasive cryotherapy had a wellness effect that continued for some time after the treatments. “The main finding of this study was that a series of 10 sessions of whole body cryostimulation significantly reduced the inflammatory response induced by eccentric exercise. The lipid profile was also improved…” [1]

This is what professional athletes such as the New York Knicks players are experiencing and the team trainers and owners know the investment into cryotherapy offers a substantial benefit to their players. On and off the court, players are feeling better and many report that they are able to play the game longer, recover from games, and recover from injuries much more quickly and with substantially less pain that through other, more invasive treatments such as medications.

Long- Term Health

The New York Knicks trainers have incorporated cryotherapy chamber sessions into their fitness regimen so that the players can recover much more quickly and be ready to compete in a healthy way. Instead of waiting days to feel fully ready to play again, the players feel competition ready within a few minutes and can return the next day fully prepared for a hard workout or game.

Reaching into the latest technology and breaking into a more healthy space is something that all sports teams are looking for, and with whole body cryotherapy advancement the athletic world is changing rapidly. Having fully healed, rested and recovered players is part of the long term game plan for NBA teams, and cryotherapy can provide a more natural body recovery which can be utilized for the overall strength and fitness of the whole team.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24998353

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The Denver Nuggets Strike Cold Gold

The Denver Nuggets have expanded their training and recovery arsenal in 2016, to include the powerful benefits of cryotherapy. The basketball players were discovering on their own, the critical value of healing benefits provided by cryotherapy, so the team owners and trainers decided to implement regular availability of cryotherapy chamber sessions in order to provide regular, ongoing treatments for the players. For the NBA Nuggets team and many other basketball teams including the Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, L.A. Lakers and Portland Trailblazers, whole body cryotherapy (WBC) is providing remarkable recovery results in a short amount of time.

Michael Porter Jr Denver Nuggets
(Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

Cryotherapy – The What and The Why of Its Healing Potential

A cryotherapy chamber utilizes liquid nitrogen to quickly cool the body temperature below -200 degrees within 3 minutes. The body responds by pulling the blood from the extremities to the core organs, and putting the body into a temporary state where it protects itself from the extreme cold by constricting blood vessels to save energy and warmth. The body has a natural response to the cold, and an effective natural healing response the moment one steps out of the cryotherapy chamber and the body immediately resumes its normal temperature. The blood vessels open wide and absorb nutrients and oxygen and rush into the extremities to provide them with healing and protection. The cold sessions removes toxins from the bloodstream, allowing for the joints and muscles to experience inflammation reduction. This improved circulation helps the body to recover very quickly from hard workouts, intense game play and from chronic or acute injury issues. Cryotherapy is quite literally a holistic healing approach for athletes to capitalize on their overall health and healing potential. The added bonus of the lymphatic system releasing endorphins into the body and brain allows many players to experience an overall well-being feeling. Some NBA players say they feel energized and invigorated for days to come and get more rested sleep.

The Denver Nuggets know the value that regular cryotherapy sessions offer their players, because they can use the treatments twice a day, or twice a week, whatever their preference. Post workout sessions help players recover faster and allow for more intense workouts. Pregame training cryotherapy chamber treatments or post game sessions are helping players with injury issues as well as muscle exhaustion. More and more professional athletes are turning to cryotherapy as the best way to treat their bodies as a non-invasive modality that becomes a healthy lifestyle choice.

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The Dallas Mavericks Cryotherapy Power

The Dallas Mavericks basketball team players famously delved into cryotherapy in a bold way to give health support to their player’s performance. With a Championship headed their way in 2011, they moved into cryotherapy when they discovered that several of the NBA veteran players on the team were traveling to a cryotherapy wellness center in Plano Texas on their days off, to use a cryotherapy chamber to help in their post workout recovery.

Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, Jason Kidd, Brian Cardinal and Tyson Chandler were talking about how good it made them feel and suggesting it would be a good investment for all of the team. Head trainer, Casey Smith knew the players liked how they felt and decided to include cryotherapy into their recovery solutions for the team. [1]

The Mavericks were using the Plano therapy chambers so often that the company moved closer to the team so they could have more access to the therapy. With workout recovery implemented at a faster rate, joint and muscle recovery improved and injuries relieved more quickly, the Dallas Mavericks had cryotherapy as a near ‘secret-weapon’, since most other teams had not yet utilized the powerful sport health tool.

Three minutes in a cryotherapy cold chamber is much faster and more helpful to the body’s natural healing ability than an ice bath, and the Mavericks knew it then and now. Having older players find huge advantage to their competitive body experiences only added to the desire for younger players to find it a long-term healthy lifestyle. Mavericks wanted to have veteran players with stamina and endurance that actually felt good on the court, and cryotherapy changed the game for them. Inflammation reduction, oxygenated, nutrient rich blood and endorphins pack a healthy natural punch in the athlete’s body, and nothing artificial or in pill form can beat a natural body response to recovery.

Hitting the court, having a hard game or workout, and recovering and feeling good in a short amount of time cannot be found equally in any other modality. The body’s natural response time is triggered in the cryo-chamber and floods the body when an athlete steps out, whereas nothing else has the same exact effect while inducing a natural clinical response. Cryotherapy has become a favorite of Dallas Mavericks veteran and rookie athletes alike, as a way to strengthen their recovery response so that they can lengthen and intensify their workouts and feel strong and balanced during their on court game performances.

[1] https://healthcare.dmagazine.com/2014/05/19/whole-body-cryogenic-therapy-a-secret-weapon-for-recovery-or-sham-science/