I love cryotherapy and try to get my cryo in three times per week or more. At home this is easy, but when I travel it can be challenging to find a cryotherapy provider in an unfamiliar city. Despite the challenge I do enjoy trying different chambers and seeing how cryotherapy is growing in the United States. In pre-covid days my goal was to try every chamber and I nearly have. But I noticed a concerning trend in some shops that offered enclosed chambers: people wearing clothes while doing cryo!
Wearing Clothes Is Not True Cryo
Cryotherapy is best performed wearing only one’s undergarments. As a woman I prefer a sports bra and my underwear or a bikini bottom. But I am seeing more and more of people wearing outdoor clothing inside the chamber. I recently came across this problem on the east coast where I found a US Cryo C1 Recovery Chamber. I love US Cryo products and was excited, but I saw something very odd when I arrived: two women wearing their clothes inside the chamber! When I asked the operator why they were clothed she gave a conflicting set of answers:
- “They said they didn’t like the cold so they were not going to wear their swimsuits.”
- “They are still okay because their clothes are loose.”
Specifically these two young women were both wearing the proper PPE of slippers, gloves, and a facemask. But they also had on knee high socks, running shorts, beanies, and t-shirts. The only skin exposed to the cold was their mid-thigh, forearms, and neck. While this could be proper attire for a morning run in city it actually defeats the purpose of doing cryotherapy.
True Cryotherapy Requires Skin Exposure
I love cryotherapy for its therapeutic effects. From a nurse’s standpoint I know that vasoconstriction in a cryo setting simply won’t happen if a person is wearing clothing. The body’s heat will remain trapped–even under a t-shirt–and prevent the cold from doing its work. I personally wear only my undergarments, slippers with low socks, and gloves. That’s it. I want to provide my body with the greatest amount of exposure to the cold to reap the greatest benefits of cryotherapy.
Wearing Clothes Is Bad For Business
From a personal standpoint I can see a cryo business allowing a paying customer to enjoy cryo however they want. But ultimately that is bad for the business. The customer will feel cold but will not benefit from cryotherapy. This doesn’t create a customer who purchases cryo packages or visits multiple times per week. Instead it compounds the problem: the person becomes convinced that cryo is a fad and could even become a harsh critic of cryotherapy, all while never truly experiencing cryotherapy.