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Do Not Wear Clothing During Cryotherapy!

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!

How is this cryotherapy? Will this eventually harm the industry?

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:

  1. “They said they didn’t like the cold so they were not going to wear their swimsuits.”
  2. “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.