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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.

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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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Financing a cryotherapy sauna

financing a cryotherapy sauna and financing a cryotherapy chamber
Don’t let hesitation freeze your ambitions.

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.