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.
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.
Liquid nitrogen is completely safe when it is handled correctly. Like any element you must take precautions. In the industry it is usually electric cryotherapy manufacturers that will say liquid nitrogen is dangerous. But is this accurate? Is it a more affordable form of cryotherapy?
Is liquid nitrogen dangerous for cryotherapy?
Nitrogen is a natural element and is 78% of the air we breathe. Liquid nitrogen is extremely cold, and this is why it works for cryotherapy. While it can be dangerous if it contacts your skin directly it is not dangerous as a gas. Cryotherapy changes the liquid nitrogen into a cold gas, -230°F cold, and it safely fills the chamber without any liquid contacting the skin. Earlier cryotherapy machines using electricity to produce cold air could only reach -150°F. Engineers developed Nitrogen machines to give the coldest temperatures possible.
Didn’t someone die?
Yes. Someone actually died in a liquid nitrogen cryotherapy chamber in 2015. Her name was Chelsea Ake-Salvacion, and she was a manager at a health-spa. Chelsea did not die from freezing temperatures as some early news reports stated. She went into the cryotherapy chamber after hours unsupervised and attempted to run a session all by herself. While in the chamber she tried to take a photo and dropped her phone. When she bent down to grab her phone she accidentally asphyxiated herself and died. Authorities immediately shut down the clinic for not following basic safety procedures that prevent these tragedies. Cryosaunas now use even more safety features. Developers used “redundant safety” to prevent this from ever happening again, such as these examples here.
Why isn’t it FDA approved?
The FDA has not approved cryotherapy for a simple reason: it does not claim to cure or treat any disease. This applies for all forms of whole body cryotherapy, both electric and nitrogen gas. The FDA has written warnings about liquid nitrogen for all consumer businesses: restaurants, gyms, and spas. But it also states that it is not the FDA’s role to regulate it as it is not used to cure or treat a disease. Most incidents involving liquid nitrogen causing an injury are in bars: bartenders top off cocktails with liquid nitrogen for a “smoke” effect. They are supposed to tell the customer to wait until the vapor clears before drinking, but sometimes this doesn’t happen and someone is harmed. Injuries with cryosaunas are quite rare due to the safety features designed into the machine.
What cryosauna is right for you depends on where you will put it in your business. If you have a large warehouse gym with plenty of room then any of these options will work. However, if you have a small space for your cryotherapy chamber then you must decide carefully. Choosing the wrong machine will only produce problems. You must consider nitrogen or electrical supply, venting, and maintenance in determining what cryosauna is right.
What Cryosauana is Right for a Small Building?
Most cryotherapy businesses have only one room for providing cryotherapy. This room must fit the chamber itself and provide enough room to open the chamber door. Additionally you must determine if you will want nitrogen tanks or an electric machine. Nitrogen tanks can be easily delivered and connected. Electric chambers must be professionally installed. They may also require HVAC construction and some plumbing work.
Liquid Nitrogen Cryosaunas are right for small businesses
Small business owners by far choose liquid nitrogen cryosaunas (or cryochambers) because of how easy they are for a startup. Deliveries of the chamber and liquid nitrogen come directly to your door. After uncrating the chamber and plugging it into a standard wall outlet all you need to do is attach the liquid nitrogen and turn it on. This is as easy as attaching a garden hose. The chamber regulates the flow of nitrogen and makes the process automatic. When the nitrogen runs low you can request a delivery and the delivery person will roll the new dewar of nitrogen into your store and remove the empty one. That’s it.
Electric Cryochambers are right for major venues
Electric cryochambers cool the air by a compressor. This is the same way an air conditioner works. Many stadiums use electric chambers because they simply have the room and the budget, and the 220 volt plugs and beefy circuit breakers they require. These chambers are more expensive than nitrogen machines, often costing almost twice as much. Additionally you will most likely have to hire a general contractor, electrician, and a plumber to install the machine. If you are leasing your building this may be impossible.
Liquid Nitrogen Cryosaunas
Liquid nitrogen cryosaunas were designed because of the problems with electric cryochambers. Many small business owners simply cannot afford a $100,000 chamber and hire a contractor, engineer, and maybe plumber. Nitrogen cryosaunas cost half of that and are plug-n-play machines. Roll it in, plug it in, and you are in business. Furthermore, nitrogen cryosaunas are the coldest available, reaching -230°F, while electrics typically reach only -150°F.
Here we compare the features of two popular nitrogen cryotherapy chambers: the Cryo°Cabin™, made in Finland by Cryotech Nordic, and the TITAN™ Cryo cabin, from the United States. Both cryotherapy chambers offer thermal imaging options to ensure the safety of the client and high quality remote WiFi operating systems. The Cryo°Cabin offers its features in different size chambers to suit an individual’s stature. The TITAN™ Cryo Cabin offers several chamber options that allow for large and tall persons, such as professional football players to use the chamber in comfort. Below are some of the features that each provides to its users. Both are liquid nitrogen based, both have electric lifts, and both claim to be the safest.
First Up: Finland
The Cryo°Cabin™ offers a low usage of nitrogen paired with a steady ability to treat many clients in a day. It has a sturdy build and state of the art technology for safety. Perfect for the gym, spa or medical facility, the Cryo°Cabin is a cryotherapy chamber that is efficient and strong with smooth Scandinavian design.
Wireless-Remote diagnostics and support, 24″ HD operators touchscreen,12″ HD info display for user
Scandinavian Quality- Industrial grade components with exceptional materials
Effortless-Smart software providing a fully automated process
Intelligent Safety- Active sensors monitoring and detecting in real-time
Thermal imaging camera & head sensor
Industrial grade automatic electric lift
Patented gas circulation for liquid Nitrogen or Air – consumes 1L per minute
De-icing feature guarantees your unit will not freeze when you need it most
The Titan Cryo Cabin
TITAN™ Cryo Cabin features multiple safety features and electronic monitoring of the system remotely. It caters to sports teams that need cryotherapy chambers that work for large build athletes. TITAN serves up modern design and a look that fits any gym, spa or athletic facility.
Fully Automated Session Controls with remote diagnostics and a 19′′ HD touchscreen Control Panel
Regulated Intake Controls with a balanced Cabin Temperature
Ultrasonic Head Sensor with Auto Stop
Redundant Safety Shut-Off Switches
1.3L per minute (session average: 6.0L)
TITAN has a height 96′′ which allows for client height up to 6’8′′ and 400lbs
Easy-open door- and a dual emergency shut off for client and tech
Ultrasonic head sensor
Electric Lifts In Common
Both cabins use electric lift platforms that adjust to account for the height of the client. These systems have one drawback: they break. Fixing a broken lift platform requires a dismantling of the cabin and a waiting period for parts. Finland’s system requires international shipping for any broken lifts. Advanced systems, such as Cryo Innovations XR Cryochamber use non-mechanical lifts that cannot break: sturdy pads that are stackable for the client to stand on. Sometimes simple is better, especially when a spa has to cancel appointments due to a broken lift.
Titan’s sales team quoted this writer with a price of $65,600. Cryo°Cabin quoted $39,000 for their Standard model, with $1,300 shipping.
Contacting the Manufacturer – Easy or Not?
Cryotech in Finland has one drawback: they are in Finland, which is 7 hours ahead of New York, and 10 hours ahead of California. Their website does not list a phone number of anyone to call, not even a service center. Upon filling out the webform to ask how to buy a chamber Cryotech took two days to respond with an email stating that their sales team would respond in a day. They do have suppliers and resellers of their products in the United States; however, those distributors also have to contact Finland in the event there is a problem. Geographically Finland’s closest neighbors are Russia and Estonia, and while Finland is politically distinct from both the shipping distances from Finland and Russia are similar.
Titan Cryo was easier to reach, although contacting them through the phone number listed on their website led to Google Voice. This resulted in a low-quality call and concerns for the stability of the business. In a spirit of fairness we called this number 3 different times from different numbers throughout the work week. All calls resulted in call-forwarding through Google Voice to personal cell phone or laptop. Most professional cryotherapy companies, spas, and gyms invest in normal phone services.
A Misleading Safety Claim
Upon investigation both the Cryo°Cabin™ and Titan failed in our comparison for a significant reason: their websites both claim that the cabins are in some way certified by Underwriter Laboratories, the global safety certification organization. Titan’s website claims that their Cryo Cabin™ is the “only Cryo Cabin in the world tested and certified to UL standards,” and touts their cabin as having “The most experience and safety.” Cryotech Nordic Cryo°Cabin’s™ website claims that it is “100% CE/UL certified.” While both cabins appear safe these statements are concerning as they purport to assure the user of an additional layer of safety that is only available in their product.
UL has not certified either cabin, only the electronic components purchased by the companies to use in the cabin (e.g., electrical box). This is not special: all electronic components in all consumer machines must be certified by UL to be sold in the United States.