London Cryo: Cryotherapy, the coolest new trend that involves freezing yourself for muscle recovery

You’d be forgiven for thinking it is crazy to choose to stand virtually naked in a -140 degree capsule, but cryotherapy is the coolest new trend that everyone from celebrities to athletes is trying.

Its fans include Mo Farah, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lindsay Lohan and Millie Mackintosh, and its benefits are said to be huge, from improving muscle recovery to helping with skin conditions and reducing inflammation.

It’s even said to make you lose weight, through boosting your metabolism, although a lot of cryoclinics are reluctant to promote that factor.

So, after hearing all about it, I decided to test the chill at LondonCryo.

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LondonCryo is a cryotherapy clinic in central London. Unlike most UK cryotherapies which only go down to -90 degrees, LondonCryo offers a service that reaches -140 degrees – and that’s bloody freezing.

The clinic is run by Maria who discovered cryotherapy when she was finding it hard to recover from her sports training. Maria was so taken by the mental and physical benefits of the treatment, she decided to quit her job as an accountant and set up LondonCryo.

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When you arrive at the clinic, you are asked to fill in a medical form, that’s the longest part of this whole process. Then you change into swimwear or underwear, boots, socks and gloves, that’s all you have for protection. Some brave gals even go topless!

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Then, you’re escorted to the CryoCabin, which looks a bit like a sunbed, but appearances are where the similarity ends.

When you’ve entered, the cabin emits a nitrogen mist and is cooled to the temperature of -140 degrees. You remain in the cabin for three minutes for the treatment (any longer and it could be harmful).

During that, you’re asked to clasp your palms together and do some small calf raises or even walk in a circle if it is too uncomfortable or cold.

Maria or another colleague is there with you the whole time to talk you through the process or let you out if you can’t stand it any longer. The three minutes flashed by in an instant.

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When I emerged from the CryoCabin, I was covered in goose pimples and utterly freezing.

The temperature is meant to trigger a flight-or-fight response in your body, which causes a rush of endorphins and adrenaline. After my treatment, I was chirpy, energised and noticed a glow on my skin – it was as if I had drunk three espressos in quick succession, without the crash a few hours later.

Honestly, it was pretty chilly but nowhere near as bad as I thought. I was colder on my Northern Lights tour last month!

THE SCIENCE

LondonCryo says the treatment:

  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Releases endorphins to help with mental health
  • Reduce inflammation and aids recovery
  • Boosts your metabolism
  • Eliminates toxins in the skin
  • Helps with insomnia

(And quite a few more benefits which you can read about here.)

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But it’s worth noting that cryotherapy remains unresearched and the verdict is still mixed. The US FDA said the “so-called ‘treatment'” hasn’t been proven to have any benefits. A study from 2015, however, found athletes performed better, and recovered more quickly, in running tests after one whole-body cryotherapy treatment.

Another review said there wasn’t enough evidence to support the use of cryotherapy to relieve muscle soreness after exercise.

VERDICT

It’s worth taking all of these new treatments with a pinch of salt but I always think, if it works for you, keep on doing it. And a lot of people are feeling the results of cryotherapy.

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My experience left me feeling uplifted and energised, but I wouldn’t run back to the CryoCabin due to the cost and the fact I’m not that into my training, so perhaps the effects are somewhat wasted on my tiny muscles!

LondonCryo charges £90 per session and recommends at least four sessions to feel the true benefits of the treatment. They also offer package deals and all prices are listed here.


I was gifted the treatment for the purposes of this review but all opinions are my own.

60 thoughts on “London Cryo: Cryotherapy, the coolest new trend that involves freezing yourself for muscle recovery

  1. I have been interested in cryotherapy, so it’s really interesting to read your thoughts. I have heard mixed reviews on whether it is actually effective and useful. I’m not sure I’ll be trying it anytime soon, but it’s certainly intriguing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been wanting to try this! There is a new cryo place in town and they offer the first visit free. Reading this article may be what I needing to give it a try. Great article! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is very intriguing! I do a science/science fiction podcast with a friend. This would be a “cool” subject to talk about! Definitely will have to do some more research on this! Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have heard of this and considered trying the cryotherapy at Sparkling Hills Resort. I so hate being cold and the winter here is so long, that I never make the leap to force myself into an even colder environment. I have met people at the resort who have experienced tremendous relief from inflammation and pain after three treatments so it might be worth a shot one of these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been thinking of trying this as well! The cost always keeps me from doing it. Maybe I’ll give it a shot – thanks for sharing your experience!! Helps to know what we’re getting into haha…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! I have a friend who did it (he runs marathons all the time, and also has pretty severe brain injury, so I think he wanted to use it for both the recovery/training and for his neuro-related stuff), but I never really got the gist of what he did or what the effects were!
    It’s pretty cool that you were energized after that… I get cold so easily I can’t even imagine going THAT cold. 90 pounds for 3 minute session is pretty steep too. But I guess if it works for you, then go for it, as long as it doesn’t hurt you, right? Haha.

    Liked by 1 person

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