I’d heard a lot about cryotherapy over the past few months- the use of extremely cold temperatures to shock the body into fight or flight mode, leading to a number of benefits- but had never thought to give it a go myself. Nonetheless, my insta feed had been filled with daring women, and men alike, submerging themselves into a -80 degree chamber for three whole minutes (absolutely bizarre, no?) so I couldn’t help but be intrigued.
Being completely honest, from what I had seen I really couldn’t think of anything worse. I hate being cold with a passion (my hands and feet turn yellow at even the thought of being chilly) and I wear a million layers throughout the entirety of winter (mittens and earmuffs included) just to avoid the chill, never mind subjecting myself to the likes of -80 degrees! However, I kept hearing so many positive things around cryotherapy that when I was offered the chance to try the cryotherapy facial at 111CRYO, I thought that it would be the perfect way to try cryo without committing my whole body to the pain.
So, the day of my appointment arrived and I made my way across London to the 111CRYO spa based on the 4th floor of Knightsbridge’s Harvey Nichols store. I was a little nervous but mainly excited to be having a facial just in time for the weekend.
Greeted at the reception area by friendly members of staff, I was lead through to their super stylish changing rooms and handed a pair of shorts and a crop top to change into. I thought that it was a tad strange for a facial but concluded that it was perhaps for comfort. That was until I noticed the gloves and boots that were also laid out for me to pop on… Surely not? Feeling a little confused I checked with the bubbly lady who had greeted me that I was just booked in for a facial and much to my horror the answer was no, “we have you down for the full treatment”. Wow.
I headed to my emails and sure enough, it was an error on my part. I had indeed signed up to the fully body chamber and now it seemed too late to go back! The panic started to hit but I’m one for a challenge so hopped into the outfit and mentally prepped myself for what was ahead.
Made to feel at ease by the 111CRYO staff, who explained the concept behind the treatment and talked me through what was to come, I was now ready to brave the cold. I challenged myself to endure the full three minutes but knew that I could come out if needed. The timer was set and I quickly hopped into the glass front chamber. Before I even had time to think, my salon expert began waving all kinds of exercise movements in my face from the other side of the chamber door. I mirrored her movements and tried not to watch the timer tick down in the background. We jabbed, squatted and jogged (on the spot) our way through the treatment and before I knew it I only had thirty seconds to go. Then twenty, fifteen, ten and finally the chamber door flew opened and I hopped back to room temperature…
So, what does it do? Cryotherapy is thought to have an abundance of benefits both mentally and physically. For starters, exposure to extreme temperatures causes a number of hormones to rush around the body, including the same endorphins that our bodies release during exercise and sex, providing us with a feel-good high. Cryo also causes an adrenaline boost, which raises our energy levels as well as our focus. Physically, it encourages our muscles to recover faster than normal, causes increased circulation and can even burn up to 800 calories per session.
The Verdict? It was completely exhilarating and nothing like I have experienced before! After filling my head with doubts, 111CRYO managed to prove me wrong. I left the spa feeling revitalised and full of energy. I even called my mum and voicenoted the girls to tell them all about it! In terms of the physical benefits, I think that I would need more sessions to feel the full advantages but mentally, the results were instant.
Be prepared for icy eyelashes and a mental push through the last sixty seconds, but know that the time goes more quickly than what you would expect and you will feel a high like no other- as well as mental satisfaction- when you reach that three minute mark.
I’d definitely recommend 111Cryo so if you’re thinking of giving cryotherapy a go be sure to check them out. Experienced cryo for yourself? Get in touch and let me know how you got on. I’d love to hear!