We spent time in sub-zero temperatures to find out what cryotherapy is all about

Even though winter is so terribly cold and blustery here in Ottawa, and I’d rather be dreaming of beaches and patios and sunlight streaming through my golden hair, I dragged a friend to try out the latest and greatest in the health and wellness industry – spending (almost) two-and-a-half minutes naked in this-will-literally-freeze-you-to-death-temperatures. (At least we got to wear socks and gloves).

It’s called Cryotherapy, and by standing in a one-person chamber cooled down to temperatures as low as -145ish Celsius, your body naturally responds by going into “fight-or-flight” mode. This physiological response results in your brain sending a lot of blood to your organs so that they can be kept warm for as long as possible – once you start to heat back up, the rush of re-circulating blood is supposed to do a lot of good.

Let me explain the hype. LeBron does it. Enough said right? Athletes love it for the muscle recovery properties after they put their bodies through ridiculous things like cross fit (I can say “ridiculous” because I tried it once). For those of us whose muscles are fine recovering on their own thank you very much, there are other benefits, like a strengthened immune system, improved blood circulation, better sleep, reduced stress and anxiety, cellulite reduction and increased collagen production, and weight loss and higher metabolism (like burning 800 cals in the one session by doing, well, nothing). If you’re worried about the low temperatures, you really don’t need to be. Cryotherapy has been in use for decades in Europe and Japan, so countless individuals have been benefitting from this treatment for years and years. And, although neither of us lasted the entire two minutes, we came pretty darn close, and we did survive, although be forewarned: this is cold that you have never experienced before.

Co-owners of Ottawa Cryotherapy Kristy Sheppard and Lindsey Mullen are also there to make the experience especially comfortable, walking you through the entire process, and they are eager to answer any and all questions about this up-and-coming technology. They believe in a more holistic approach to health & wellness, which is why they also offer chiropractic, normatec (reduces muscle soreness and improves circulation), massage, and nutritional services.

P.S. I also have to mention that ladies, you should leave your undies at the door if you know what’s good for you. (Sorry guys – extremities need to be covered).