Deep-Freeze Fad: Whole-Body Cryotherapy

March 2019

What do Justin Timberlake, Shaquille O’Neal, Jennifer Aniston, and Cristiano Ronaldo have in common? Besides success, fame, and a seemingly everlasting youthful appearance, these celebrities all swear by the same controversial wellness trend: whole-body cryotherapy. If for some reason the word “cryotherapy” gives you chills, you’re on to something. The prefix “cryo” means, according to, “icy cold” or “frost.”

Whole-body cryotherapy, or WBC, is the practice of subjecting your body to extremely cold temperatures. If you’re thinking that you do that every winter, think again — we’re talking about temperatures that are, quite literally, otherworldly. The inside of a WBC chamber is cooled using dry nitrogen vapor, bringing the air inside down to a breathtaking -280 degrees Fahrenheit — roughly the temperature on Saturn. How does the body survive such temperatures? The key is in brevity: WBC participants only stay in the chamber for short bursts of time, between two and three minutes.

According to Vitality NYC, the wellness center just blocks from the 555TEN luxury rentals, the process “signals a chain of physiological reactions that stimulate circulation, healing, and detoxification.” WBC enthusiasts say these reactions lead to a wide range of benefits. One example is the claim that WBC can aid in rapid weight loss. As the body kicks into overdrive in order to maintain a healthy temperature, the “metabolism is swiftly raised and the body burns more calories to facilitate heat production.” How many calories, exactly? According to Vitality NYC, a single session can burn as many as 800 — more than the average person burns during a five-mile run. Other touted physical benefits include reduced inflammation and improved workout recovery time, results that make WBC popular with elite athletes.

People who have undergone WBC also report benefits to their mental state. Increased feelings of calm and relaxation are commonly claimed, a benefit Vitality NYC asserts is an “increase in the hormone and neurotransmitter norepinephrine.” This increase is also said to be the force behind a reported drop in issues like insomnia and anxiety.

WBC is also thought to boost the body’s natural detoxification processes, encouraging the skin to expel toxins and absorb oxygen. A good detox has benefits not only for your health, but also for your appearance. According to Vitality NYC, the skin has a very specific response to extremely low temperatures, activating “cellular repair mechanisms” that increase collagen production and reduce cellulite.

If cold therapy sounds unappealing after the long winter, you can take your wellness in a different direction, and book a session at Vitality NYC’s infrared sauna. This therapy uses infrared light to heat the body, a process that some claim activates a cleansing and detoxifying process.

Wherever your wellness journey takes you, into bitter cold or deep heat, you’ll only be steps away from the Midtown West apartments you call home, where you can reap the benefits of a rejuvenated body.