Embracing the cold: Cryotherapy a game-changer in wellness industry

Published 8:35 am Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Cryotherapy of Lake Charles members and guests are capitalizing on the healing and wellness benefits of quick exposures to sub-zero temps.

“Cryotherapy is not just for speeding recovery time after injuries or surgeries,” said Bradley Matherne. “It can help decrease muscle and joint pain, boost energy levels, increase feelings of well-being, spur collagen growth and promote better sleep, too.”

Matherne is a Lake Charles native and the owner of Cryotherapy of Lake Charles. He found out how professional sports teams were using this technology, researched the concept and opened Cryotherapy of Lake Charles here about five years ago.

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Some folks might associate the term cryo with ice, and that is correct. Cryo is from the Greek word that means icy cold, chill, frost. But Cryotherapy of Lake Charles isn’t the place to head for an ice bath or ice pack, though it capitalizes on some of those same benefits — benefits realized over a thousand years ago.

Cryotherapy is a dry therapy. Treatment time can be as little as three minutes, making it the perfect antidote and therapeutic delivery method for a world that seems to be moving way too fast. The entire visit takes 10 to 15 minutes. Whole-body and spot treatments are available.

Technology and the duration of the treatment isn’t the only thing that has changed since Hippcrates used the cold to treat swelling and pain. Today, more people understand how their bodies work and the benefits of improving the flow of oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood and getting rid of toxins. They’re looking for the most convenient method for fighting the effects of a sedentary lifestyle. They need a momentary reprieve from their too-full schedules. Some simply want to find a way to slow down an overactive mind.

Cryotherapy can help. It creates vasoconstriction. Vaso is from the Latin word that means vessel. Vasoconstriction is the narrowing of blood vessels. When the body gets cold, it responds by increasing blood circulation and detoxification. Increased circulation enriches the blood with nutrients and oxygen. Vasoconstriction can reduce inflammation, stimulate collagen and can improve quality of sleep and energy. It increases the production of norepinephrine, a hormone that affects the sleep/wake cycle. Norepinephrine activates REM. Cryotherapy can also reduce cortisol levels and help alleviate stress.

“It’s not been FDA cleared, but cryotherapy may help raise metabolism and burn calories,” Matherne said, “especially if it’s coupled with intermittent fasting.”

Cryotherapy facial focus can tighten pores. The flow of blood and oxygen to the face can brighten the skin and make it less puffy. Using the treatments, with time, can increase collagen growth, which makes skin appear younger.

Matherne said it’s not for pregnant women. Individuals with heart conditions, poor blood flow and active cancers must speak with their physicians before trying cryotherapy.

When cryotherapy was first introduced in the United States, nitrogen tanks were used. Matherne said that advances in technology have allowed for a safer and more efficient chamber that uses electricity to produce the refrigerated air, similar to a large freezer, but with oxygenated air and no chance of exposure to harmful gas. With nitrogen therapy, it is necessary for the head to be out of the tank. Electric cryotherapy allows the treatment to be delivered to the entire body, head to toe.

Matherne said he is not a medical professional. Cryotherapy works best when used in conjunction with other healthy lifestyle choices such as making nutritious food choices and led him to his motto, “Sleep, Freeze, Eat and Repeat.”

He plans to open a second location at the end of this year.