Cryo­genic ther­apy: Fight in­flam­ma­tion and pain one de­gree at a time.

Can cryother­apy cure what ails you?

Milwaukee Health - - DEPARTMENTS - - LIND­SEY AN­DER­SON

LAST YEAR, I sprained my an­kle board­ing a plane bound for New York. I spent the next three days hob­bling around Man­hat­tan, strug­gling to ig­nore the pain.

Ac­cord­ing to Rob Remitz, cryother­apy could have saved my va­ca­tion. Remitz is the co-owner of Cry­oFit, a New Ber­lin clinic known for its whole-body cryother­apy, a treat­ment de­signed to re­duce mus­cle in­flam­ma­tion and pain by dra­mat­i­cally low­er­ing the pa­tient’s in­ter­nal tem­per­a­ture for a short pe­riod of time. Think of it as a gi­ant ice pack.

Clients strip down to their skivvies and step into a spe­cial tank. Then they’re blasted with liq­uid ni­tro­gen, which can get as cold as mi­nus-256 de­grees Fahren­heit, for about three min­utes. “It’s re­ally in­tense,” Remitz ad­mits. “But it’s fast. You can do any­thing for three min­utes.”

And the ben­e­fits of cryother­apy may make up for the dis­com­fort of be­ing re­ally cold for a few min­utes. One Mil Mag staffer and cryo-con­vert says that she gets a boost of en­ergy af­ter each treat­ment. Other pa­tients say that they re­cover from in­juries faster, that they feel less pain and that the in­tense cold kick­starts their me­tab­o­lism.

I couldn’t find much ev­i­dence to back up that last claim. But at least two sci­en­tific stud­ies in­di­cate that cryother­apy could po­ten­tially help peo­ple with in­juries or ill­nesses re­duce their re­cov­ery times or man­age pain.

So, when I in­evitably sprain some­thing again, I may con­sider cryother­apy.

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