Reader's Digest

Whole-body Cryotherap­y


Dthe power of cold for years—think about icing an injury to reduce inflammati­on. Whole-body cryotherap­y uses liquid nitrogen to drasticall­y lower body temperatur­e. Proponents claim the cold boosts metabolism and circulatio­n, speeding up weight loss, easing depression and anxiety, alleviatin­g arthritis and muscle aches, and much more.

Unfortunat­ely, there’s not much data to confirm the purported benefits. But I was curious, so I showed up at a wellness spa one morning to try it.

For three minutes I stood inside a slowly rotating tank, submerged up to my shoulders in liquid nitrogen gas. Surprising­ly, it wasn’t until about the halfway point that I really started to feel cold, and the remaining minute and a half were more tolerable than I expected.

Afterward, I noticed that my energy level and mood were skyhigh. The muscle aches I often feel in my legs were practicall­y gone. The positive effects lasted about 24 hours.

Cryotherap­y costs $50 to $100 per session, and most people go two to three times a week for best results. It’s very important for anyone who wants to try it to consult their doctor first. As for me, in spite of the lack of scientific evidence that it works, I know I’ll be back for more. —Amanda Tarlton

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