Maybe it’s the heat of summer, maybe it’s a life phase, maybe I’m getting old, but man, my body just hurts sometimes, you know? I’m a runner, and lately my muscles simply don’t want to, well, run. My energy levels are low, and my sleep isn’t great. Of course, there are hundreds of hypotheses that might explain why I’m feeling this way—my diet, water intake, schlepping my kid around from event to event, and so many other things I could probably address. But something recently caught my eye that I think might possibly help: cryotherapy.
Cryo-what? Sounds like some sort of technique to eradicate the ability to shed tears, but actually, cryotherapy is the use of super, duper, ridiculously cold temperatures to treat a variety of issues, including muscle soreness and recovery, inflammation and tissue damage. (People also say things like it has an anti-aging effect, boosts their energy and leads to better sleep.)
So, how cold are we talking, and for how long? Depends if you’re doing a full-body or localized treatment. Hop in the full-body chamber, in which your head is the only body part not submerged, and the temperature range drops to roughly -165 degrees to -275 degrees Fahrenheit. Treatment lasts between two and five minutes. Localized cryotherapy, which targets a specific body part with a device, gets down to about -240 degrees Fahrenheit and lasts for approximately 5 to 10 minutes, reportedly reaping all the benefits of a traditional icing session that can last for hours.
Sounds cool, right? (See what I did there?) Here are five places in and around Chicago to get your cryotherapy on.
Along with full-body cryotherapy, how about a relaxing cryo-toning facial? The CryoBar offers a controlled stream of cold nitrogen vapor on the face, neck and scalp that helps increase blood flow and accelerate collagen production, resulting in smoother, tighter skin. At least, temporarily, so you know, get one right before a big night out.
1205 W. Webster Ave., Chicago
Here is where you go if you’re an athlete looking to speed up muscle recovery, alleviate pain and find more energy for workouts through cryotherapy. They also offer something called NormaTec, which uses pulses of compressed air to massage the hips and legs.
1018 N. Larrabee St., Chicago
What’s enticing about CryoPure is that any single single session is $60, excluding CryoSkin. Since I live on the North Shore, I expect I’ll be headed here pretty soon for a full-body treatment.
1849 Green Bay Rd., #167, Highland Park
If becoming really cold isn’t your thing, maybe floating around in a chamber is. The “float rooms” at Vive are designed with a heated buffer zone that has precise air temperature control, and you, well, you float. On a surface of a liquid that’s made up of 10 inches of water and 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt.
1513 N. Wells St., Chicago
You’ve gotta love a place that offers good deals. Head to RE Cryo for “REcovery Sunday,” when drop-in cryo sessions are just $35 every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Or take advantage of “REcharge Wednesday,” when $50 gets you one cryo session plus one compression boot session every Wednesday, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
6700 N. Northwest Hwy., Chicago