Cryotherapy : My visit to Cryo Shield in San Diego after YAGP
When I was back in San Diego for YAGP semi-finals I finally tried cryotherapy!! I have a couple of friends who do it quite frequently and they both seem to really like it. I have also seen a lot of big athletes around the world using it to help their bodies. Cryo Shield is a San Diego cryotherapy company and the passion project of professional MLB pitcher, James Shields.
During YAGP (Youth America Grand Prix) I started having this pain in my lower back, upper buttocks. It felt like a pinching pain in the muscle. It would only hurt when I would kick my leg to the back. After YAGP I took a few days off, but I still had the pinching feeling going on, so my mom suggested I try out cryotherapy. The first visit was only 25 bucks, so Ashlyn (my roommate) and I decided to try it out.
Cryotherapy is a distribution of liquid nitrogen in a vapor form that can get as cold as -202 degrees Fahrenheit . Starting temperatures can be between 14 and -40 degrees Fahrenheit and during the treatment it can range between -166 degrees F and -202 degrees F! It’s been found to be more effective and efficient than an ice bath! Here is good link to give you more information about cryotherapy. http://www.cryoshieldtherapy.com/about/
When we first got there, they signed us in and then took us back to take our blood pressure. They have to do this before each time you go because your blood pressure may drop once you start the treatment. My blood pressure was pretty low, so they had me do some jumping jacks and jogging in place to bring it up. Ashlyn had to do the same. After that we were both good to go!
Ashlyn decided to go first, so we headed to one room with one of the workers there. She basically walks you through the whole process and stays with you while you are getting the treatment. First she had us step inside so she can add or take away some mats for our heights. Your whole body is inside except for your neck and your head. After this she turned on the machine to get it ready while you change. They have you put on socks, booties and gloves. You can wear a swimsuit or wear nothing at all besides the socks, etc. They also tell you to take off all of your jewelry (earring are fine) so you don’t get a freezer burn.
The first half of the treatment isn’t too bad, you start to feel cold but it isn’t painful. I definitely think the middle part is the coldest and feels the longest! During the whole three minuets I would keep moving my body, walking in circles, moving my joints around…this definitely helped with the cold. Before we started, the woman helping us also told us to move the part of your body that is hurting. So if it’s your ankle, circle your ankle, if it’s your back, circle your hips, etc..
During those three minutes you know when it’s not going to get any colder because it starts flashing. That is sort of a relief, but it is still so cold!!! My arms and my thighs definitely felt the most cold. If you are standing, being frozen basically, for three minuets it can seem very long. These actually went by pretty fast because I was talking with the assistant and Ashlyn. After I was done I felt pretty good!! My legs and arms felt tingly for the first few moments after I stepped out, but then your body just feels really good after that. I don’t even really know how to explain it honestly.
I definitely think that if you were to do cryotherapy more consistently it would really help current injuries and hopefully prevent future injuries. At the particular place I went they had amazing deals going on. If I was in California more often I would consider getting the unlimited monthly package. You can go once a day every day if you want!! Obviously these places aren’t only in California, that location just had some awesome deals.
Here is a quick video of my getting the treatment. You can tell I was pretty cold! 😉
My sister, Kyla had a pretty serious back injury and I am definitely going to get her to go and see if it helps relieve her back. I’ll let you guys know if she tries it, and let me know your experiences if you have tried it before or if you are going to!!
Overall I really enjoyed cryotherapy at Cryo Shield and I will definitely be using this in the future to help my body.