You might not pair the idea of pampering with -160C liquid nitrogen but it appears freezing your body has never been so cool.
Cryotherapy is a wellbeing buzzword at the moment, with celebrities and sports stars the world over spending time in frighteningly cold chambers in a bid to spark a reaction from the nervous system.
Hollywood stars like Lindsay Lohan have been pictured trying out the health trend in recent weeks, while boxer Floyd Mayweather and footballer Cristiano Ronaldo are rumoured to have their own ‘cryo chambers’.
Developed in Eastern Europe to treat performance athletes, the concept involves shocking the nervous system with extreme cold to stimulate the body to go into recovery mode, sending nutrient and oxygen-rich blood to problem areas.
A scaled down version of the treatment, which blasts targeted areas of the body with freezing vapour, has been brought to Leeds by beauty entrepreneurs Sara Turner and Debra Lister.
The pair set up Cryotherapy UK in June, having invested in a series of machines that claim to harness the technology to offer “the results of liposuction without the surgery”.
Sara, who owns the XS Hair and Beauty salon, in Leeds, has been trialling a machine in her own salon and claims bookings have spiked.
“Models and footballers are already using the technology but it’s not been mainstream for the public until now,” she said. “I was sceptical at first, I had read about it and knew about it but seeing was believing for me.”
With that in mind, I decided to embrace some beauty therapy with a painless 10minute cryo session on my stomach which felt like an isolated ultra-cold ice bath that left my midriff cold to the touch for about 20minutes.
Everybody knows diet and exercise are the logical key to good health but the idea that regular blasts of frozen vapour can kick start recovery for sports injuries is exciting. Whether it has the same impact as a relaxing beauty treatment remains to be seen.
But Sara insists that the body’s physiological response to the cold leads your metabolism to increase, prompting heightened calorie burning hours after treatments.
“It’s time cryotherapy came here. It’s going to be huge here, everything that’s big in America eventually comes to the UK,” She added. “Why would you pay for a facial when you could have a cryo facial where you get the benefits of a facelift?”
With machines in Leeds as well as Roundhay, Harrogate and London, and with a Manchester site on its way, salon-based cryo is growing.
It’s an unusual, painless and interesting experience. Could this be the future of beauty therapy? Who knows.
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Cryotherapy UK sessions involve lying on a therapy bed with the area you’re targeting exposed as the therapist targets the cryo machine nozzle at that area, moving in waving motions at a distance that does not damage the skin. Treatments range from courses of weekly 40minute sessions to short blasts that cost as little as £30 per visit.
Visit cryotherapyuk.co.uk or see facebook.com/cryotherapyuk.