I Got Frozen in a Capsule to Burn Calories
I consider myself a pretty healthy person. I was gluten free in the 2000’s, before it was even trendy, avocados are my dietary staple, and you don’t even have to scroll down on my Instagram page to spot a matcha smoothie bowl foodgram.
So when I found out about a new health trend that involved freezing my body to the comfortable temp of -200 degrees Fahrenheit, I was ready and willing to be the Galore guinea pig.
Cryotherapy, or “cold therapy,” boasts a multitude of alleged benefits. Fans including Gigi Hadid, Lindsey Lohan, Cristiano Renaldo, and Jessica Alba claim that bathing in a freezing liquid nitrogen chamber stimulates collagen levels, spikes weight loss, revs your metabolism, and eases inflammation in the body. It’s also supposed to give you the same euphoria you get after good sex, so even if you DGAF about the beauty benefits, there’s always that.
Cryotherapy, or some variation on the theme has actually be practiced for hundreds of years. Both Hippocrates and ancient Egyptians were fans of cold therapy medicine, using ice, snow, and freezing water and claiming that it could treat all sorts of ailments ranging from skin disease to internal issues. The use of liquid nitrogen was introduced by the Japanese in the 1970’s, and from there the cool-girl cryotherapy we know today was born.
There are barely any scientific studies on the health and weight loss benefits of cryotherapy, meaning it could just be a complete waste of time and money. But I found that, psychosomatic or not, it did give me an overall beauty and energy boost.
Most people would be nervous to take the coldest of cold showers. But I spent eight years as a figure skater twirling around the ice in a leotard and tights. So really, how bad could it be? Besides, endorsed by professional soccer players and Victoria’s Secret models? As far as I’m concerned, it’s the new kale.
After reading up on the alleged calorie torching benefits (apparently you can expect a hefty 500-800 calorie burn in 3 minutes), I baked some superfood brownies for another article, ate most of them with guilt-free enthusiasm, and headed off to Kryo Life on 57th Street to begin my icy immersion.
Walking in, I was immediately greeted and eased by the sight of three extremely pretty people with very pretty skin. After exchanging pleasantries and changing into my plush white robe, my technician Josh lead me to the Cryo Sauna, a Back To The Future-esque capsule leaking spirals of icy vapor. I gulped, took another comforting look at Josh’s perfect skin, and stepped inside, handing him everything but my socks.
Josh chatted with me as I felt a burst of cool air on all my bits, and I began to prepare myself for the full temperature drop. The feeling was similar to standing outside naked in January — something I’m oddly not a stranger to with a past history of working at a Ski Resort and being willing to perform any dare asked of me.
“When are we starting?” I asked Josh.
He laughed. “It’s halfway over.”
A minute and a half later, he tossed my robe at me and I headed into the room next door where I met the equally perfect skinned Amy, who was to administer my localized cryo facial.
During the facial, liquid nitrogen is sprayed on the face are to stimulate collagen production to reduce wrinkles, fill in fine lines, and tighten skin. I’m just 20, but I work as a model and an actress so I’m all about prevention. The facial just felt like a cool burst of air stroking my skin, and when it was over I felt invigorated and lively. Sitting down in the resting area with a cup of green tea, my whole body was tingling and I felt like a just got back from a vacation.
I skipped home from the whole experience with the energy of a five year old, seeing the city with brand new eyes and grinning at every stranger on the L train until I was asked sarcastically if I was from Florida.
I might call B.S. on the whole 800 calorie burn thing — although it might be due to the fact that I’m a pretty small person, I didn’t feel particularly hungry afterwards. However, a week later, my skin is Josh-level radiant, my muscles are less fatigued, and I feel like I just sampled the fountain of youth.
Kryo Life isn’t cheap. A single session costs $90 dollars, but now I have tasted age reversal (or at least something that feels like it) and I want to do this every day.
Ready to cancel my yoga membership in favor of a daily freeze, I did a quick Google search to discover that purchasing one would set me back a *cool* 62,000 dollars.
Maybe this is no biggie for Cristiano Ronaldo, but a plebeian like me has to prioritize more important things like college and food and heat and staying alive so for now I will be sticking to standing outside in January naked. Although I do hear Ronaldo is single now, so Cristiano — if you’re reading this, feel free to get in touch. I will totally disrobe for you (r Cryo Sauna).