In a December 2015 Denver Broncos special, ESPN highlighted one of the team’s secret weapons that may have helped them capture their Superbowl victory. Their advantage? Whole body cryotherapy (WBC), a treatment that utilizes subzero temperatures to manage pain and speed recovery.
Although most who dwell in the Rocky Mountain States have grown accustomed to cold winter temperatures, WBC takes cold to mesospheric levels. In other words, nearly 200 degrees colder than anywhere on our planet!
The polar opposite of a sauna, cryotherapy is conducted in a metallic pod, using liquid nitrogen to lower the temperature to a breathtaking (literally) -300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whereas heat therapy increases tissue elasticity and stimulates sensory receptors to ease muscle and joint stiffness, this dramatic and rapid freezing effect triggers the body’s “fight-or-flight” response, spiking endorphin levels and decreasing symptomatic pain.
Cryotherapy began during the late-1970s in Japan as a non-invasive pain procedure and since has became widely popular in Europe. Recently, cryotherapy centers began crystallizing in the US. While elite Utah athletes such as Darren Williams and Stevenson Sylvester note the therapy’s benefits, the availability of this alternative treatment in our our desert state had been high and dry.
That is until 2014, when TJ Berry and Jeff Jerman opened Stone Cold Cryotherapy in South Ogden. “Fracturing my back in a 2008 snowboarding accident left me with pain and discomfort ever since, and cryotherapy has been my saving grace,” says Berry.
“I owned a marketing company before Stone Cold. My background is in business, and realizing the potential in the untouched Utah market was enough to push me over the edge,” continues Berry.
Sessions lasts only three minutes, but continual treatment has been shown to help alleviate inflammatory conditions and decrease pain on a variety of frozen fronts, including Arthritis, multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia. It’s even been shown to boost overall mood levels and the immune system.
“When the body goes into this emergency mode, it pulls more blood into its core,” explains manager Ty Kenny. “Constricted blood vessels then dilate and the blood expands, taking with it endorphins and anti-inflammatory agents.”
The recovery center focuses mostly on aches and pains as well as athletic recuperation, and evidence suggests that sessions can cut athletic recovery time in half. “Last year, we got a lot of runners from the Ogden marathon,” notes Kenny. He goes on to boast that a single session can result in an increased daily metabolism, and a caloric expenditure of 500-800 calories.
Several local athletes and trainers have found the new treatment hugely beneficial. Katherine Hristou has been a powerlifter for 36 years and has seen her share of training-related injuries. “I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my pain levels and in helping me to recover,” she insists.
Other clients have noted that for the first time in a long time, they no longer feel joint pain at night and have been able to sleep better. It should be noted though that the treatment is not recommended for women who are pregnant or those with heart conditions.
Stone Cold has recently expanded into Draper and plans to open locations statewide.
Stone Cold Cryotherapy is located at 1865 E. Skyline Drive, South Ogden, and 12176 S 1000 E #1, Draper.