I write about Ultimate Luxury Experiences: People, Places and Things
My fascination with Cryotherapy all started in the south of France a few months ago, while at the spectacular Thermes Marins Spa in Monte Carlo. Wealthy guests were lining up for a chance at freezing themselves at a cost of $100 for two minutes. The treatment was touted as a way to procure relaxation, reduce stress, improve sleep disorders and dramatically improve jet lag. But cryotherapy was first developed in physical medicine for three main conditions; to help athletes recover and improve their performance, to prevent relapses for different illnesses and in the treatment of muscular and inflammatory pathologies. The anti-aging virtues of extreme cold have been known for a long time in Nordic and Eastern countries for rejuvenation and as an apparent fountain of youth.
Floyd Mayweather in a Cryotherapy Chamber (photo by SubZero Recovery)
It wasn’t until at the recommendation of several celebrities, I started a diet treatment in Los Angeles with well-known Lifestyle Medicine Specialist Dr. Joe Raphael. Dr. Joe started me on a simple routine of losing weight utilizing low calorie protein shakes while maintaining a restricted but sensible diet. I quickly discovered how celebrities like Christine Aguilera were able to lose weight so quickly and safely, and have been a devoted disciple of Dr. Raphael ever since.
While working out was part of the follow up to the diet, I found that my joints were not recovering well and I was often in pain going up and down stairs. Dr. Joe referred me to the Cryohealthcare Clinic in Beverly Hills to basically freeze my pain away. I had read for some time how popular the clinic was with numerous famous celebrities and major athletes including Floyd Mayweather and the professional dancers from the ABC-TV series “Dancing with the Stars.”
Emilia Kuehne and Dr. Jonas Kuehne at their Cryohealthcare Clinic
I decided to give it a try and scheduled a visit. When I arrived I was met with three supermodels, (well in my mind they appeared to be supermodels), in fact they were the owners; Medical Director and Co-Founder Jonas Kuehne, M.D, his wife Emilia Kuehne and brother Robin Kuehne, both Co-Founders and Managing Partners. Tan, fit, incredibly vital and energetic, this was the dream team that I wanted to treat my worn out and aching body.
Cryohealthcare is the only company in the U.S. to feature a single-person Cryosauna, a Walk-In Cryochamber, and local cryotherapy devices in their office. Cryohealthcare was among the first companies to bring Cryotherapy to the United States in 2009. Dr. Kuehne graduated from UCLA School of Medicine (’03) and was the first physician to introduce this alternative non-medical treatment in Northern America with the company’s headquarter in Los Angeles. Dr. Kuehne also developed and trademarked the CryofacialTM treatment and set standards in positive results and safety since their introduction.
Whole Body Cryotherapy can be used in one of two devices, the Single Person Cryosauna and the Multi-Person Cryochamber. Inspirational guru Tony Robbins is a devotee to Cryohealthcare and owns a Cryochamber for his daily home use. He uses a jacuzzi, then cold plunge followed by cryotherapy every day at home to keep his body in top shape. This is more than a fad and is becoming one of the most popular luxury acquisitions with celebrities and athletes who have purchased the units to have professionally installed in their homes.
With Cryptherapy the body is exposed to ultra-low temperatures (up to -240 F). After disrobing and putting on knee high socks, slippers, gloves, ear muffs and face mask (men only have to keep underwear on). I reluctantly entered a double cryogenic sauna/chamber for a planned short duration of 2 minutes in order to lower my skin surface temperature significantly while stimulating receptors. The chamber has an interior changing room which made the transition slightly more reasonable.
Shaquille O’Neal using Cryotherapy (photo by Shaquille O’Neal)
It was a bit claustrophic at first, but after watching twenty perfect people with six packs and rippling muscles eagerly do the treatment before me, I couldn’t back out. Oh, and a few of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” were staring at me the whole time daring me to bail.
The experience was exhilarating as the chambers voice counted down the minutes left. My body slowly freezing, my nostrils getting icy, my legs were the first to really feel the cold. The time went by quickly and I exited in dramatic fashion, a billowing white cloud of frozen air following me. It was now time to warm up as they continue to monitor your skin temperature.
Robin Kuehne, Floyd Mayweather and Dr. Jonas Kuehne (photo by Cryohealthcare)
When Robin Kuehne asked if I wanted to do it again in the single chamber, I jumped at the chance as I felt my body reacting to the experience with an amazing rush. Kind of like a heavy vitamin dose as the endorphins rushed through my body. Second time was a charm and as I exited I felt like a new man. It wasn’t until the next day that I truly felt my knee pain reside and over the week totally disappear. This was the real thing and I quickly understood why it was so popular with athletes.
Professional athletes have discovered WBC as the best treatment to decrease recovery time and increase athletic performance. Although Whole Body Cryotherapy originated in Japan, it was a group of Polish scientists who took the idea and made Whole Body Cryotherapy the physical therapy it is today. The Olympic rehabilitation center in Spala, Poland opened in May 2000 and has been used as a training and injury rehabilitation center for many athletes.
Carlos PenaVega (c) with Hayes Grier, Emma Slater at Cryohealthcare Clinic (photo by Carlos PenaVega)
Once I warmed up, I was transferred to a separate treatment room where I was given the Cryofacial™, developed by Dr Kuehne, which uses pressurized liquid nitrogen vapors applied to the face and neck to stimulate the production of collagen and decrease pore size. The skin becomes tighter, more even-toned, and blood circulation is improved. Over time, skin becomes more elastic due to the increase in collagen. Treatments are followed by the application of their exclusive firming lotion.
Cryohealthcare sells their exclusive units to an elite group of athletes and celebrities with their product including the Juka Cryosauna. The JUKA Cryosauna offers the coldest temperatures reached of any Cryosauna, with the most even cold distribution throughout the cabin.
Cryochamber for at home use (photo by Cryohealthcare)
The multi-person Cryochamber is the newest device that Cryohealthcare offers. It is the only Cryochamber available in the U.S. and reaches temperatures of up to -260°F, with a cool down of only 15min.
I left the clinic feeling relaxed and exhilarated and now understand why everyone from Justin Bieber to Demi Moore have frequented the location. Taking the deep freeze really works and is quite affordable making it a weekly part of your health regimen. Now if they only had a supermodel, six pack conversion chamber I would be all set.
Cryosauna for in home use (photo by Cryohealthcare)