111Cryo with Harrods Wellness Clinic
Cryotherapy – what is it?
Cryotherapy (noun): the use of extreme cold in surgery or other medical treatment.
If you haven’t already heard, marathon runners and rugby players alike swear by standing in a glorified freezer as it hits lows of -91oC in attempt to help their muscles recover after the vigour of their sporting practice.
Now I don’t profess to be Sporty Spice (I was always more of a Ginger fan). I don’t run marathons (because I like having knees that work / I’m not a masochist). And the only cries of ‘nice try’ that I hear tend to come from whichever bartender I’m trying to hustle for a free shot of Cafe Patron. So when the lovely folk at 111Cryo invited me down to their Knightsbridge clinic to spend three minutes in their death cryotherapy chamber, I was uncertain how I would actually reap any benefits.
The benefits of cryotherapy
Having done a bit more reading I found that people were visiting cryo-chambers as a way of bolstering general wellbeing. The huge endorphin rush caused by standing in your smalls and tricking your body into thinking it’s dying allegedly helps with circulation, calorie burn, skin conditions and general pain management. All of this gave me an idea: I might not play rugby, but I do drink and date in London (which we all know is practically a group sport in itself). Could cryo cure hangovers and the crushing feeling of disappointment in the male species? Let’s see.
111Cryo is situated in the Wellness Clinic on the fourth floor of Harrods. I arrived and was shown through to their plush waiting room, complete with cucumber water and Enya ringing out over the Bose sound-system. After I’d filled in the obligatory ‘if we freeze you to death you can’t sue us’ paperwork I was greeted by a personal trainer who took me to the chamber room and handed me some ski gloves and rather attractive North Face slippers which I begrudgingly donned. Better to favour a fashion faux pas over frostbite, right?
What does cryotherapy feel like?
I was briefed on what to expect, stepped into the chamber and the three minute countdown began. As an overall experience it was pretty nuts. The shock of the cold quite literally knocked the wind out of me and I struggled to regulate my breathing for the first minute which made me a bit panicky. The irony of my choice of song for inside the chamber (‘Escape (The Piña Colada Song)’) was not lost on me and as I noticed icicles forming on my arm hairs and eyelashes I did wonder if I had even ‘half a brain’ for agreeing to give up my Saturday morning to subject myself to this. That being said, the three minutes flew by and once I’d ‘escaped’ I was hyperactive (must be those endorphins they mentioned).
The verdict?: I was glad I did it (in a sadistic way). I felt more awake than I had in a long time and the twinge in my back from sitting at a desk all week temporarily disappeared. Along with the after-effects of Friday night’s alcohol consumption. My sleep was better (not that it needs any help) and my skin had the sort of glow you get from…..*nevermind*. Would I go back? Most definitely. Three minutes of chilly discomfort and I’m a new woman. Although I can’t promise that there is a positive correlation between the number of cryotherapy sessions undertaken and number of messages received from London’s sea of fuckboys.
Maybe cryo can’t cure all of our modern day ailments after all.
https://www.111cryo.com/ – Wellness Clinic, Harrods