So I must admit I was intrigued when I was offered the chance to try out a non-invasive solution to fat loss. Cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen vapour to shock the nervous system and propel the body into recovery mode, in turn increasing metabolic rate. In laymen’s terms, this means your body increases blood flow to warm itself up, sending four times more oxygen to the targeted area, burning fat, rejuvenating skin and reducing inches. In fact, just one 30-minute session can burn between 500-800 calories.
While Cryotherapy has become popular for inch loss and reducing facial lines, it isn’t just used for cosmetic purposes. It’s also favoured by athletes, as the treatment can stimulate the healing process around injuries. The Arsenal football team and Mo Farah have reportedly tried whole-body cryotherapy at a clinic in north London. The long list of reported health benefits doesn’t stop there. Cryotherapy is also used for treating chronic pain conditions including fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, skin conditions such as acne scarring and cellulite reduction. And the cherry on top? The treatment releases endorphins so can ostensibly help with depression and anxiety.
Initially I was quite nervous, the idea of blasting my bare skin with sub-freezing liquid nitrogen sounded daunting. So I did what anyone with irrational fear does…I Googled. My mind raced as I scrolled the usual suspects with their capitalised horror story headlines. I emailed the salon to express my concerns and received a reassuring response from Cryotherapy UK co-owner, Sara Turner. Like many prospective Cryotherapy clients, I’d seen search results for a different fat freezing procedure. Sara explained:
“People confuse Cryotherapy with fat freezing, and it’s nothing like that. It’s natural and non-invasive, not painful at all and also really relaxing. We’ve had a couple of clients who have cancelled gym memberships and had cryo instead because you’re burning calories, skin tightening and relaxing.”
My fears put to rest From the moment I entered the treatment room, Cryotherapy UK staff member Anne- Marie was friendly and reassuring. She explained the treatment to me in terms I could understand (deciphering scientific jargon has never been my forte), and assured me there would be no side effects. As I relaxed on the treatment bed, Anne-Marie gently massaged the areas of my stomach she was targeting with the machine, which looks like a hybrid between a Star Wars droid and vacuum cleaner.
The vapour itself was undeniably cold, but felt no harsher than a chill breeze and was at no point uncomfortable. Half an hour went surprisingly fast, and towards the end everything had begun to feel a lot tighter. Before the treatment Anne-Marie had taken my measurements, and following the half hour session measured again to find I’d lost an inch from around my waist and hips. I could certainly see more definition when comparing the before and after shots. The whole experience was painless, visibly effective and more relaxing than slogging away on a treadmill for an hour. Cryotherapy does seem an attractive way to shift stubborn spots and would be worth trying for anyone suffering with an injury or chronic pain. As with any cosmetic procedure, it’s simply a matter of giving it a go and seeing how well it works for you.
Cryotherapy is available at two locations in Leeds, Central Road in the City Centre and Street Lane in Roundhay, with treatments starting at £30. Visit their website for more information.