The New “Ice Bath”
It is common to see the pictures of pro athletes submersed in an ice bath after a grueling game; so, is it so different to subject your body to cryotherapy … stepping into a freezing container at 160 degrees below zero for two to four minutes?
At the Meadows tournament in February, Steve Lunsford played an over-three-hour singles final and then changed clothes and played our doubles final … and then had to drive another three hours across the state of Florida to get to his home in Stuart. This is his report…
“If ever anyone was in need of recovery it was my 75+ year old body. And yes, I did begin to cramp up on the drive back to Stuart. I had to stop the car about halfway and walk around for a bit before continuing.
“On Saturday morning, I went to our local cryotherapy outlet, and did three minutes at negative 160 degrees. I felt immediately “refreshed” after the session, slept great Saturday night, did some light activity on Sunday, and by Monday was back on the court for a brisk hour long hit with one of my practice partners here. One other symptom that I had noticed Friday night was a tightness in my right shoulder, and by Sunday it was gone also.
University of Kansas
“A quick background note as to how I got started with this. I was vaguely aware of this therapy, but focused in on it while visiting with the University of Kansas tennis coach during a visit to our home there this past December. He had been looking for an alternative recovery method for ice baths for his athletes.
“Several university sports programs and professional teams have started using cryotherapy equipment for this purpose. He had tried it at the local place in Lawrence and asked me if I would give it a go and give him some feedback. He thought that it gave him some relief to an ailing knee, albeit temporarily. I agreed to do so and did my first session in mid-December.
“I knew I could not tolerate an ice bath, and having lived in Chicago (twice) and Connecticut, I also knew that I had had enough of being cold. That is why I live in South Florida, after all. But I agreed to give it a go, but asked the therapist to start me at the “warmest” temperature, which was negative 130 degrees. I was pleasantly surprised that it is a “dry cold”. I have felt much worse walking around the loop in Chicago in minus 60 degrees wind chill with all body surfaces wrapped in winter clothing.
“Before we left Lawrence in early January, I went again, and felt that it helped me feel better than normal while making the 1400 mile drive back to Stuart.
“I believe this has value for me, and the pricing in Lawrence and Stuart is very reasonable, and about half the price of an hour massage.”
For more on this subject, here is a link to an article in US NEWS.
For your information, there is a cryotherapy outlet here in Naples on Pine Ridge Road and I MAY be brave enough to test it out!
Anyone have personal experience with this treatment (or other similar ones)?
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