Frequently Asked Questions
Who developed Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy was originally developed in Japan for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. It has been researched and refined in Europe over the past two decades. As recently as 2011, Sports, Health and Spa professionals in U.S. discovered the benefits of whole body cryotherapy. Cryotherapy is making its way to Canada as people are beginning to find out about its amazing benefits. We are excited to introduce you to Cryo and help you reach your goals!
How does Cryotherapy differ from an ice bath?
An ice bath is typically a 15-20 minute soak in ice water that causes the blood from your extremities to move to your core and lower the body’s temperature. Cryotherapy is typically a 3 minute dry cold session where the top skin layers and cold receptors respond to the cold by lowering the skin surface temperature. This triggers the body's blood to move from your extremities to the core. When the session is complete your body is triggered to release anti-inflammatory molecules, endorphins, and nutrient rich oxygenated blood.
What can I expect when I arrive at Vancity Cryo Bar?
After you check-in at the front desk, one of our team members will walk you to the Cryosauna area where you can get changed (more on that below). You will stand inside of the Cryosauna and one of our trained technicians will get you ready for the session. The special open-air shape of the sauna ensures that your head remains outside of the sauna during the treatment. Our team member will cool the Cryosauna to between -120°C to -145°C for the two to three minutes of treatment. The brain reacts to the skin sensors by stimulating the regulatory functions of the body and to help you feel better!
How cold is -120°C to -145°C?
It sounds cold, doesn't it? However, cryotherapy involves hyper-cooled air flowing over the skin surface so the process never freezes skin tissues, muscles or organs. The result is only a "feeling" of being cold.
What is used to cool the air?
We use liquid nitrogen to cool the air in the Cryosauna.
Is liquid nitrogen safe?
Absolutely. Nitrogen is a common element in the earth’s crust, and makes up roughly 79% of the of the earth’s atmosphere - including the air we breath every day.
Can I do Cryotherapy if I've had surgery?
Cryotherapy can be used as a great rehabilitative tool, however we recommend consulting with your doctor before embarking on a regime.
Can I work out before/after Cryo?
The whole body cryosauna is known to reduce inflammation, so it can be used as a great recovery tool. A lot of clients come in before and after workouts for muscle recovery!
How many sessions are needed to achieve optimal results?
It depends. Depending upon the condition being treated, it should initially take seven to ten treatments in close succession (every other day). After this initial period, maintenance treatments should be once to twice per week. If you're training for an upcoming race or embarking on a new workout regime, for instance, we recommend coming in more frequently and then easing off (if you're not addicted!) once the training slows down. Many clients with joint pain and inflammation use Cryo as an alternative to taking pain medication, so they see great benefits with consistent regular treatments. We encourage you to come in, speak to one of our team members, and get started on a path to feeling better!
How long is each session?
Depending on your experience and activity level, the session will last between 2 to 3 minutes. Most clients prefer to start out at 2 minutes for their first few sessions until they get used to the therapy.
I'm claustrophobic - can I do Cryo?
Yes! Your head remains fully outside of the sauna. The sauna door is magnetic and you can exit the session at any time.
How should I prepare for my session?
Make sure you that you eat beforehand and drink plenty of water. Cryotherapy pushes the body into survival mode, and it’s important that you are nourished and hydrated to experience the full benefits.
Do I need to shower before Cryo?
No. Cryotherapy is a clean, dry process.
What do I wear?
In a nutshell, basically nothing. You will remove all clothing and jewelry (we have plenty of lockers for you to keep your belongings safe). When you're in the Cryosauna, you will be wearing only gloves, socks, and booties (all provided by us). Men are required to leave their undergarments on.
What should I bring?
Nothing- we provide you with everything you need (except for men's undergarments :)). You will be provided with clean, dry cotton socks and a pair of gloves and booties for use in the Cryosauna. You will also be provided with a robe to wear to and from the changing room and Cryosauna.
Are there any contraindications to cryotherapy?
You should not use whole body cryotherapy if you have any of the following conditions: You are pregnant, have a pacemaker, symptomatic cardiovascular disease, arrhythmia, acute or recent myocardial infarction, unstable angina pectoris, severe hypertension (>180/100), peripheral arterial occlusive disease, venous thrombosis, acute or recent cerebrovascular accident, uncontrolled seizures, Raynaud’s Syndrome, fever, tumor disease, symptomatic lung disorders, bleeding disorders, severe anemia, infection, severe claustrophobia, cold allergy, or acute kidney and urinary tract diseases. If you have, or develop any of these conditions, please let your Vancity Cryo Bar team member know.
I've heard a lot about localized Cryotherapy - do you provide this as well?
Localized cryotherapy - using different equipment than Whole Body Cryotherapy - is excellent for spot treatment to provide relief to a particular body part. It is also great for Cryo Facials - a non-invasive process whereby the face is treated to nutrient-rich cool air to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. This therapy is very popular in other big cities like NYC, LA, London, and Hong Kong. We are working on bringing this to you! More details will be coming soon!
How do I make an appointment?
You can use the "Book Now" link in our website. It will direct you to our MINDBODY page which will give you a full range of options for booking a session at a time that works for you. Can't find a time that works best? Simply send us an email at email@example.com to reserve your spot!
Can I purchase a package or membership?
Yes! We'll be offering 5-pack, 10-pack and monthly memberships so you can find out what option works the best for your needs! Packages expire one year from the time of purchase, and monthly memberships are good for a month from the date of your first visit.