Are you brave enough to try whole body cryotherapy?
Here’s what happened when What’s On willingly stepped into a -110°C ice cold chamber at new wellness studio Resync on a quest for greater well-being…
It’s amazing how far people will go to for a well-being quick-fix. From fad diets to placenta face masks, people are willing to do crazy things when it comes to looking and feeling good.
Case in point, whole body cryotherapy – a hyper-cooling treatment that involves up to three minutes sealed in a freezing cold chamber that pumps ice cold -110°C oxygenated air all around your body. Sound fun?
The treatment tricks the brain into entering ‘fight or flight’ mode to draw all the blood out of the extremities to your core. When you step out of the chamber, the blood rushes back to your brain and extremities, releasing endorphins and creating a state of euphoria, among other benefits such as boosting metabolism, evening skin tone, and alleviating anxiety, and fatigue.
Resync’s studio – just next to the too-chic-to-sweat Barry’s Bootcamp – is washed in grey, with that futuristic-minimalist vibe so in vogue. Besides the cryotherapy treatments, Resync offers a few more otherworldly wellness treatments including red light therapy (a sunbed-shaped chamber that uses red light to heal injuries, reduce muscle pain and increase blood circulation), cryo t-shock (a cold therapy facial that smooths facial lines) and endospheres therapy (a compressive micro-vibration method that tackles cellulite). It’s all very Death Becomes Her – but enticing nonetheless and we’ll be back to try them all out.
Friendly staff wearing earthy jumpers and tracksuit bottoms were waiting for us, ethereal in demeanor yet excited for our foray into subzero temperatures.
After being shown our robe, socks, gloves, mask and North Face slippers, we were instructed to don swimwear, and remove any jewellery, lest we freeze it to our skin.
It was then that we were led into the chamber, along a neon lit hallway, complete with long mirror and amiable lighting – ‘hello, Instagram snap’.
Resync has a state-of-the-art sub-zero chamber with two parts – the first, a slightly-warmer-but-still-icy-cold section, which you stay in for 30 seconds, before opening the next hatch and moving into -110°C. There’s a large window big enough to see the timer on the wall, and the cryotherapist waving. You can also sync up your own playlist to listen to while you’re inside the chamber, which can fit up to four people at a time, in case you fancied freezing with mates. Post session, there’s a line of assault bikes in case you need help warming up.
Ready to go, we de-robed and stepped into the first chamber.
The first 30 seconds are OK, as your brain hasn’t quite registered what’s happening. Then you move into the next chamber and the cold hits hard. The first place we felt it was our thighs and elbows, and after that it was more of a dull numbness with the occasional breeze of cold wafting across the surface of our skin.
Deep, slow breaths help made the time pass, and staying calm is key. Call us a glutton for punishment, but we found the whole experience exhilarating.
As soon as we hit the two-minute mark, the therapist ushered us out and gave us back the robe, which we quickly wrapped around our shoulders. Our fingers, toes, and legs tingled as all the blood rushed back to where it was supposed to be.
We felt lightheaded with a dopey smile plastered across our face. Instant youth? Or perhaps happiness is an instinctive reaction to survival. We’ll tell you this, our headspace felt sharp and focused. We even begged for another go. If that’s not high praise, we don’t know what is.
Ground Floor, Central Park Towers, DIFC, Dhs350 a session. Tel: (0)43799244. resync.ae