Training is all about recovery. We put our bodies through a great amount of stress whilst building muscle strength; therefor, to keep our bodies strong, we need to let our bodies recover. There are many activities that accelerate this process, and as a newbie marathon runner, I only knew of the old school favourites.
After my first marathon, I had booked in at a local physiotherapy clinic to get a full body sports massage. It was the ‘in thing’ to do after a marathon… Apparently! So I followed suit with many other long distance runners, to soothe my sore muscles at the hand of a therapist.
Only a week later, to first hear of Cryotherapy.
Cryotherapy is the local use of low temperatures in medical sessions. The term ‘Cryo‘ originates from Greece, meaning ‘cold’, and using it as a therapy to cure many ailments. First hearing that it is known as the ‘Ice knife’, I was apprehensive. It did sound a little scary, but after a little research, I realised that this was a completely safe and controlled therepy session. I was intrigued to find out more…
Receiving the invite from Paula and her team at The Ainscow Hotel & Spa Manchester (click on the link to see how beautiful this hotel is) I was extremely excited, and nervous, to see Cryotherapy in person. I had never heard of the sort, so looking it up further on the Internet, I had found that the USA had already gone wild on this craze. Not only were it used for extreme medical issues, the public were using it for cosmetic treatments such as face and bum lifts. It would tighten the skin and take away inches if you used this therepy often enough.
However tempting this sounded, this was not the reason why I was going to test Cryotherapy. I read on to find out how athletes could also benefit from this therapy.
As the therapist focuses on any issues the client has, the aim is to decrease inflammation and pain which is caused by extreme exercise. As it sounded, this would be a great alternative to a sports massage. It would increase cellular survival and promote the constriction of blood vessels (a similar effect an ice bath would do to the body and it’s muscles).
This type of therepy seemed apparent to do the world of good for any sort of ailment it seemed… Cryotherapy can be used for severe skin disorders and even as serious as cancer treatment.
Next step. To try this Cryotherapy out.
Arriving at The Ainscow Hotel, in Salford Manchester, I came with an open mind. Their Spa was located within the building, but had recently introduced Cryotherepy to the salon and its therapists. Bringing along my best friend to the launch, we noticed how beautifully furbished this hotel was. Newly done out, you could see a lot of time and money went into this place. I had never noticed this place before, even though I had drove past it, like, a MILLION times over. Taking in the sights, we picked up a welcoming glass of prosecco and made it our mission to discover this miraculous new therepy.
We were greeted with warmth from all the staff. They were extremely excited to tell us more of Cryotherapy and we were just as eager to listen. Before I knew it, I was laying down on the therepists bed. Eeeeekkk!!
She first asked me what I would be using the session for, and as I was still in the midst of tapering, I decided to trial it on some aches and pains I had from an abs workout that I endured in the previous day. Since running had been off the menu after the big old marathon, I had focused on muscle strength and had been enjoying a few HIIT workouts. I do say enjoy very lightly, may I add.
So on the bed I lay, pulling my shirt up to show them the areas of which I had pain in. They had started up the machine and suddenly, I was in a cloud of smoke. Icy cold, smoke.
Not going to lie, I had also hoped that after reading the many reviews of this treatment I would shave off a few inches, and I was eager to see the results. Although I knew this would be a BIG ask with the short amount of time I would be here for.
The sensation was a strange one, very cold, but of course it was cold. Being known as the ‘Ice Knife’ it was bound to be, but it was also very comforting… And trust me, I am SUCH a baby when it comes to the cold! My muscles started to tighten and my skin had become numb, which was completely normal according to my therapist who chatted to me throughout. The short 15 minutes ended, very quickly it had seemed, being just a taster of what would have been a 45 minute session in the salon.
I was tight and numb, but I could feel the relief in my muscles. I did feel better. But with inch loss, I believed I would have to continue with the sessions to see a difference. 15 minutes is not enough time to see any strong benefits!
As a women who enjoyed sport, I frequently had to deal with tight, sore muscles. I spoke to the manager of a Leeds salon and she was keen to show me the price list. I was not shocked by the pricing of sports Cryo, as it was similar pricing to any other sports massage I have had previously. I needed to try this form of therapy again, properly.
So this year, In the aftermath of my second marathon this coming September, I told her I would be trialling Cryotherapy again, instead of the usual runners cure.
The evening finished off with more prosecco and nibbles for the guests, crowded around a table with the ladies of Cryotherapy. They told us many inspiring stories of how this therapy had improved the live’s of many patients they had treated throughout their careers.
I was truly taken, I never would of tried Cryotherapy out if it hadn’t of been for that invitation.
So keep your eyes peeled, as I will be trying out Cryotherapy again, after an intense 26 mile run around Berlin!
Want to find out more about Cryotherapy? Details below!
Want to book a session? Visit their website at Cryotherapy
Twitter – @CryotherapyUk
Instagram – @Cryo_UK