Deep Freeze: Experts say “cryotherapy” is changing lives

Local Health Alert

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – You may have seen an ad for it pop up in your social media feed, or you’ve seen NBA and or NFL stars use it.

Maybe you’ve heard about former Patriot Antonio Brown’s frost-bitten feet fiasco. 

There’s no denying that cryotherapy is an icy-hot topic, and now it’s made its way here to the Mid-South. 

“We’ve definitely seen Grizzlies players, we’ve seen Memphis Tigers players, 901 FC,” said Alejandro Velasquez.

He provides cryotherapy treatments to athletes every day at his facility in East Memphis.

Using liquid nitrogen, the alternative treatment places the body in temps between negative 202 to 256 degrees Fahrenheit for three minutes. While that may sound a little unnerving, Velasquez said the freezing therapy is a hot treatment for athletes looking for a speedy recovery after injury.

“These athletes are training three times, twice a day, and they need that extra push to keep going the next day,” said Velasquez. 

What keeps athletes going after these sessions is the energy boost and pain relief. Velasquez said the extreme cold sends an increase in blood flow to the core, which creates that energized, rejuvenated feeling, and also reduces inflammation.

Local 24 News Anchor Kelsie Cairns tried a whole-body cryotherapy session to experience it first-hand.

After her three minutes in the chamber she said, “To say I had a burst of energy, is an understatement. It was cold! The sudden feeling of warmth as soon as the timer was up — and time to step out of the chamber was exhilarating.”

Experts say that feeling of warmth is caused by the increased circulation, which reduces inflammation or pain caused by contact-sport related injuries. 

Now that we understand why athletes use this trendy therapy, we asked, can the average person reap those same benefits?

We dig in and investigate with a local doctor who specializes in electrophysiology to find out if it’s really worth your money.

Tune into Local 24 News at 10PM Monday after The Good Doctor to find out.   

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