Shiverin' Chicacagons! The latest wellness trend has locals embracing the deep freeze.
This is so cool: At the CryoBar in Lincoln Park, clients step inside a full-body sauna booth cooled to -265°F hoping to score benefits like muscle and joint repair, reduced inflammation, and increased energy.
It isn’t too soon to talk about chilly temperatures. In fact, some Chicago residents are facing subzero conditions all year round, if only for a few minutes a day. Cryotherapy, the city’s newest health craze, promises a host of benefits—think muscle and joint repair, reduced inflammation, and increased energy—for those willing to enter a -265°F full-body sauna filled with a vapor form of liquid nitrogen.
Chicago CryoSpa owner Jim Karas, whose personal training business celebrates 30 years this fall and who recently opened a second cryotherapy spa in Lake Forest, spent eight months trying to heal an Achilles tendon injury before giving cryotherapy a shot. “I did five days of the full-body cryo-sauna and five days of the elephant [a wand that releases vapor onto specific body parts], and that Friday I could run across the street,” he says.
Sara Latham, co-owner of Lincoln Park’s CryoBar, began doing cryotherapy to cope with osteoarthritis and has since stopped taking pain medications. Devotees cite beauty benefits, too: Both spas offer a cryofacial that is said to boost collagen production and diminish the appearance of pores and fine lines. While trendy, Latham believes cryotherapy is here to stay. “It’s not going to be a fad because so many people are seeing a difference,” she says. “The science behind it is there.”