I’ve been hearing more and more about this cryogenic therapy method of recovery that athletes seem to be gravitating towards. From Mark Cuban putting a chamber in the Mavericks’ locker room in 2011 to Joe Rogan raving about it on his podcast, it seems to be the talk of a lot of athletes looking to recover quickly and efficiently… so, what the hell is it?
I went down to BUFFALOCRYO to see what all the raving was about and mostly to answer some questions I had of my own. When you read about it, the science seems freaky and futuristic, when you go down and check it out, it’s completely easy going.
Pat Connors greeted me with a smile as I went into the very modern-looking shop on the first floor of the Fairmont Creamery building. He and his partner Dr. Jacob Fey have been there for about 2 years and have done over 30,000 treatments. He had me fill out a basic medical chart including body points of pain or soreness, of which I had in my legs and lower back. Then we got into the details.
He was more than happy to answer all of my questions most of which revolved around safety. The process as broken down in laymen’s terms is as follows, nitrogen chilled air is blown onto your body to cool down your skin temperature. That sends a fight or flight message to your brain which instructs your blood to retreat to your core as your body goes into survival mode and fills the blood with oxygen. Then when you get out of the tank, your rejuvenated blood returns with fresh oxygen to the rest of your body speeding up the healing process of any aching muscles or injuries. With over 30,000 treatments done on individuals from ages 13 to 85, and not a single safety issue Pat stood by, confidently reassuring me.
Even though I was armed with some new information, I wasn’t completely sold yet. How cold is this going to be? Is there a panic button? Am I going to lose some of my favorite body parts in this futuristic human freezer?? Well, in the few minutes that I was contemplating all of these things a young woman came in, hopped in the machine, did 3 minutes, hopped out and smiled on her way out the door…
Pat looks at me with a grin, “Your turn.”
So I go into the locker room, strip to my underwear, put on the socks that they provide, and a robe, and head to the tank. To my surprise, I’m not closed off. In fact, Pat is there chatting to me as he raises the elevator so that my head is clear of the tank. They play “Cage the Elephant” on the stereo upon my request.
Then, the gas starts to fill the tank, and it does get cold. My mind wants to focus on the cold but Pat is throwing questions at me left and right, and before I know it, he tells me to “face the front” for the final 30 seconds. This part is the toughest, which had previously been explained to me, but still, it was not unmanageable, in fact a few deep breaths, and some chills, and boom, it was over. I then stepping casually out of the tank, changed, and did a couple minutes on the training bike to get my blood moving again, and that was it. It was easy.
Pat said that I’d start to feel some effects in about an hour’s time, and sure enough as I went to meet some friends for dinner I felt energized, and loose. Over the next day or two my posture felt better and the soreness in my legs had gone down. I was amazed in fact, mostly at the almost immediate post treatment response.
BUFFALOCRYO currently has one full body tank and is (this week) expecting a “local Cryo” tank that will be able to focus on particular body parts. The treatment is not only for athletes or muscular problems, it also can improve conditions of those suffering from migraines, sleep deprivation, depression, G.I. problems, and even M.S.
On my way out I casually slipped in the question we all really want to know “does it cure hangovers?”
Pat just smiled “Saturday morning is our busiest time of day.”
So, don’t fear the cold, we are Buffalonians after all.
Oh yeah, don’t forget the complementary kombucha that they have on tap for you on the way out!
Contact buffalocryo.com for more information, or to set up an appointment.