Not for the faint-hearted, cryotherapy is a treatment that exposes the body to extremely cold temperatures – we’re not talking a little bit chilly but up to -150.C for approximately three minutes at a time. That’s pretty damn cold. But this biohacking method is hot in the UK, thanks to its many sought-after benefits.
The freezing temperatures are said to help reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, improve skin condition and aid weight loss. It’s also a great mood booster. The rush of adrenaline (from freezing your bits off) releases endorphins leaving you feeling energised, super-pumped and, most importantly, alive. One study found cryotherapy can even help with depression and anxiety.
Celebs love it too… Jennifer Aniston is reported to use cryotherapy to maintain her youthful looks and Gemma Collins was recently papped at London’s Ice Health Cryotherapy Spa having Full Body Cryotherapy. Pro athletes have been using cryotherapy to tackle DOMS (delated onset muscle soreness), increase recovery times and improve sports performance, too, while Ronaldo is said to have his very own cryotherapy machine at home.
The Spa Spies round up their favourite spas offering sub-zero chambers and revolutionary cryo spa treatments. Are you brave enough to try the ultimate chill?
Five Bubbly Luxury-rated Three Graces Spa at Grantly Hall is elegant and luxurious with a range of unusual treatments. This extends to the Elite Gym, which offers an altitude training facility, underwater treadmill and a 3D body scanner.
There’s also an immersive full body cold air cryotherapy chamber (£90 per session; £135 per couple) with a bone chilling temperature of -85.C. Most people can only endure three minutes in the icy-cold conditions – but this is all you need to burn up to 80 calories (apparently), and not just while you’re in the chamber… for hours after.
We think this gives you even more of an excuse to book a table at the Pan Asian-inspired Eighty Eight restaurant (don’t miss the Pot Sticker dumplings – you’re welcome).
Part of the recent launch of SPA/CLINIC by 111SKIN, the exclusive Bvlgari Spa London has four new cryotherapy treatments on the menu. The Signature Cryotherapy Sports Massage (£200 for 60 mins or £270 for 90 mins) targets specific areas to alleviate pain, inflammation and speed up recovery from injuries. The cryogenically cooled air, chilled to -30°C, penetrates deep into the layers of tissue to improve circulation and blood flow.
The Cryotherapy Energy Facial (90 mins; £350) and Gentlemen’s Signature Energy Facial (90 mins; £350) work in the same way to tighten and improve overall texture and reduce puffiness. While the Cryo Energy Cellulite Treatment (60 mins; £200, 90 mins; £270) stimulates the lymphatic system to improve the appearance of cellulite, while soothing tired legs and aching muscles. You’ll need to book an 8-10-week course to realise the full benefits.
The Beauty House by Champneys is tucked away on the high street in St Albans and is home to a new Cryotherapy Chamber. Treatments last 15 minutes, including a consultation with a therapist and three minutes inside the chamber. First timers can take advantage of an introductory price (£35 for one session) or take a friend along so you can ‘chill’ out together (£45 for two).
Why go? Full body cryotherapy and Signature Cryotherapy Rejuvenation Face Treatment
Head to Harrods for your cryotherapy fix. Founded by Dr Yannis Alexandrides, 111Cryo distributes freezing air evenly over the body to help decrease inflammation, improve circulation and create a feeling of euphoria. A full Body Cryo introduction costs £200 for three sessions for new customer only; single sessions cost £95 per person or £150 for two.
If you need a post-lockdown complexion boost, book the Signature Cryotherapy Rejuvenation Face Treatment (£250 for a single session; £1200 for six). This state-of-the-art treatment combines -30°C cooled air and pure CO2 to help enhance oxygen levels, aid the improvement microcirculation and provide optimal conditions for collagen and elastin stimulation – leaving you with a youthful glow.
Why go? Brand new cryotherapy chamber – opening Autumn 2021
One of the world’s most anticipated hotel openings, Gleneagles Townhouse arrives in Edinburgh this autumn. Along with 33 bedrooms, an all-day restaurant and bar, and roof terrace, there’s a big focus on wellness. Guests can expect virtual and on-site training, treatment rooms and a cryotherapy chamber. Keep your eye on the website for more details.