Freeze and Seize the Day

March 16, 2017

There are quite a few articles out there hinting that you probably shouldn’t follow in the (somewhat unstable) footsteps of Lindsay Lohan. This is not one of those articles.

Post-reckless starlet days and pre-hijab fashion designer period, actress Lindsay Lohan went through a phase of posting peculiar photos emerging from some sort of frozen chamber on Instagram, clad in only a swimsuit, mask, and gloves, and looking as if she just took a dip in a witch’s cauldron for amusement. Since I will always have an unbound loyalty to the twin daughters of Elizabeth James in the smashing hit and childhood classic, The Parent Trap (1998), I am pro-Lohan and curiously followed along with these Instagram posts. It turns out that what Lindsay was partaking in was Cryotherapy, the therapeutic exposure of the entire body to extremely low temperature for up to 3 minutes duration. After tossing it a quick google search and learning of all of its benefits, I wanted in. It seems as though every week there is a new spa therapy that is all the rage, and I’ve been more interested than ever in learning about the different treatments and how they affect the body.

You can imagine my excitement after discovering that Cryomed Boston, owned by Dr. Daniela Winston and her husband Alex, was just a hop, skip, and a jump away on Newbury Street. After setting up our appointments, my down-for-anything friend Kristen and I excitedly made our way to Cryomed. Greeted by Alex in the gorgeous white, clean and serene private practice, we dotted some i’s and crossed some t’s and then Alex gave us the introduction to Cryotherapy.

In Cryotherapy, body surface is cooled by vaporized liquid nitrogen that surrounds the body at temperature between -190 to- 256 F. During this process a systemic anti-inflammatory response is triggered that reduces inflammation, improves circulation, boosts body’s metabolic rate and invigorates the mind. Anyone with musculoskeletal injuries, autoimmune and inflammatory disorders such as osteoarthritis, skin disorders such as psoriasas and dermatits, skin aging, elasticity loss, cellulite, disrupted sleep or chronic fatigue would be the perfect people to try cryotherapy, but it’s also great for those simply seeking optimal athletic performance. I don’t have any of these symptoms, but hey, I mix in some barre and spin classes and Kristen is a yoga teacher, so we gave it a go!

Alex also explained to us that his wife Daniela made the switch in her career from helping sick people get healthy to helping healthy people stay healthy, and that idea of approaching beauty, skincare and wellness from the inside-out is the backbone of the practice. I love this perspective, so I was immediately sold. Bring on the cold. Alex led us to the cryotherapy room where we undressed into knee-high socks, clogs, gloves, and robes which came off upon entering the chamber, surrendering ourselves to the clouds of white vapor from the liquid nitrogen.  Immediately upon entering the cryosauna, it felt like I was standing naked in a walk-in refrigerator- not ideal, but not the worst. The temperature continued to lower, however, reaching -265 degrees F. My body was essentially going into survival mode, burning calories as it sent blood to the organs to keep them warm. Alex suggested rotating the body every so often as it started to get so freezing it nearly stung, so around I went, as if I were on a merry-go-round naked in the middle of the North Pole. It was, without a doubt, the coldest three minutes of my existence.

When the session was up, I stumbled out with wobbly, bright red legs and danced around to regain feeling. Kristen was already feeling great as we took turns and she went first. The coldness felt like I had just fallen into an icy pond in the dead of winter. I sort of had pins and needles, and my fingertips took the longest to go back to normal. Feeling like we were two cast members of The Real Housewives of Back Bay after trying these fancy new treatments, we got dressed and took ourselves to lunch, and that’s when the endorphins hit. We were giggly and felt on top of the world- and no, it wasn’t even a boozy lunch! I can see how people swear by cryotherapy- while we don’t have chronic pain or any of the typical symptoms that it is meant to help with, we can confirm we felt amazing. We both decided we would be open to trying again after a particularly exercise-heavy week. A huge thank you to Daniela and Alex for welcoming us into their practice and educating us on Cryotherapy. If you are in the area, absolutely give it a try! It works for Lindsay Lohan, after all.

More about Charlotte O'Neill

Just another PR girl with an itch to leave one big city for the next. Currently living in Boston's North End. Poster girl for the phrase “champagne taste on a beer budget”. Creature of habit. Lover of fashion and have an irrational addiction to French skincare. When I’m not writing I’m waiting tables and spending tips on traveling and concerts. My claim to fame is that I once took a selfie with Mario Testino, and Posh Spice is my spirit animal.