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Cold therapeutic treatments like the old school ice baths of your high school athletic gym days have undergone a much-needed time efficient reboot with cytotherapeutic chambers.

What used to take an agonizing and damp 20 minutes can now be accomplished in just a few and can also achieve different, and greater results for many. And despite the medieval sounding name, this trendy technique is quite simplistic.

People strip down to minimal clothing (generally briefs and/or bra) before being enclosed in the chamber, chilled from nitrogen, from the neck down, where they are then blasted with temperatures that can reach around -240 F and while they will obviously feel cold, it is a painless process that treats the entire body. Generally, a few treatments are recommended and localized, targeted treatments can be used outside of the chamber to focus on nagging areas.

Athletes and celebrities alike have touted the benefits of these cryo chambers (cue Hugh Jackman’s Instagram cryo session !) and once they did, stand alone, boutique cryotherapy centers started to pop up around the country and often at prices and in locations that can be inaccessible for most.  Up until recently, there were very few available in the DC-area, but all that has changed with the Bikram Yoga Works Studio Network which now offers cryotherapy, making it a truly seamless one stop shop for all your exercise and recovery needs!

It might seem counter intuitive for a hot studio to offer a cold recovery method, however, contrast temperature therapy has been around for centuries, making a hot yoga studio an ideal place for this treatment. It also provides the convenience of putting both your work (exercise) and play (recovery) under the same membership roof.

‘I like the convenience of doing it…that for me is important, I don’t have to travel somewhere else,’ explained studio member, Calvin Stover, who has undergone several cryo treatments which all started with unexplained pain that was hampering his active lifestyle.

‘I started to have some pain in my right thigh and wasn’t quite sure what it was about and the doctor just said oh you have some inflammation. At night I would roll over on to that side and [the pain] would wake me up…I heard cryo was good for recovery and I felt I should try it to round out my tennis, hot yoga, and pilates routine and it has helped tremendously,’ Stover emphatically stated. Stover, who joined the studio a year ago, picked up a brochure at one of the network’s studios and thought he might as well give it a shot.

‘Kendra [BYW Owner] said it takes about 3 treatments and I felt [improvement] after the second treatment and I don’t have the right thigh pain any longer,’ he said, sounding still stunned at the results.

While much attention has rightfully been given to the treatment, the Studio also deserves credo for streamlining the high standards already applied to its portfolio of member offerings to extend to the cryotherapy and each person’s treatments are modified between a combination of WBC (whole body cryotherapy) and targeted treatments to cater to their needs. Stover echoed similar sentiments WBC followed with localized.  What I like about Kendra, she does listen. She was good about targeting the areas I needed – I wouldn’t have known, I would have said ‘’ok, great done with the chamber’’, but she was really good about targeting what I needed and following up with the thigh.’

And note that this type of treatment isn’t just limited to being provided by the Studio owner. ‘I feel great in the studio, there’s always great customer service…I mean, putting me in a cylinder and telling me it’s going to be really cold, makes me paranoid…just make sure this thing is operating properly and get me out,’ joked Stover. He noted that he definitely feels a sense of trust putting his active recovery in the hands of other studio employees.

To schedule your session or find out more, head to the BYW website:

RIVERDALE PARK Full Chamber and Localized, Ivy City, Baltimore and Boston Localized Coming soon!


Scarlett Salem | BYW Work Study | Contributing Writer | Blogger 

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