Stone Cold: Cryotherapy Aims to Put Pain on Ice

written by: Tony Gill

Most sane people would be hesitant about exposing themselves in nothing but skivvies to temperatures reaching 280 degrees below zero. But fortune favors the bold, I’m told, and a litany of wellness treatments these days involve all manner of controlled torture from innumerable needle pricks to sensory deprivation to sweltering yoga sessions. Stone Cold Cryotherapy brings a new degree of short-term suffering to your long-term wellness, and folks in Park City are lining up to give it a try.

Whole body cryotherapy (WBC) has some similarities to your run-of-the-mill ice pack you used after falling off your bike as a child—vasoconstriction from cold temperatures decreases blood flow and thus inflammation, yadda, yadda—but with more of a flash freeze method. Enduring  between two and three freezing minutes lowers skin temperature from around 90 degrees Fahrenheit to below 32 degrees without penetrating deeper tissues, resulting in an endorphin rush and severe vasoconstriction followed by vasodilation, which reduces chronic pain and inflammation while aiding in athletic recovery.

WBC sounds brutal, but this particular polar plunge isn’t terribly uncomfortable. Whether you’re sore from a few hard days of skiing or you’re looking for alternative relief from chronic back pain, putting yourself in the freezer might just be the ticket.

How did WBC Hit the Mainstream?

Like any practice rooted in pseudoscience, WBC has grown in popularity after the public saw athletes, who are impossibly talented and good looking, continue to be impossibly talented and good looking after freezing themselves for short periods of time.

Professional sports teams, like the New York Knicks, swear by WBC to boost their athletes’ abilities as part of a futile effort to be as good as the Cleveland Cavaliers, fronted by WBC pioneer LeBron James. Maybe you’ll have better luck.

Single sessions at Stone Cold Cryotherapy are $50, and monthly memberships and Free Card punch passes are also available.

1748 W. Redstone Center Dr., Park City, 435-757-3030,

See more inside our 2018 Mar/Apr Issue.

Tony Gill
Tony Gill
Tony Gill is the outdoor and Park City editor for Salt Lake Magazine and previously toiled as editor-in-chief of Telemark Skier Magazine. Most of his time ignoring emails is spent aboard an under-geared single-speed on the trails above his home.

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