I stood in -100°C temperatures and this is what happened

Shannon Aldwell

I’m the type of person who constantly has a sore neck/back/shoulder/entire body, so I am always keen to find something that can offer a little bit of relief.

Cryotherapy and float tanks are the latest recovery techniques sweeping our instagrams with celebs and athletes all raving about the results.

So when KOA Recovery Sydney offered me a chance to try it out, I jumped at the opportunity.

Lindsay Lohan is a known fan of Cryotherapy. Source: Instagram/LindsayLohan
Australian swimmer, James Magnussen, is a big fan of both cryotherapy and float therapy at KOA Recovery. Source: Instagram/KOARecovery

To be honest, I was little skeptical at first.

Cryotherapy and float therapy both sound like 'new-age fads' that look good on the ‘gram, cost you an arm and a leg - but don’t actually do anything that impressive.

Was I going to end up like Homer? Source: The Simpsons

But let this skeptic be the first to tell you, that these ‘new-age fads’ might actually be worth it.

First up, I jumped into the cryo tank, which is unlike anything else you’ll ever experience (unless you find yourself running through the Arctic in nothing but your underwear).

* https://au.be.yahoo.com/lifestyle/health-and-wellbeing/a/37677056/drink-this-juice-for-84-minutes-extra-sleep/
* https://au.be.yahoo.com/lifestyle/health-and-wellbeing/a/37728109/fitness-trainers-tips-for-working-out-with-big-or-small-boobs/

Over the three minutes, the temperature will drop to around -110°C.

The temp in the cabin got down to -122°C. Source: Supplied
Don't let my smiling fool you, I was freezing. Source: Supplied

As the temperature begins to drop, you will notice all the blood rushing away from your arms and legs to your core to protect your organs. So most of the pain you feel from the cold will be on your thighs and arms.

I don’t know how to describe the feeling of stepping back into the fresh air, other than saying it’s like being pricked with a thousand tiny needles, after having five shots of coffee and three shots of tequila.

But apparently that's totally normal, with Shaun Button, the director of KOA Recovery, explaining the sensation is actually “all [the] new blood rushing back into your body, [giving you] oxygen, nutrients and endorphins”

Feeling refreshed and invigorated as I step out into the warmer air. Source: Supplied

I can’t say it’s a pleasant experience, however three minutes in the cryo tank is said to burn up to 800 calories, so the pain seems like a small price to pay if I can avoid 30 minutes on the stair climber.

After a few minutes the prickling sensation subsides, and you're left feeling wide awake and ready for activities.

I was, however, about to do the exact opposite and float in a pitch black sensory deprivation pod for 60 minutes.

This was, however, what I was looking forward to the most.

The tank is filled with 500 kilograms of Epsom Salt which can help regulate blood pressure, relieve muscle soreness and is great for your skin too!

The Dead Sea has approx 31% salt content and this pod has approx 41%, making it denser than the Dead Sea. Source: Supplied

When you’re in the tank, you have complete control over whether you close the hatch or turn of the light, which is great for anyone who may feel a little uneasy about closed in spaces.

I, however, opted to go all out, closing the hatch and turning off the light, leaving me in complete darkness, and feeling completely weightless.

I’m not going to lie, for the first 10 minutes I hated it. I could feel all the tension in my neck and shoulders which was extremely uncomfortable. Thankfully, I pushed through and after about 30 minutes (I think - you really can’t tell time when you’re in that thing) the pains in my neck and shoulder had completely disappeared.

Before I knew it, the 60 minutes was up and I felt as though I had just had the best nap in the world.

Soon I’d completely forgot about my neck and shoulder pain because it had completely faded away.

I almost felt as good as Joey and Ross after their epic nap. Source: Friends

I left the clinic feeling relaxed and refreshed and with skin as soft as a baby’s bottom – thanks to all that Epsom Salt!

All in all, it was a great experience.

Is it life changing? I’m not too sure one session is enough to tell. I can definitely see the appeal in doing these things, especially if you do lead a busy and active lifestyle. The 60 minutes of tech-free time alone is enough to make you feel less stressed and run down. But one session is not enough to feel any long term benefits.

So, would I try it again? If I had the money, I would 1000 per cent. At the moment the $125 price tag on the combined Cryo and Float tank session is holding me back, but if that’s something you can afford to spend than I would recommend it for the experience alone.

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