ResetCryo offers the coolest health and beauty treatments... as cool as -90C!
Since being diagnosed at 40 with rheumatoid arthritis, Jacqui Morgan has been fighting not to let the chronic and debilitating auto-immune disease rule her life. But for a long time, it didn’t feel like she was winning.
For two years after her diagnosis, she was bedridden. Her condition was severe enough to ensure she had access to the best medical treatments, including two knee replacements, fusion surgery on her back and wrist. But the constant stress of treatment after treatment left her constantly fatigued. On top of everything, she developed fibromyalgia, which causes pain all over the body.
Then one day, her husband read an article about cryotherapy, the use of extreme cold in surgery or other medical treatment.
Olympic hero Sir Mo Farah, footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and actress Lindsay Lohan are fans of the human freezer, which, it is claimed can help people recover from injuries and sports woes, ease the misery of arthritis and back pain, and even help you lose weight. It’s also used as a treatment for depression and anxiety.
“It's made a complete and utter difference to my whole life,” said Jacqui, a 59-year old financial controller from Old Harlow.
“The fibromyalgia has almost disappeared, and my rheumatoid arthritis has improved so much I’ve been able to cut back on painkillers and steroids.
"I’ve got so much more energy now that my family call me the Duracell bunny.”
Seeing the change in her friend, Sawbridgeworth woman Emma Dilloway decided to investigate. She began to notice changes in her skin, which looked fuller, and in her energy levels, which sky-rocketed. Niggling aches and pains began to fade away.
“After taking stock of the positive changes it was bringing me, I started encouraging my friends and family to try it, but it was difficult to convince them to go all the way into London,” said Emma.
“I realised I wanted to do something myself, to bring cryotherapy to mainstream customers at reasonable prices. I just thought this is something that shouldn’t be just for elite sports people and celebrities.”
In a studio at Falconers in High Wych Road that until last year housed hot yoga classes, Emma has gone full circle and installed a state-of-the art electronic chamber that drops to -90C.
At £35 for a single session (£25 introductory offer) or a monthly unlimited pass for £195 (£300 per couple), it’s not cheap but it’s much less than £95 for a session at Harvey Nichols in London.
The theory behind cryotherapy is that freezing your body triggers natural defence mechanisms – or, in other words, tricks your brain into survival mode. Blood vessels tighten and become smaller to reduce circulation to keep blood around your vital organs. After three minutes, you step outside the chamber and your blood vessels open up. Oxygenated blood flushes through your body, encouraging cell renewal, strengthening joints and reducing inflammation.
In addition to the cryochamber, Emma offers cryo-air facials, where cold air is targeted to the face and neck by an aesthetician, and a RecoveryPump for leg compression – which feels a bit like a blood pressure monitor – to boost circulation and stop the build-up of lactic acid.
Since ResetCryo opened in Sawbridgeworth in September last year, clients have included Chris Clark from TV's The Only Way is Essex as he prepared for a marathon, freestyle footballer and YouTuber Billy Wingrove and Love Island's Jonny Mitchell.
Players from Bishop's Stortford and Stevenage rugby clubs, members of bodybuilding gyms such as Ripped Gym and local fitness entrepreneur Kimberlee Perry, founder of Bounce, are also frequent visitors.
Reporter EMMA VANDORE was brought up in Scotland so was the natural choice among the Indie team to spend three minutes in ResetCryo’s human freezer...
As I changed into the T-shirt and shorts provided, I could feel my bravado slip.
Having been brought up in Scotland, I am no stranger to the cold – indeed, in my insulated Sawbridgeworth new-build, sometimes I crave it – but what if I couldn’t hack the freezer? Suddenly, three minutes seemed like a long time.
Swallowing my fear, I pulled on gloves and rubber boots, an ear muff and a surgical mask. My extremities protected, I eyed the temperature gauge nervously, feeling a little bit sick.
“The door isn’t locked,” said Emma Dilloway helpfully. “You can come out whenever you want.” Sensing I needed encouragement, she added: “But I’m sure you can do it.”
The door opened, furling snow into the studio where I had once practised hot yoga. An inverted ‘Don’t let the heat out’ impulse took over and I stepped inside.
My ear muffs doubled as headphones, which blasted dance classics into my ears. On the other side of the glass, Emma encouraged me to move. I turned away, dancing to the back of the box, not wanting her to see my fear.
I went for it big time, tuning out the icicles clinging to the hair on my arms as I marched to my own private disco.
Pretty quickly, I started to enjoy myself. I raised my arms and turned round, remembering the ‘hands in the air’ dancer I once was. A minute had already passed. I could so do this.
Emma remained outside throughout. Having found her own first experience of cryotherapy a little daunting when she was left to her own devices, she likes to be on hand to reassure clients. Alex Hill or Emma’s son Jed also work in the studio with a similar friendly motivation.
At the three-minute mark, Emma asked if I wanted to stay in. I’d been so set on lasting three minutes that my mind couldn’t compute so I stopped the clock, regretting it afterwards. Emma compared my before and after temperatures and determined that I could have lasted longer.
Afterwards, I did feel more alert – similar to the feeling after a cold shower, only it lasted all day. My partner Paul, who had just returned from Ghana, also got a shot in the chamber. He said it really helped him get over jetlag.
I also tried the Cryo-air facial with beauty therapist Leigh Georgiou. I lay down on a raised bed in a secluded room, much like any other facial, enjoying the ambient music soundtrack.
Leigh removed my jewellery and prepared me mentally for a cold shock, telling me to signal if I felt uncomfortable.
Some people, apparently, don’t like it when cold air is blasted at their eyes or on their hairline. I, however, loved every single minute. I found it particularly relaxing when the cold air pipe was directed at the back of my neck.
I hadn’t told Paul I’d been for a facial. When I got home, he remarked how well I was looking – and this is a man who doesn’t always notice if I’ve had my hair cut. My skin felt tighter, and for about a week I didn’t bother with make-up.
For more information, contact www.resetcryo.co.uk.
More by this authorEmma Vandore