If you haven’t heard of Cryotherapy yet, you soon will. Cryotherapy was developed in 1978 by Toshima Yamauchi in Japan. and is now making its way into beauty spas globally for its myriad benefits – increased cell rejuvenation, weight loss, metabolism boost, strengthened immune system and improved blood circulation, to name a few.
Sounds great, right? Now the therapy has finally arrived in Hong Kong, with POLARIS setting up shop in Causeway Bay. This massive 2,000-square-foot facility is currently the only place in Hong Kong where you can try the treatment for yourself.
The machine used at POLARIS is from Impact Cryotherapy and the centre is equipped with three private treatment rooms and two large and very spacious changing rooms (hard to find in the 852!), Polaris offers three types of treatments: whole body cryotherapy, localised cryotherapy and cryo facials.
How it works:
Cryotherapy involves exposing the skin to cool, dry nitrogen gas, reaching sub-zero temperatures up to minus-150 Celsius, which causes the surface of the skin to cool and blood vessels to constrict, triggering the body’s natural fight-or-flight response to stimulate blood circulation and increase oxygen and nutrient supply to the vital organs. Step back out of the tank and the blood vessels expand rapidly, rushing oxygen-rich blood to the muscles and releases endorphins (happy hormones) which instantly increase energy levels.
- First a nurse will do a brief medical assessment and take your blood pressure to ensure you are a suitable candidate for the treatment.
- You are then taken to a very spacious changing room where you get out of your clothes and into a robe and put on a pair of warm socks and mittens to keep your toes and fingers from freezing.
- When you are ready, Cryo Specialist at Polaris, Patrick Cuthbert will take you to the machine room and explains the treatment and stay with you throughout the whole time you are in the capsule, monitoring your condition and keeping you from freaking out or entertained depending on how you react to extreme cold.
- The capsule machine or chamber where the treatment takes place looks like a soda vending machine where only your head will stick out. Inside the you remove your robe before the cooling dry nitrogen gas is turned on.
- Within a few seconds, you will be engulfed with the vapour like nitrogen gas and your body starts to cool down. Its really quite pleasant at the beginning but it gets cold fast and you will feel your skin prickling from the cold as you cool down to -120 degrees celsius (a truly incredible feeling!)
- We only lasted 30 seconds in the capsule for our first trial so as not to shock the body the first time. Usually a session will last 3 minutes.
- We’ve been told that during the 3 minutes you spend in the capsule, you burn 800 calories, I’m not sure how they’ve measured that but I was certainly hungry after the session.
- The effect it has on everyone is different. For me, after the treatment, I felt super energetic, a rush of energy, almost to the point of being giddy. I felt fresh and energetic, and like I’ve drank way too much coffee. I was ready to go for a run, do something active and talk non-stop, this feeling lasted the rest of the afternoon and slowly died off in the night.
- The effect on my skin is quite noticeable, my skin is smoother and softer and seemed but my pores are still visible.
Do it, if you don’t have any health issues and want to experience minus 120 degrees just for the heck of it. Or if you’ve really pushed yourself at crossfit or bootcamp, this could be your answer to heal muscle aches faster. There are some risks to be aware of like frost bites so make sure you are completely fry, wear the socks and mittens provide and go ahead and move around to get your blood circulating or get out of the capsule if it gets too much for you. We are certainly tempted to try a few more sessions to see if our metabolism rate picks up and just to enjoy the natural higher energy surge.
Single sessions are available as well as memberships for tailored packages. Prices start at HK$900 for a three-minute session.
Shop B, 10/F, Lee Theatre Plaza, 99 Percival Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.