Cryotherapy translates to “cold therapy.” It is a treatment where we expose the body to extremely cold temperatures for a few minutes.
My husband first took me to cryotherapy when I was at one of my lowest points with Lyme disease. My whole body was inflamed, and the pain was unbearable. Stepping into the whole-body Cryo machine felt like somebody was putting out the fire in my body. It felt amazing. Now, when I do cryotherapy, it feels cold but bearable — and I’m a wimp when it comes to being cold, so I promise it’s not that bad.
The whole body cryo machine encloses your body in cold air created by liquid nitrogen. The three minutes of exposure to extreme cold reduces the inflammation in your body. Our bodies become inflamed when we are trying to push something out. Lyme disease patients experience systematic inflammation of the whole body as a reaction to the bacteria. Joshua explained that our bodies communicate with inflammation proteins through our bloodstream and a lot of them originate in our core. The cold therapy allows the body to turn off these inflammation proteins, thus decreasing the pain. For those with chronic conditions, I find that cryotherapy is way better than taking Advil or any other pill to manage the pain.
This week on the Heal Podcast, I spoke with Joshua Montross, the co-founder of CryoZone. CryoZone is a Dallas based whole body cryotherapy business that has expanded nationally. I met Joshua at their Santa Monica location, and I am grateful to have found this treatment.
Joshua Montross co-founded CryoZone with his father and brother in 2014. CryoZone is a Dallas based Whole Body Cryotherapy expanding nationally. Being a software engineer, Joshua created CryoZone’s website, point of sale, email, and booking systems. I started to going to cryotherapy in Santa Monica when I was at my lowest point with Lyme disease. My body felt like it was on fire! Going into cryotherapy immediately felt like the fire was being put out.
Yeah. So the first question I have is how did you get started in the cyro therapy business? And why did you decide to do it?
Oh, I originally got started because my father got started, so it’s more his story is how I got involved. He had hurt his knee and he had a friend who he played basketball with too, who told them about this new therapy and that he should try it. So my dad went and tried it and then it helped with his knee pain. And then he started importing the machines. He was actually one of the first importers of machines of the US and actually got into the first machine that was in the US. This is back in Dallas. So this is kind of where cryotherapy started was in Dallas, just by coincidence of the people who immigrated to the US they moved to Dallas and they brought cryo therapy with them. And then after that, I got involved about another two years later when I hurt myself in a car accident. And I had a lot of like chronic pain and wrist injuries and neck and back. And I finally decided I’d give this therapy a try that my dad had been raving about, and it decreased my pain because it lowered my inflammation and it helped me to be able to use my hands more and be able to type and start doing software again. So really it’s like I got into it because of my family. And it helped a lot of us in my family even helped my mom. And then my younger brother, he just uses it cause we have it. I don’t think he hasn’t even real pains, but still good for recovery for him. Cause he works out a lot.
That’s great. I’m sorry to hear about your car accident.
It’s good. It was seven years ago. So I’m actually a hundred percent healed now. Like I don’t have any arthritis in my hands anymore. I would say cryo was a big part of that in addition to doing physical therapy and taking it easy for awhile.
Yeah. So can you tell us exactly what cryotherapy is for people who have not been to your place?
So cryotherapy comes from Greek. Cryo means cold cold therapy. The way we do it with whole body cryotherapy here is we have nitrogen based machines. We store liquid nitrogen and we run it through the machine and it encloses your body into the cold air. And we do that for three minutes and three minutes of rabid exposure to cold causes your body to basically less inflammation is the main thing it does without a doubt. Anybody, one session you’ll have less inflammation in your bloodstream. It’s just a reaction. The body has to, the cold is become less inflamed. And I’d say, that’s what it is. The simplest is like taking an ice bath that’s dry.
Right? And so you’re in it for three minutes. That’s the max.
So go, athletes will go more. They can do two in a day. If somebody is really injured, they can do three minutes in the morning and three minutes at the night. But we always take some space in between just because you can’t, your skin can’t tolerate the cold for more than a few minutes.
Right. And so is the same effect that you would get, like going into a cold bath. Like the athletes that go sit in those ice baths, is that the same kind of idea?
Very similar effect. Like the less inflammation they both do that this is not a penetrating cold. So it doesn’t go into your muscles. It more acts on the nervous system, through your skin getting cold and the body reacting. Whereas when you do an ice bath, it has that effect too, but it’s almost more intense than an ice bath. Like it’s harder, I think for most people and it makes the muscles so you can’t use them afterwards, so you can’t ice and then go play a game of basketball, but you can do cryo and then go to the gym immediately. And pro athletes are using it before games and Nike even figured out that you can use it before running and it boosts your cardio slightly. It makes when you make yourself really cool and it makes you use oxygen at a higher capacity later on. So your muscles can take in more oxygen after you do cryo, which basically means you can perform longer endurance activities.
And how would you describe the feeling when you go in there? I mean, I know how I would describe it, but how would you describe it?
I mean, I think it’s like pins and needles, you know, it’s, it’s like standing in a blizzard in your underwear, you know, if you’ve ever done that, it’s hard to explain. So it’s the closest thing anybody could really imagine. It’s like turning your shower to cold instantly and just suddenly you’re really cold. Right.
But you’re locked in there and you can’t get out.
You can get out if you need to get out early. And what I like is the feeling afterwards, like it’s, while you’re in there, you feel really cool. But once you get out, you step outside, it’s not hot anymore. You know, you’ve lowered your temperature a bit. So it makes the rest of the day more comfortable.
No, I agree. I’m totally a wimp when it comes to cold. But I have to say, I can last the three minutes. Believe it or not, I mean, you guys talked to us the whole time, so it’s like you get preoccupied, but I definitely I’m able to last, which I was shocked. I was able to, to last, but I think it’s equivalent to being like stuck up in a ski mountain for three minutes, like the lift stops and you’re going to sit there for a couple of minutes. It’s kind of like, I feel like it’s like that where you’re like, it’s cold, but you can deal with it. Cause you know, it’s about to end, but I thought it was interesting the first time I tried it, I literally didn’t even hurt at all. Like that’s how I think inflamed my body was that I was like, that was three minutes. Oh, it didn’t even, it actually felt awesome. Like I felt like, Oh, I’m getting so like cool down. Yeah. So why does it actually help the inflammation? Like what’s going on there that makes actually is an inflammation actually going away and it’s actually going away completely or is it just making it feel better?
It’s actually making it go away. So the way our bodies work is we communicate with these proteins through our bloodstream. And a lot of them originate like in our core. And when you do the cold therapy, the body basically turns off the inflammation protein. So for some reason, you know, it’s like a natural reaction to the body. Has if we get hurt, the area becomes inflamed. You know, they say it’s because it needs to push out. Like if we had a project dial in as we didn’t have surgery, you know, as we’re evolving. So the body gets implanted to try to push something out. But if you make yourself really cold, the body’s more concerned with surviving. So it stops wasting energy on making something in plain cause that doesn’t really, it’s not a necessary thing to survive. So it turns off the inflammation proteins. And then also it turns on the anti inflammatory proteins. So we haven’t like our body communicates with the way of telling an area to become inflamed. And it has another protein that tells the area to decrease inflammation. So it affects both of those. The cold does, and it’s a system wide. So it’s not just like on your knee. It’s this is in your blood throughout your whole body.
Right. Which is perfect for Lyme because I feel like a lot of Lyme patients have inflammation, right? That’s what’s causing us a lot of the pain. Have you seen a lot of Lyme patients that have come in? I mean, I know you’re in California, so it’s probably not as prevalent, but have you seen, or was I the only one that came in with Lyme?
When we were in Texas, I had a number of friends who had Lyme and customers who were really regular and it helped them with their D levels and their body pain. So it’s, you’re definitely not an isolated incident. And it’s also like one of those things where we can’t claim that this cure is Lyme disease or anything, but I’ve definitely seen dozens of people with Lyme disease, happily use this to improve their symptoms. You, you included. And I think it’s really because of what you said, like Lyme disease is a systematic inflammation of your whole body. So if we decrease the inflammation, it’ll at least make the Lyme disease, not as painful. You know, if you’re having pain from the inflammation.
How long do people usually do they make it like a regular practice where they come in once or twice or three times a week and then keep doing it forever?
For people with chronic conditions. They view this as this is better than taking a pill. So it becomes a like a chronic solution. You know, it’s like if you’ve got Lyme disease, I mean, you, you were coming in many times per week to address the issue, right? I mean, that’s more common, but if somebody has like one injury or they hurt their knee or something, that type of person might just come for a week in a row until their knee feels better and then they’ll stop coming. It really depends on what the person’s needs are.
Is there like an anti aging effect to it as well?
Of course. I mean, when you make skin cells cold, it preserves them. So it’s like the sun destroys our skin cold helps to keep it a little more resilient against the heat for anti-aging like we have light therapy too. Like I think that’s good on the anti aging. There’s like an anti wrinkle light therapy that goes over the face and I’ve seen people improve visibly just in like a month. And then for like the cold, actually one thing that’s nice is it’s a dry cold. So people that have more oily skin, it dries out your skin that tends to make people look a little bit younger if they’re having oily skin and it bounces out.
Right. So like the one machine I went into your head sticking out, but then I’ve seen ads for like the cryo, like your facial cryo. Is that a different machine?
Yeah. We have a cryo facial machine. It’s separate from the whole body and that can focus on just the face or elbow or an injury or the face for toning the skin and decreasing wrinkles a bit. And also decreasing inflammation. Our faces get puffy. So many people’s faces are just puffy from being inflamed. So you do the facial cryo and it just tightens the skin a little bit. And a lot of times, you know, inflammation looks like age, you know, cause you’re just a little bit puffier. So decrease the poppiness and people think you look younger, but really you’re just less inflamed right now.
That’s true. When I go in there, there seems to be like a lot going on, not just the cryo machines. What else? You named two things. Is there anything else that you have in there?
I can show you right now. I think I can go like this. Yeah. So we have the Norma tech right here. These are the boots that like squeezes the legs and washes out lactic acid. This is the Celluma. Here’s one. Somebody just used. I’m going to clean that soon, but it’s a red light and blue light therapy and it’s great on blemishes, wrinkles and also pain. And then this is the local machine. This is the penguin. It’s good for facials. And then just for good measure, I’ll show the whole body cause we were talking about it. This is the one that Mimi has used, I believe, right?
Yes. This is perfect. Thank you so much. And I would recommend to anybody who hasn’t tried cryotherapy and if you’re buying a cryotherapy place to go do it because it really does help. Especially if you’re in pain, I have found it’s helped my pain and my inflammation. Joshua, thank you so much.
Thank you, Mimi.
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