BANGKOK is certainly not well-known for its cold climate. In fact, the city is infamous for being one of the hottest in the entire world. That being said, one chilly medical treatment is not only cooling people off but also apparently helping with things like back pain. We are talking about cryotherapy.
What is cryotherapy?
The prefix cryo means icy cold or frost, and cryotherapy is a medical treatment that makes use of cold with the application of things like ice packs or by lowering the body temperature to aid something. Certain types of cryotherapy are sometimes referred to as cryosurgery. This type of surgery involves the selective destruction of tissues by freezing them with very cold temperatures or liquid nitrogen.
In dermatology, cryotherapy is a treatment that freezes skin lesions. Cryotherapy is used to treat things like cervical dysplasia, and in women, the freezing treatment is used on the cervix to kill abnormal cells. Oftentimes referred to as frotox, cryotherapy facials are a type of beauty treatment that have especially grown in popularity. All of these types of treatments are known as localised cryotherapy, because they target specific parts of the body.
Who is using cryotherapy?
Many public figures have taken to the cool yet sometimes controversial treatment. A-list celebrities who have entered these infamous icy chambers include Lindsay Lohan, Derek Hough, Mandy Moore, LeBron James and more. Some celebs have used cryotherapy in hopes of losing weight while celebrated athletes vouch for it in regards to things like workout recovery.
Cryotherapy around the world
As the world’s coolest new spa treatment, facilities around the globe have been using cryotherapy in one way or another to keep up with the trend, including the U.S., Australia, Europe, Southeast Asia, and, of course, Bangkok. Visitors to the Ice Lab located in the Apex Medical Centre can enter sub-freezing temperatures without ever leaving the scorching capital. According to their website, participants remain at -110°C for one to three minutes. Ice Lab uses this state-of-the-art freezing technology to help aid visitors with things like skin blemishes, inflammation in muscles and joints and many more ailments.
What are the risks?
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there is no evidence that supports entering these ice-cold chambers will cure or aid things like chronic pain and the like. And while there is no substantiation that WBC will do all that clinics say it does, there are proven risks. One of the main risks is asphyxiation, which is exactly how a beauty salon employee died in Las Vegas in 2015. After her shift was over, 24-year-old Chelsea Ake-Salvacion went into the cryotherapy chamber at her work … her frozen body was found there the next day.
The coroner said that she did not freeze to death, rather she tragicallysuffocated because the chamber was filled with liquid nitrogen. Official cause of death: asphyxia. Salons do warn their clients of things like frostbite and burns
before entering, however.
Whether or not Bangkokians decide to turn themselves into human popsicles is uncertain, but one thing remains clear: this chilly beauty trend is hot.