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The Cryosauna Freezes Athletes' Bodies

Alberto Salazar, a trainer of highly successful athletes, has been experimenting with new forms of physical therapy to give his clients an extra edge. One of his techniques is called the cryosauna:

The cryosauna is the latest tool, even though Salazar admits, he is still testing to understand its most effective uses. "That's how all advances are made in science and life," he said. "It's by experimentation."

The knowledge will be gained through trial and error on his elite athletes, though all agree the machine is harmless and potentially a breakthrough. Theoretically, it makes sense: a container of liquid nitrogen turns to gas and is pumped into the cylinder where the athlete stands, plunging the temperature below negative 200 degrees Fahrenheit for a short burst of time. The body believes that it is dying and rushes blood to protect its vital organs. Two minutes later, when the athlete emerges from the container, the concentrated and enriched blood rushes back through the body, providing an instant cleanse and relief.

Rupp, who has trained with Salazar since high school, views the experience practically. "An ice bath you can sit in for 20 minutes," he said. "This thing you go in for two minutes."


Link via Marginal Revolution | Image from Lexx by Salter Street Films

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Us Finns have done this for a while now. For eight years we have had a cryotherapy unit at Haikon kartano, a spa located just outside Helsinki. And no kidding either - the temperature in the cryo-room goes all the way down to -166 F.
Here's the spa (in Finnish)
http://www.haikko.fi/fi/etusivu/kylpylae-ja-hoidot/huippukylmae--110degc.php
and here's the Finnish company that makes the cryo-units
http://www.mjgunivers.fi/basic.htm
http://www.mjgunivers.fi/haikko.htm
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The effect sounds extremely non-specific. The word "cleanse" raises red flags. The inventor is also an ex-athlete, not a scientist. Sounds like total pseudoscience backed up by a few worthless anecdotes.
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