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  • Liz Ricapito

Freeze and Squeeze Your Way to Recovery

With limited time, today’s weekend warriors, fitness aficionados, and competitive athletes need a way to recover faster after rigorous exercise. Typically, the human body needs 48 to 72 hours to fully recover from an intense workout session. The body’s circulatory and lymphatic systems can only work so fast. Two options for improved recovery time and increased overall wellness are cryotherapy and compression therapy.

Cryotherapy, according to Wikipedia, is the local or general use of low temperature in medical therapy. Whole body cryotherapy stimulates the body using extremely cold dry air (below 100 degrees C) for two to four minutes using vaporized nitrogen. Along with its use in medical treatments like cryosurgery, cryotherapy is used to relieve muscle pains, sprains, and swelling after soft tissue damage. This can include something as simple as applying an ice pack or an immersion in an ice bath, to the use of a cryotherapy sauna.

During a typical cryotherapy session, individuals wear minimal clothing. Males can wear shorts, while females can wear shorts and a sports bra. To prevent an exposure to frostbite, socks and neoprene booties are worn to protect the feet while gloves are used for the hands. It’s important not to have any water on the body so lotions and cremes are not to be used before a cryotherapy session since they typically contain water and any body piercings must be removed. The time spent in a cryotherapy session ranges from two to four minutes.

Another wellness tool available is compression therapy. These sessions involve the use of boots divided into inflatable compartments that individually encase your legs from the feet to the tops of the thighs. A pump inflates and pulses rhythmically starting at your feet and working its way up to the tops of your legs. This alternating compression of the legs is designed to assist the cardiac system in moving fluid from the limbs back to the circulatory system, removing unwanted cellular waste. Along with speeding athletic recover, it can be a great help to those people with limited mobility or activity due to chronic issues or injuries.

A standard compression therapy session for the legs is 30 minutes in duration. The boots are zipped up around your feet up to the top of your legs. During the session, the compression levels can be adjusted according to individual preference. It is safe and painless. All that is required of the individual is to relax, enjoy the quiet, and let the machine gently pulse your limbs to a quicker recovery.

Most big college and professional athlete programs use cryotherapy and compression therapy routinely with their athletes. But you don’t need to play college level sports or be Steph Curry or Tom Brady to benefit from these recovery tools. Locally, Imagine Float (, located in Avon, Connecticut is a cutting edge wellness center offering cryotherapy and compression therapy sessions to clients as well as flotation and infrared sauna experiences.

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