In simple terms, cryotherapy is a procedure in
which the human body is exposed to very cold temperatures for a few minutes. This may initially sound
unappealing, but fans and practitioners claim a wide range
of benefits from this treatment.
Buffalo Cryo opened in Buffalo in 2016. It’s owned and
operated by Dr. Jacob Fey and Patrick Connors; Fey initially trained in cryogenic equipment while serving in the
US Navy and received his MD from UB, while Connors has
trained professional, collegiate, and high school athletes
after receiving a degree in Kinisiology from SUNY Cortland.
How it works
Before entering the Cryosauna, clients are asked to fill
out a short history of their medical information and identify
any issues they wish to address during the procedure. Then,
users step into the cylindrical Cryosauna chamber and are
exposed to cold nitrogen gas, which is converted from liquid form. The experience exposes ninety-five percent of the
body from the neck down; users wear provided socks, shoes,
gloves, and their own undergarments while in the Cryosauna. It can become as cold as -256 degrees F, but, for a first
session, the recommended temperature is -150 degrees F,
with temperature decreasing as sessions progress.
The user stays in the sauna for three minutes, steps out,
and performs light cardio exercise for two to three minutes
to get the body temperature back up. The cold penetrates
only three millimeters into the skin, and this, combined
with the quick time spent in the sauna, keeps the risk of
freezing low, so the user does not become hypothermic.
Skin temperature is measured before and after the process.
There is an ideal lowering of temperature that Fey and Connors look
for. “We typically like to see a minimum twenty-degree-drop in skin
temperature when the client steps
out of the Cryosauna” says Fey. A
skin temperature of forty degrees
F or below can typically be expected after using the sauna. Fey compares the process to being in an
ice bath: “First there is just cold,
then warmth, and finally a tingling
or numb sensation. At this point,
someone would take themselves
out of the ice bath, which at max,
should only last about ten minutes.
Our process only lasts three.”
What are the possible benefits of
Fey tries to keep clients relaxed
and at ease, especially during the first
experience. He keeps the atmosphere
causal, dressing casually and using
an informal manner so the process
doesn't seem overly clinical. Costs
for the sessions depend on how often
clients come in for treatment.
Most cryotherapy clients have
either chronic pain/disease or some
type of injury. The process, according to Fey, is helpful in relaxing muscles and making pain easier to deal
with. There are also benefits for
skin, caloric burning, and increases in metabolism. The three categories of benefits listed on the Buffalo
Cryo website include athletic benefits, pain alleviation, and skin/beauty.
Fey notes that his clients have heard
about the process through word of
mouth or through recommendations
from health care providers. Professionals like chiropractors, massage
therapists, and even primary care
physicians have referred patients and
clients to Buffalo Cryo.
Neither Fey nor Connors consid-
er it a full-time job, but they are both
very passionate about the value of
Buffalo Cryo, 199 Scott Street,
buffalocryo.com or 436-5341
Medaille English major Patrick Sullivan is a 2017-
18 Spree intern.
BY PATRICK SULLIVAN
STRATEGIES WHAT IT IS,
WHAT IT’S SUPPOSED
Patrick Connors and Jacob Fey at Buffalo Cryo