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Cryotherapy Goes Mainstream

There’s a new option in town for bodies needing a little TLC: whole-body cryotherapy at The Zone by Life Time in Eden Prairie. You might ask, “What is whole-body cryotherapy?"

The process involves stepping into a cryotherapy chamber known as a "cryosauna," which exposes the body to extremely low temperatures in the form of dry vapor for a period of up to three minutes. During your cryotherapy session, your skin’s surface temperature drops somewhere between 20 F and 40 F, triggering the "cryo effect"—a distress signal sent to your brain—which is your body’s natural response to a rapid drop in the skin’s surface temperature. 

Your body goes into survival mode in response to the distress signal, redirecting the blood near the surface of your skin toward your core to keep it warm. As blood flows toward your core, toxins are excreted, and your blood becomes enriched with anti-inflammatory proteins, red blood cells, white blood cells, enzymes and endorphins. After your session is complete, your skin temperature rises, moving you from survival to recovery mode, where freshly oxygenated and nutrient-enriched blood is recirculated to the rest of your body. Cryotherapy boasts benefits to include pain reduction, reduced inflammation, improved circulation, faster recovery from injury, elevated mood, reduced anxiety, chronic pain relief and even calorie loss.  

Ice baths, which have been used for decades, offer similar benefits, but they are freezing cold—literally. An ice bath lasts for up to 20 minutes and freezes your tissues while also cooling your body’s core temperature. Warming up from an ice bath can take hours. Whole-body cryotherapy triggers your body’s natural healing mechanisms without the penetrating cold in a brief 2-3-minute session. The result is a more comfortable healing experience.

Cryotherapy is also very safe. The Zone’s cryosauna is manufactured by Impact Cryotherapy, known for its safety and innovation. Impact Cryotherapy’s octagon chamber is designed to efficiently distribute cold nitrogen vapor, allowing the interior chamber temperature to reach desired temperature levels safely and quickly. Each spa coordinator at The Zone has been trained and certified as cryotherapy technicians through Impact Cryotherapy.  

Before someone enters the cryosauna at The Zone, the spa coordinator performs a safety check. Clients are given a robe, a thick pair of cotton socks, neoprene booties to wear over the socks and a pair of soft, fleece gloves for protection from the cold temperatures. Changing rooms are provided for clients to get "geared up" for their session. Skin temperatures are measured before and after each session to accurately record the skin's drop in temperature. The entire process from start to finish takes less than 10 minutes. For optimal results, a minimum of two weekly sessions is recommended. 

While cryotherapy has been widely used in Europe, it is rapidly becoming more mainstream in the U.S. Kobe Bryant was one of the first athletes to use cryotherapy to assist in healing from knee surgeries and post-game recovery. Cryotherapy is fairly common today, and collegiate and professional teams from a range of sports are replacing their dated ice baths with whole-body cryosaunas. Celebrities such as Jessica Alba and Jennifer Aniston use cryotherapy for anti-aging properties, and the technology is starting to go mainstream in spas and recovery centers such as The Zone. When you visit The Zone, you can read testimonials from many satisfied customers who say the treatments have helped them with pain management, inflammation reduction and faster recovery from their workouts.

What’s the cost? The Zone offers multiple options to accommodate a variety of needs. Although Life Time Fitness members receive preferred pricing, you do not have to be a Life Time Fitness member to use the services at The Zone. A single cryotherapy treatment session for Life Time members or members of The Zone is $35, and for nonmembers, it is $45. There are monthly plans available that include unlimited cryotherapy and compression therapy sessions, and there are also multiple session packages that can be purchased. These programs substantially reduce the per-session cost. There may be other promotions available, so be sure to check when you call or visit. 

With an equal split between men and women, anyone between 13 and 80 years of age is a candidate for cryotherapy. Those who want to better manage pain or inflammation—whether after a workout, surgery or following a soft tissue injury—or want to experience the other benefits mentioned above should give it a try. 

The Zone’s spa and recovery studio can be found near the intersection of Highway 212 and Prairie Center Drive. The Zone has a team of well-trained and certified employees who are committed to helping you live a healthy and happy life. The Zone features several recovery therapies, including whole-body cryotherapy and NormaTec compression therapy, as well as an extensive selection of massage treatments and skin care services such as facials and waxing. A gift certificate is an ideal gift for the upcoming holiday season and is sure to be appreciated. Explore more about The Zone at or on Facebook or Instagram (@TheZone_ByLifeTime).