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Whole body cryotherapy embraced by athletes, celebrities and people with arthritis

It's hard to imagine that blasting your bare body with sub-zero temperatures would be good for you, but it's all the rage with athletes, celebrities and people with arthritis. It's called cryotherapy and it's supposed to reduce inflammation in the body and toxins in the blood.

It's becoming more popular in San Antonio, but should everyone use it? Delaine Mathieu checks it out.

It's a chilling thought; stepping inside this chamber where liquid nitrogen drops the temperature to 240-degrees below zero. But Lisa Anderson does it six days a week.

“When you first get in, it's chilly, and then you think it's going to get even colder,” explained Anderson,

She's a marathon runner and swears by cryotherapy.

“In addition to running, I lift as well; three to four days a week,” said Anderson. “I'm not nearly as sore after workouts.”

Her advice to me, “The temperature will show on the side. Don't look at that! Haha!”

Here's how it works at Cryo SA. First, they take your blood pressure. Then you have to put on dry socks and slippers, which they provide. Plus, two pairs of gloves. You can wear a sports bra as long as there's no wire. You can't wear jewelry.

Once you’re in, a platform raises you up until your head is above the chamber. And then the liquid nitrogen is pumped in.

Once it hits your skin, you're instantly uncomfortable and covered in goosebumps. The first minute I could feel my skin temperature dropping like a rock. It helped to talk to the attendant who's in there for the whole session.

“When your skin temperature gets that low, your brain thinks that you're freezing, so it sends all your blood to your vital organs,” explained Nolan Langford from Cryo SA.

Which, he says, filters toxins from your blood.

By the second minute, 210 degrees below zero. I could barely feel my legs. And by the third minute, the maximum amount of time you can stay in, at 241 degrees below zero, I was ready to get out!

“You really warm up so quick and the benefits you feel afterwards really make it worth it,” said Selby Langford from Cryo SA.

But there are some risks. If you're pregnant or have any heart problems, no cryotherapy for you. Also, it is not FDA approved. One death has been associated with it. An attendant in Las Vegas who reportedly used the machine alone after hours.

At Cryo SA someone's with you at all times.

If you're interested in trying it out, check with your doctor first.

If you have an idea that's ‘Good 4 You’ -- we'd love to hear it! e-mail us at EveningBreak@news4sa.com.

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