Freezing your body in sub-zero temperatures for two to four minutes while nearly naked is alleged to have all sorts of health benefits—including clearing up acne, eczema and psoriasis, and reducing the painful effects of rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. It’s even touted as a remarkable weight-loss therapy by some. Why else would anyone jump into a chamber that’s been cooled to –200°F?
But, as more whole-body cryotherapy spas pop up, traditional healthcare practitioners are warning their patients to think twice. Word on the street is that research studies have yet to prove that the treatment can deliver its promised benefits. On the contrary, some evidence highlights the possibility of skin injuries such as frostbite, rashes and, in extreme cases, a condition referred to as “frozen limb.” With a series of treatments, cold panniculitis (damage to the fatty layer of the skin) has also been known to occur. The moral of the story: Proceed with caution.
Chill out on the way
If spa-time in transit sounds appealing then you’ll want to watch for the latest airport/airline trend, which focuses on well-being for the 30,000-feet crowd. With healthy living, meditation, massages and even facials starting to become available on lounge and on-board menus, flying might just change into a more rejuvenating experience.
Leading the way… In-flight massage is a perk when you fly Air Malta. American Express lounges have started to feature Exhale spas and, in Dubai, passengers can find a boutique Six Senses Spa in the Etihad Lounge. Air France has even partnered with luxe skincare brand Clarins in its Paris lounge to offer complimentary facials. Rumour has it that Canyon Ranch and Singapore Airlines are in discussions about long-haul flight programs focused on guided stretching, good sleep and healthy food. And the new Hamad International Airport has built its own vitality and well-being centre with a pool and hydrotherapy services. Bring on the bathrobes!