There are things couples do together that are sweetly their own and create an "Awwww!" response when told out loud. "We volunteer twice a month at the local shelter" or "Every Friday is pizza night and we make them from scratch," are both acutely adorable examples. "We got naked in a below zero contraption with nitrous gas for a mere $300!" Somehow, that just does not resonate as adorable.
Be careful what you wish for, Womanistas, I may have had an episode, ahem, marathon of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on, I was multi-tasking by Pinteresting and shopping. During RHOBH, Kyle Richards and Lisa Vanderpump attend Cryotherapy in hopes to support Yolanda Foster in her Lyme Disease recovery. Their faces of horror when stepping into the freezing chamber I mostly remember. At that exact moment, my husband walked into the room and overheard Foster discussing how important Cryotherapy was in her treatment and how many ailments could be helped with this: joint pain, headaches, arthritis -- a light went off in his head.
He has suffered from Psoriatic Arthritis for many years and rarely complains although I know it is a 24/7 painful condition he has to deal with. On his Google mission, he found that just the week before, a new Cryotherapy location had opened in our city and not only that, one of the top ailments treated: Psoriatic Arthritis.
A few weeks later, our first anniversary arrived and as I opened the kindest card from him, a piece of paper fell out. Cringing and praying it was not some weird sexual certificate, I read that it was actually "Cryotherapy Session Date for Two."
We arrived at the Cryo Spa and it was set-up as such; beautiful soothing decor, kind faces at the front desk and calming mood music. We were given our "gear" which included: a thick white robe, black knee-high socks, fuzzy slippers and black winter gloves. Having never seen my husband in a robe, that was my biggest shock and the session had not even begun.
The owner, Sarah, was incredibly kind and walked us into our room, which had a giant television with Bravo! on...it's as if they knew! There were fresh flowers a comfy chaise and the Cryo Chamber in a corner, looking more like a vertical tanning bed. Sarah talked us through what has been successfully done in Japan and Europe for years with Cryotherapy. That once ready, the chamber will emit a gaseous form of nitrogen to lower the skin surface temperature from normal body temperature to 30 degrees Fahrenheit in 30 seconds or less and keeps it that way for two-three minutes. Sarah explained, "The skin then reacts to the cold and sends messages to the brain that acts as a stimulant to the regulatory functions of the body. It produces the scanning of all areas that may not be working to their fullest potential. Oh, and the side effect is that you can burn up to 600 calories after as your body recovers." You win, Sarah, I will purchase a week of treatments, sign me up.
The hubs stepped into the chamber and that's when Sarah got real. "Okay, go go go! You have 15 seconds to take your robe off as the chamber raises you up, throw your robe over the side to me and rotate your body to the coldest point of the chamber for where you need the most treatment." He threw the robe off and after barely10 seconds of being in the chamber, gave me a look mixed with fear and empathy.
Sarah emulated a motivating track coach, "30 seconds down, you got this! Just over a minute to go, come on stay strong!" When it was done, he collapsed quite dramatically on the chaise and I had that flashback to when my cousins and I got tattoos. I was the last one to go and after they all cried, screamed and freaked out before my turn, I tried to make a beeline for the door. Didn't work then and was not going to work now.
I stepped in and even before I took the robe off, it was really ridiculously cold. Sarah coached me through it, I glared at my husband and only two minutes in the chamber felt like 10 minutes in an ice storm. When it was over, I stepped out and never loved that fuzzy white robe more in my life.
"There was no way I could commit to a whole week, that was awful!" I told my husband as we left. However, as the day went on, I found myself more productive, energetic and positive than I had been in months. Instead of a Saturday filled with endless tasks and my bad attitude, I checked each one off the list and even managed to whip up an anniversary dinner for him as well. My husband finally slept more than four hours that night and said that his knees felt significantly better.
For the rest of the week, we went to Cryo and gritted our teeth for two minutes every day. He still took and continues to take his arthritis medicine, however, the joint pain has been less painful. What usually would keep him up at night was not as severe and most nights after treatment, he slept more soundly then he had in years.
The treatment may not have cured his arthritis after a week, however, we found ourselves feeling like better versions of us. We drank the Kool-Aid and would absolutely go back -- only if Bravo! was on, however.