Numerous celebrities, including Demi Lovato and Lucy Hale, have Instagrammed and Snapchatted themselves getting into a whole body cryotherapy chamber to cool away their aches, pains and wrinkles. And as much fun as freezing your butt off in a -200 degree (Fahrenheit) room or chamber sounds, the FDA says maybe you should skip it.
In a statement released this week, FDA medical officer Aron Yustein, M.D., said, “Based on purported health benefits seen in many promotions for cryotherapy spas, consumers may incorrectly believe that the FDA has cleared or approved [whole body cryotherapy] devices as safe and effective to treat medical conditions. That is not the case.”
Whole body cryotherapy consists of spending a few minutes in a chamber or small room cooled to temperatures at or below -200 degrees Fahrenheit by liquid nitrogen vapors (or other methods). The supposed benefits touted by practitioners run the gamut from tightening skin and reducing wrinkles, to burning calories, to speeding up post-exercise muscle recovery, to pain relief and treatment for Alzheimer’s, depression, migraines and fibromyalgia. The FDA’s statement asserts that the agency has not approved WBC for any of these uses and that a search through medical studies found virtually no evidence it can do any of them.
So as cool (literally) as Demi and Lucy may look, you might want to find a new method for recovery. Maybe try these more conventional recovery tips instead.