ST. CLOUD - Described as an ice bath on steroids, cryotherapy has been gaining traction across the country as a quick way to reduce fatigue, muscle soreness, chronic pain and inflammation.

Quick Fix Massage in St. Cloud (2848 2nd Street South) is now the only location in Central Minnesota to offer cryotherapy, which exposes the body to extremely cold temps in a chamber for a short amount of time. Whole body cryotherapy lowers the skin temperature to 30-50 degrees Fahrenheit. The extreme temps trigger the release of endorphins and anti-inflammatory molecules.

"The maximum time for a cryotherapy session is three minutes at a negative 220 degrees. There's all kinds of benefits: decreased inflammation, decreased pain, increases energy levels, it releases endorphins."

Quick Fix CEO Denise Molesky, who's worked as a massage therapist for 14 years (including for the Minnesota Vikings from 2008-2013), says cryotherapy is gaining popularity among professional athletes. She says the Dallas Mavericks popularized it after crediting it during their championship run five years ago.

"Everybody hears that athletes are doing these ice baths to decrease inflammation and pain, cryotherapy is kind of just supersizing that."

Cryotherapy is safe for almost everyone, minus pregnant women, or those with high blood pressure. Before a session, you're screened for health conditions that would prevent you from using the cryo chamber.

While -220 degrees can sound intimidating. Molesky says you don’t feel anything outside of the feeling you get when you’re outside on a cold day.

"Nobody knows what to expect. When you hear the temperature, people are a little freaked out but after they come out the typical reaction is: that's not as bad as I thought it would be."

A single chryotherapy session for a 1st time client at Quick Fix is $25. Ongoing single sessions are $40.

For more, check out their website.


Dan DeBaun, WJON