Standing in a freezing cold liquid nitrogen chamber may not be everyone’s idea of fun, but for Ethan Taft, the exercise is essential to maintaining sports performance and recovery.
After becoming trained and certified in cryotherapy last year, Taft opened Cryo Kalispell to bring alternative health services to Flathead Valley residents.
“I got into cryotherapy for sports performance and recovery as I do mixed martial arts. I do it two to three times a week and it allows me to train at a higher level than I could without it,” Taft said.
The use of cold to treat injuries and promote healing is nothing new, but whole body cryotherapy only began in 1979. According to Taft, cryotherapy originated in Japan to treat patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Since then, cryotherapy has been used for sports recovery, helping with injuries, boosting metabolism and reducing inflammation.
During a session, patients stand in a room for 3 minutes while liquid nitrogen sprays their body. Temperatures can drop as low as -186 degrees Fahrenheit and patients can lose anywhere between 500 to 800 calories in a single session.
“The body enters thermogenesis in attempts to rewarm itself. In thermogenesis, blood goes from the extremities to the core to protect the organs. The blood that enters the core organs is reoxygenated and filled with antioxidants and then it is released throughout the bloodstream back into the body. The cold shock promotes healing within the body and the effects last 3 hours after the session,” explained Taft.
After a single cryotherapy session, patients often experience increased energy and increased focus, Taft noted. It can also help with depression, anxiety and acclimatization to winter.
“Winter is my favorite time of the year. I love the cold,” Taft smiled.
In November, Taft will offer a normatec compression system to its services and in December, it will add an infrared sauna.
Taft developed his passion for health and wellness after his own journey to combat stomach issues and hopes to pass his knowledge on to Flathead Valley residents so they can live their lives again.
“I had one girl come in who had a serious ankle injury and she was walking on a stretcher and couldn’t get up in the shower. She used the room and after just one session she stood up in the shower,” Taft said. “I want to help people who are struggling. If someone is dealing with a serious injury or is dealing with a lot of pain, or chronic inflammation, I want to urge them that this can benefit them and improve their quality of life. I just want to help as many people as I can.”
Cryo Kalispell is located at 2593 US 2 East, Suite 1 inside Montana Spine and Neuro. To make an appointment, visit cryokalispell.com or call 406-952-3768.