No…cryogenics are a plausible wave of the future—a cold wave. Even what might be considered an exotic device—a freezing chamber!

While New Yorkers and celebrities are using the treatments to burn calories and counteract overly rigorous workouts, cryotherapy has many potential medical benefits.

Ice has been used as an anti-inflammatory medical treatment for centuries.

Michiganders don’t have to book a flight to experience that which we once believed was only possible for celebrities or faddists—the likes of big names such as Austin Powers. And as a bonus, there is an innovation that works in minutes, not decades. There is a whole-body cryotherapy facility at Cryobalance in Birmingham. The freezing chamber was made in the U.S.A. in an ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified facility.” Not only is Cryobalance in a location that is convenient and accessible, it was the first to open in Michigan.

It is a secret weapon of both Lions and Pistons players who need to recover quickly from injury. Cryobalance representatives say the cold-temperature treatments benefit the general public as well. Owners AJ and Yvette Nafso explained: “Not only does Cryotherapy help reduce inflammation, it also helps with putting you in a better mood, fights insomnia, increases energy and improves skin elasticity. You burn 600-900 calories each session. It may be used for post-surgical recovery, collagen repair to tighten skin, athletic performance, rheumatoid recovery and increasing metabolism.” Each of these claims is an opportunity for medical research.

Whole-body cryogenic therapy started in Japan in the 1970s as a means of treating rheumatoid arthritis, making its way to Europe in the ‘80s and the U.S.A. and Australia within the last decade. Today, cryosurgery is an effective and commonplace treatment with few side effects for targeted areas, such as warts and early cancerous skin growths.

Thus far, the FDA has not approved whole-body cryogenic devices. They do come with risks. Having said that, the medical community ought to be open to innovations that might advance our ability to heal.

What needs little research is the immediate effects such an extreme change in environment will do to the body. “Most of our clients are obsessed with using the whole-body chamber because of how they feel right after they come out,” the Nafsos explained. Imagine the endorphin rush one would get from being surrounded by dry nitrous vapors over negative 100 degrees Celsius for three minutes! Most people would imagine it being more refreshing than a Polar Bear Plunge. Various reports say the effects of this radical change in body temperature lasts for hours.

 In addition to the physical benefits, Cryobalance reports, other cryotherapy centers claim their chambers improve circulation and alleviate ailments such as fibromyalgia, arthritis and joint pain. Proponents of cryotherapy believe toxins are removed from the blood as fresh blood circulates throughout the body. They see improvements in people suffering from multiple sclerosis, migraines and Alzheimer's. The improvement in physical conditions leads to reduced stress and anxiety in many cases.

With proper research and standards for treatment, this innovation has its merits; however, there are certain risks associated with this controversial procedure. On October 20, 2015, Chelsea Ake-Salvacion, 24, was found dead inside a cryotherapy chamber at the Las Vegas spa where she worked. Her death brought media attention to the dangers of asphyxiation via cryotherapy. By increasing nitrogen in an enclosed space, oxygen levels are lowered, which can cause a person to lose consciousness or die. Researchers on the topic suggest there are risks of frostbite, eye injury, heart attack and seizure as well. “We have our clients sign a waiver to make sure they do not have high blood pressure, and any open wounds or heart conditions,” the Nafsos reported.

Common sense says people will react differently to sudden and extreme temperatures. For this reason, it is advisable that our readers consult with their physicians before trying cryotherapy for themselves.

The average session runs close to $90. But Cryobalance offers deals and holiday specials. A good massage is comparable in cost, but many might consider cryotherapy to be a special treat.

For more information or to set up a consult, call 248.644.8000 or visit

211 Hamilton Row
Birmingham, MI 48009


A Chilling Effect… That is Beneficial continued 

Former Lions Doc Champions Cryotherapy

For nearly 14 years, Dr. Sol Cogan served as team chiropractor for the Detroit Lions, ensuring these elite NFL football players remained pain free and at the top of their game. He saw firsthand how pro athletes benefit from non-invasive cold therapy to reduce inflammation, increase metabolism and enhance overall health. If cryotherapy could help rejuvenate their muscles, decrease pain, diminish fatigue and promote self-healing, imagine what it could do for everyone else. With that thought in mind, Dr. Cogan opened CryoWellness USA in 2015, offering whole body cryotherapy in two locations — Farmington and Plymouth.

“Thousands of people in the United States are enjoying the benefits of cryotherapy every year,” Dr. Cogan says. “It’s great for relieving pain and it increases energy.”

 He knows, not only because of the positive feedback he’s received from clients; Dr. Cogan has spent time in the cryosauna chamber himself. Treatments take approximately three minutes or less. Temperatures range from -160 to -270 degrees Fahrenheit.

 “The subzero temperatures stimulate the body’s immune system and blood vessels constrict, rushing blood to the core,” Dr. Cogan explains. “Immediately after treatment, the blood vessels dilate and oxygen enriched blood circulates to create natural detoxification and anti-inflammatory effects.”

 Dr. Cogan, who also served as president of the Professional Football Chiropractic Society and chairman of the Michigan Board of Chiropractic, recommends cryotherapy for those recovering from surgery or injuries, suffering with join disorders, and more.

For more information or to book an appointment,

call (248) 615-0080 or visit