By Fabian Sandler

It all started in Japan almost forty years ago.  It sounds like an idea for a futuristic science fiction movie.  A doctor began using short freezing treatments for rheumatoid arthritis on patients to manage their pain.  That means freezing body parts.

There are frozen chicken fingers, frozen pigs’ feet, frozen – and breaded – tilapia.  Why not freezing rotator cuffs?  Baseball pitchers might be interested in that.  

The practice of short freezing treatments has greatly evolved since.  180Cryo has the newest techniques in the industry.  

Troy Parks and wife, Julie Good, decided to open 180Cryo together.  Julie, a home health pediatric physical therapist, and Troy, who as he humorously puts it, fixes dents and door dings in cars, had used a cryo sauna machine for their nagging ailments and became sold on the concept.

“I bought my wife and I a gift card to try it out because her foot was injured,” Troy attests.  “I was having back and shoulder problems, not knowing if it would help.  The next morning I woke up and, sure enough, my back was doing a lot better.  We signed up for a membership at another cryo store.  We liked the results, and that’s how we got here.”    

They opened the store in June.  Tina Rogers, who has been in the spa industry, was intrigued by the business and applied for a job when they first opened.  “I thought it would be a good fit for me,” she states.  She is a freeze specialist.

180Cryo offers several forms of therapy.  Cryotherapy is just one of them. Cryotherapy seems to have come from a movie set.  Large nitrogen tanks are located to one side, feeding the tall upright chamber that opens in front like a time machine.  The session lasts just three minutes – 180 seconds, as in the name of the business – with the regulated temperature inside the chamber dropping to as low as negative 260 degrees.  Its benefits include helping a person sleep better, improves circulation, assists with recovery, increases collagen production, reduces inflammation, and reduces onset muscle soreness.

“Cryo also burns between five hundred to eight hundred calories per the therapy session,” Julie exalts.  The reason for that is that the body is attempting to remain warm inside the chamber as the temperature goes well below zero.  Julie says that some people prefer the Cryo Treatment over aerobic workouts.

Precautions for using the cryo machine are those with uncontrolled high blood pressure and/or those with a pacemaker. The minimum age limit for using the cryo machine is fourteen years old.  Otherwise, anyone wanting to feel better is well suited for cryo.

A person starting for the first time with Cryotherpy treatment should do three to five sessions the first week for maximum benefit.  “That’ll get their blood flowing well through their body, and get any inflammation down.  Then from there, a couple of times a week would be best for maintenance.” Troy explains.  “Unless you do an over-strenuous workout, or pull a muscle, or tweak a knee or shoulder, then you want to pump that frequency up a little.  

Normatec Compression Therapy involves putting on a sleeve, getting attached to a machine, and sitting in a comfortable chair as the machine pumps the sleeve up like a balloon.  There are various sleeves, for arms, legs, and hips.  It gets the blood flowing again after a Cryo session. Troy explains, “You’re definitely pumping the blood and your lymphatic fluid back through your body, and you’re getting a nice leg massage going at the same time.”  The Compression Therapy session takes between ten minutes to thirty minutes.  Runners and bicyclists especially find it rewarding. Troy also mentions that there is a study that shows Compression Therapy has helped people with Restless Leg Syndrome improve their sleeping habits.

Hyperthermic Ozone Carbonic Acid Transdermal Therapy, or HOCATT, is a specialized therapy.  “It is actually an amazing machine,” Troy espouses.  The premise behind HOCATT is that, as steam is shot into the chamber, the body is tricked into believing that it has a cold; as the body fights the cold, a fever is mimicked and the detoxifying benefits and healing processes are stimulated. Julie summarizes, “There are a lot of auto-immune components to it, helping the body function better.” The session lasts about thirty minutes

The carbonic acid helps the oxygen absorption ability of the blood, muscles and skin.  Ozone is just one more oxygen atom than normal oxygen, which is O2.  Ozone is O3.  It’s 99.9 percent pure.  It inactivates bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa and can stimulate the immune system and speed healing while detoxing the body.  The HOCATT also does infrared therapy, photon light therapy, electric therapy, aroma therapy, and oxygen therapy all at the same time.  While you’re in [the chamber], pure oxygen is being shot at you so that you’re breathing really good, fresh oxygen to oxygenate the body.  The chamber encloses around the participant, but allows for their head to be outside.

Electric therapy involves holding two metal rods that send gentle electric currents through one’s body.  “It uses Rife Frequency,” Troy explains.  It dates back to the 1930s.  Dr. Rife came up with the frequencies.  The theory is that every organism has a frequency that will destroy it.  You just have to come up with the correct frequency.  It’s like an opera singer hitting a high note and being able to crack glasses.  It’s that right frequency that destroys that glass.  His theory is the same.  Every bad organism out there has a frequency to which it will destroy that organism.”

“The Spot Treatment is something else we do,” Troy continues. The Spot Treatment is also known as the Localized Treatment. “It cools down to negative twenty degrees Celsius.  If you have a certain spot that’s aching, inflamed, or sore, we can take it and put it on that spot, leave it there for five, ten minutes.  It’ll chill it down to about forty degrees Fahrenheit.  What that does is help move blood away from that area so that when it comes rushing back in it’ll help push the inflammation out.  It’s almost like an ice bag after you injure yourself.  Same thing.  We’re just doing it a lot quicker and without water.” explains Troy.

Cold facial can be done using the same treatment.  “We’re just chilling the skin down with really cold temperatures, and helping the collagen build back up while reducing unwanted wrinkles and pore sizes,” Julie states.

Young Living Essential Oils is a line that 180Cryo has started to carry.  Julie explains, “The line promotes healthiness.  We use it at our house.”  Young Living offers a variety of benefits from cosmetic and dietary purposes to wellness, spiritual and religious use.

Memberships start at $225 per month.  Called the Starter Membership, a client gets the use of one Cryo and Normatec session per day.

The Junior Varsity Membership, at $275, a client gets use of one Cryo or spot treatment and one Normatec session a day.

The next step up in membership is called the Varsity, for $350 per month.  This membership presents the client with unlimited use of the Cryo, spot treatment and Normatec.

The Pro Membership gives unlimited access to Cryo; Normatec; Localized; Facial; and the HOCATT is available at a discounted price, for $500 a month.

For September, 180Cryo is running a special, twenty percent off the first month’s membership and a $25 first-time freeze session.

Julie and Troy have begun to consider other services as their business takes off.  The owners have discussed hosting group events or parties, after business hours on weekdays or on Sundays, when they are normally closed.  

Another idea they are considering is inviting Revive Room to join our services.  “A licensed nurse will eventually start doing IV drips here,” Julie begins.  “It’s a company that does vitamin drips through an IV. If we can get enough people interested, they can come over one day a week and offer IV drips.  If there’s more interest, we can have them come more often.”

“The IV drip therapy started off in Vegas as a recovery from the hangover from the night before,” Troy adds, smiling.

As a new business, Troy and Julie are working on networking.  “We are doing a partnership deal with Camp Gladiator,” he states.  “We have another partnership deal with The Fit Crew, which is another workout place.  We are doing another partnership deal with Planet Beach.  If their members want to come here, they’ll get a discount.”

180Cryo is located at 20121 West Lake Houston Parkway in Kingwood.  The phone number is 713-997-0111.  Business hours are 9 AM to 7 PM Monday through Friday, and 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturday.  The website is www.180cryo.com.

Alas, 180Cryo is not a movie set.  There is no fancy, catchy name to a science fiction movie.  But, there is a great slogan: “Work Hard, Play Harder, Recover Faster.”