Cryotherapy: The local or general use of extremely cold temperatures in medical treatment – or, as “whole body cryotherapy” (WBC), to alleviate muscle soreness and possibly improve performance among elite athletes. From Greek words meaning “cold” and “therapy.”
Cryotherapy made headlines last week when Chelsea Ake-Salvacion, a 24-year-old employee of the Rejuvenice spa in Henderson, Nevada, was found frozen and dead in one of the facility’s deep-freeze tanks. She had stayed after closing hours “hop into the tanks for a bit,” as she said in a text message to her boyfriend. According to the coroner’s office, she died within minutes of entering the chamber, which had been hypercooled with nitrous oxide to a temperature of -240 degrees Fahrenheit (-151 Celsius).