Markida Henley has lived in the Jackson Hole area for over 30 years, but her perspective on cold is a little different than most locals. She’s used to regular — albeit short — immersions into -250 degree Fahrenheit cold sauna.
How, you ask?
Markida uses whole body cryotherapy, a treatment that works by surrounding your body in temperatures as low as -250 degrees for up to three minutes. It’s a therapy she stumbled on while thumbing through an old issue of O, The Oprah Magazine on a flight to Los Angeles several years ago. A veteran flight attendant, Markida had struggled with chronic fatigue syndrome and decided to give the bizarre, eye-catching treatment a try during her trip.
“I loved it! I felt younger, lighter, and in better health,” says Markida, who explains that you stand in a chamber that exposes your body to sub-zero temperatures. A year later, she returned to LA to help a friend recover from knee replacement surgery. She told her friend, “You are going to do cryo every day for seven days,” and several weeks later, the surgeon said he’d never seen anyone heal so well and so fast after surgery.
With proof that it works, Markida started researching what it would take to bring the therapy to the Wyoming-Idaho area. And in December 2018, Markida opened the doors to CRYO Therapy Idaho in Driggs. She works with athletes who’ve overworked their bodies and need relief, people looking to reverse the effects of aging, clients who have been diagnosed with various conditions, and those struggling with pain. In addition to offering whole body cryotherapy, CRYO also provides localized cryotherapy.
“If you choose to live here it’s likely you’re athletic and live for being outdoors. I thought this would be a really great service for accelerated recovery from injuries, in addition to all the other incredible health benefits,” Markida says.
The treatment works by chilling the outer layer of the skin, which puts you into fight-or-flight mode. When this happens, your capillaries constrict and redirect blood to your core where it is super-charged with oxygen, nutrients, and enzymes. As your body warms back up, your super-charged blood circulates back into your body. Markida explains that the result is a reduction in inflammation and pain, increased circulation, an increase in overall well-being, and improved homeostasis.
Since opening the wellness center, Markida has witnessed impressive results. One client’s 15-year struggle with back pain ended after just one double cryo session. And while many people have seen shockingly fast results, generally it takes a series of multiple sessions.
Another client, who was stooped over due to five herniated discs, did 14 sessions over seven days and was able to visibly stand up straighter before the last treatment. Markida explains that the cold likely allowed the discs to go back to where they used to be, relieving the client’s chronic discomfort and allowing them to return to their active lifestyle.
But at CRYO Therapy Idaho it isn’t just about the cold. Markida and her team also offer Bio Electro Magnetic Energy Regulation (BEMER), which improves blood flow in the capillaries and increases circulation; Sunlighten Infrared Saunas for detoxing and using the sun’s healing light, without harmful UV rays; the AO Scan, a digital body analyzer; and several other products that work at a cellular level.
“CRYO Therapy Idaho’s primary focus is an optimum level of wellness now and healthier longevity for the future. We do this by assisting the body to better self-regulate, self-repair, and self-regenerate as it is innately programmed to do,” says Markida. “The therapies are totally passive and non-invasive. By being proactive in a totally unique and holistic way, everyone has the possibility to achieve greater health and wellness.”
It doesn’t matter if you are dealing with chronic conditions, a recent injury or surgery, or just want to challenge yourself to three minutes in -250 degree cold — you might be surprised with the results. Just don’t be alarmed if, like Markida and many of her clients, you get totally hooked!