About a decade ago, Reggie Evans was such a fan of cryotherapy and cryochambers having loved using the one the Clippers had he recommended the Nets buy one. They bought two. But it wasn’t very popular and according to team sources back then, once Evans was gone, so were the chambers.
Now, the Nets have a new advocate for the procedure — the use of ultra cold temperatures as a physical therapy — in Ben Simmons. As Brian Lewis reports Saturday, Simmons has been using the cryochambers at a Los Angeles training facility, Muscle Lab.
Cryogenic therapy is used to help reduce inflammation, pain and other symptoms. The body is exposed to very cold temperatures for a short time, often three minutes. The nitrogen-based cryotherapy machines at Muscle Lab reach temperatures as low as negative 220 degrees.
It usually requires two sessions a week.
“Cryotherapy helps your body reduce inflammation — that’s one of the main points that people use it for – and it helps you recover faster and helps you on any pain management that you have,” Muscle Lab founder Andy Treys told Lewis.
“It’s basically a chamber. … There’s a window, so if you need some air [or] it’s just too cold, you give a knock and we lower the window. Your entire body — even your head and your face — everything is inside this human freezer for three minutes. You pick whatever song you want, and you make it through.”
Treys also said the chambers can enhance mental health.
“Well, I know Ben was struggling through some mental health issues — it actually does help that as well,” Treys said. “It does release endorphins in your body. It’s almost like your body thinks that it’s dying, and it starts fighting. So there’s a lot of very interesting things that happen during the session. … You’re just more refreshed after, almost like a very cold shower.”
As Lewis points out, not everyone agrees with that assessment, quoting a medical expert as saying “it’s a bit of a stretch to say that cryotherapy is actually a viable treatment for anxiety and depression.”
Still, one has to wonder if Simmons believes in the procedure, will the Nets take another look. As Lewis also points out, a number of NBA players, including Tyler Herro of the Heat, are advocates, Herro a client of Muscle Lab.