It’s no secret that many South Carolinians aren’t fond of the cold, but Albert Knight of Beaufort said his new cryotherapy business, Carolina Chillin’, at 17 Sherington Drive, Suite D, in Bluffton, is the answer to many ailments for pain sufferers.
“We’re taking your body itself and forcing it to go into a survival mode to heal itself,” he said
For those who are unfamiliar with cryotherapy, Knight said it involves enclosing the entire body, except the head, in a cryo-machine for two to three minutes, which will bring the skin’s temperature to around 30 degrees and the surrounding air to colder than 270 degrees below zero. The practice was created in 1978 but was only really introduced to the U.S. in 2011, he said. It is popular in places like California, Florida and even Charleston. Cryotherapy was designed for rheumatoid arthritis but has been used to treat inflammation, other pain conditions and even to help athletes achieve better performance. Knight said cryotherapy is non-invasive — nothing is being put into the body — and it can serve as an alternative to taking a number of medications.
“When (clients) walk through the door, I want them to feel comfortable. I want them to trust me,” Knight said. “If you want ... come in, sit down, talk to me, and then learn to trust me to the point that I’m going to help you live better.”
Knight said he got into the practice of cryotherapy after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which he said could not be treated with medication. He opened his Bluffton practice in November.
“I really love cryotherapy,” he said. “I know it helped me when nothing else did, and that’s why I opened my doors.”
For first-time users, a cryotherapy session is $25 with single sessions after that priced at $55, Knight said, but packages are available that lower the per-session price. He suggests that those who are seeking relief from pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, have seven to 10 sessions — about every day or every other day before transitioning to once a week. He said those who suffer from other chronic pain issues might have to come in for 10 to 20 sessions in short succession to get started.
To those who might be deterred from trying cryotherapy because of their dislike for the cold, Knight said he’s not much of a fan either.
“I hate the cold, but for the benefits that I get for a three-minute session … with less pain, with less inflammation, with less problems, I’m going to stand in that machine for three minutes,” he said.