By Nathan Pilling
BEAVERCREEK — In the lower level of an office building along Dayton Xenia Road is a machine that looks to be something straight out of a science fiction movie. As it’s activated, it rumbles to life, and an indicator on its top shows that its internal temperature is dropping.
Negative 80 degrees Celsius.
Nitrogen gas, the source of the extreme cold, lazily billows out the machine’s top. Then suddenly its chamber is cold enough, and its prospective occupant steps in.
He’s in the chamber in the extreme cold for about three minutes – what probably feels like a lifetime – before he steps out, invigorated and likely feeling more than a little like a popsicle.
The machine is a cryotherapy chamber, and it represents one of the first extreme cold therapy businesses in the Dayton area: Arctic Cryotherapy. The newly opened enterprise is the work of two former Sidney High School students, Austin McVety and Mark Miller.
How does it work?
“You walk into this standing-up chamber, and you get exposed to negative 220 to 260 degrees Fahrenheit,” Miller said. “It’s colder than the coldest place in the world, and you’re going to be naked.”
Miller said the machine helps the body to pump blood into the major organs and puts it in a “fight or flight mode, giving you a rush of adrenaline and endorphins.” He said after the occupant steps out, the blood goes back out into the body and facilitates healing, while promoting recovery and reducing pain.
“The inspiration, I would say, is to give people an alternative to pain medications,” McVety said. “That’s become an epidemic across the U.S. A lot of doctors don’t even like to prescribe pain medications. This gives people another avenue to go down or even something to supplement the pain medications. That’s a big part of it.”
In addition to the health benefits, Miller said the treatment is good for “beauty and health,” as it increases collagen production and helps to make skin look vibrant.
McVety acknowledged that since the therapy is new, education will be one of the business’s biggest obstacles. While the FDA has not cleared or approved any whole body cryogenic devices, the business’s co-founders point to the therapy’s adoption by the Dallas Mavericks, athletes like LeBron James, Floyd Mayweather and Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as use in Japan and Europe, as examples of its popularity.
Now, that Arctic cold treatment is in Beavercreek.
Austin McVety checks the cryotherapy chamber while its occupant receives a treatment Friday.
Reach Nathan Pilling at 937-502-4498 or on Twitter @XDGNatePilling.