If you've been following us for the past few months, you've probably noticed our recent obsession with cryotherapy. We've told you why we are huge proponents and all the wonderful benefits of incorporating cryo into your life. On this #WomanCrushWednesday, we would like to share the story of the woman behind The CryoBar, Sara Latham.
Tell us your story. When were you first introduced to Cryotherapy?
I was first introduced to cryotherapy in August 2015 but started really committing to a few months later.
What was it about cryotherapy that interested you?
I was desperate to find a natural way for my body to deal with the inflammation and pain I had been experiencing for over a decade with my osteoporosis-arthritis. I had to have both of my hips resurfaced in 2012 and had multiple foot surgeries on my left foot starting in 2005 after years as a dancer and gymnast. I was so tired of doctors constantly giving me more medications which were only masking my symptoms instead of truly helping my body get better. Then my thyroid crashed and it all got worse. I not only gained 16lbs in just 4 months, but I began to lose my hair in spots, I went into early peri-menopause. I was tired all of the time but couldn’t sleep. Then the anxiety and depression set in because multiple doctors and even nutritionists couldn’t help me get better. Two-and-a-half years after my thyroid crashed, I was in a total state of depression and helplessness...
Then came whole body cryotherapy. I thought the whole idea of getting into this cold machine sounded totally crazy but I was desperate and willing to try anything. I only lasted 2 minutes my first treatment. I had made myself so nervous that I was going to freeze to death and turn into an icicle, that I went in ready to get out. But after I got out, I realized it really wasn’t that bad (and I HATE being cold). I immediately got the endorphin rush and felt like I could conquer the world! That day was the most productive day I had had in years, and that night I slept like a baby. When I woke-up the next morning, I was definitely more mobile than I had been in years as well. But I couldn’t tell if it was my mind telling me it was better or if I truly did have less pain. So I went back 5 days later. It happened all over again and I was hooked! The idea that my body was doing the positive work and not just the meds, gave me hope that I could get better. I didn’t know about the weight-loss side of it either, but two months into it I had lost 7 pounds! I found that going 2 to 3 times a week was my magic number. Then a trip that November with my family sealed the deal. We were in a rush to get to the airport and I accidentally left my bag of drugs on the counter at home. When we got to our destination and I realized my mistake, I immediately went into panic mode, trying to figure out how to get a 4 day supply of my prescription anti-inflammatories so I could enjoy the trip without being in massive amounts of joint pain. When I woke-up the next morning, I was okay, even though I had missed my anti-inflammatory pill the night before. I decided to wait and see what happened. I haven’t taken any anti-inflammatory drugs since then for my arthritis. As long as I have cryo around, I can function without the drugs. That’s when I knew I either needed my own machine at home or open my own place. The rest is history!
How often did you do cryo while you were healing?
2-3 times per week
How often do you do it now?
I do the whole body and facials 3-5 times a week - sometimes more if I am having a flare-up. The cryo-toning facial has completely gotten rid of my rosacea and eczema. It also helped my hair return in the spots that had thinned so badly, you could see my scalp. It got rid of the adult on set acne I had from the peri-menopause hormones. It has also helped my fine lines around my eyes, mouth and forehead. I do get bags under my eyes, but they used to be dark circles. These have greatly diminished over time. The bonus is that it helps with headaches and my TMJ sore muscles from clenching my teeth at night.
What are your favorite benefits of cryotherapy?
When I am tired from running a business and taking care of my 3 boys, the endorphin high I get helps me get through my day. It helps me sleep more soundly and I’m not achy all the time, like I once was. It has also helped me looe the 16lbs I gained when my thyroid crashed and keep it off. I haven’t had to increase my thyroid meds since starting cryo which is AMAZING!
What is your favorite part of founding/running the CryoBar?
The clients and all of the good things I have seen happen for them with cryotherapy makes this the best job ever!! It’s an extension of my family! I truly care about all of their well-being and want to see them get better naturally! Cryotherapy can’t fix your slipped disc or repair your torn labrum but it can help you deal with the pain in a more natural way. Not to mention, it does wonders for sore muscles which allows me to workout at 42 like I did in my 20’s.
Any advice to women interested in starting a business/following their passion(s)?
I was in finance before being a stay-at-home mom for 12 years. I liked what I did just fine, but now I love it and believe in it 110%. Follow your passion, even if it isn’t in your normal wheel house. If you believe in it and are committed to it, you will accomplish it! One of my favorite sayings is “Comfort is an evil!” You have to be willing to try something new and challenge yourself. You won’t regret it!
A HUGE thank you to Sara for sharing her story and bringing the CryoBar into our lives. You can meet Sara at The CryoBar in Lincoln Park and Wicker Park!