Dallas Mavs seek out experimental therapy to rejuvenate post-game

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on June 9, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 10 at 2:48 PM

PLANO - Sherry Twitchell is stepping into what looks like a heat sauna, but it is really a cooling chamber.

Inside the chamber liquid nitrogen super-chills the air to 250-degrees below zero.

Millennium Ice in Plano is one of the few facilities in the country offering total-body cryotherapy.

Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and other Mavs use it regularly.

"It revives you," said Jason Terry, Dallas Mavericks player. "It gives you a youthfulness and if you have any aches and pains, instantly when you step out of that chamber, you're revived."

For athletes, the treatment is similar to an ice bath, except much colder, much faster.

Frigid temps prompt blood to rush to the core of the body

"When blood is circulating through the core," said Eric Rauscher, Millennium CEO. "It's picking up oxygen and nutrients and enzymes and all the things that it needs to survive."

The result is swelling goes down and muscles recover faster.

Sports experts say full-body cryotherapy is new, but the concept is sound.

"It does make sense that if you're doing total body therapy like that that it can affect all your muscles," said Dr. John Heinrich, Baylor sports medicine expert. "Allow you to recover a little quicker. But I'd say there's still a lot that needs to be understood about it."

From start to finish, whole-body cryotherapy takes less than 3 minutes.

For Sherry Twitchell, results were immediate.

"I've had years of back problems and it already feels like there's something going on," said Twitchell.

A single cryotherapy session runs about $70. A machine itself costs about $50,000.

If the therapy helps, it may be a rehab investment pro-sports teams like the Mavericks may consider having in the locker room.

Email:jstjames@wfaa.com

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