One of the coolest trends in Northwest Indiana is dunking yourself in subzero temperatures to treat aches, pains and inflammation.

Cryo Freeze Cryotherapy & Recovery is the third cryotherapy studio to open recently in the Tri-Town. The new studio at 8333 Wicker Ave. in the Lake Central Plaza across from Lake Central High School in St. John joins NWI Cryotherapy & Fitness in Schererville and Float Sixty in Schererville in offering cryotherapy treatment.

The modern version of an ice bath is used by athletes and those with chronic pain who submit themselves to supercooling in a tank for a few minutes at temperatures as low as minus 260 degrees.

The cold therapy is used to treat a variety of ailments like rheumatoid arthritis, chronic pain, inflammation, eczema, acne, anxiety and depression, as well as to assist in muscle recovery. Purported benefits include increased metabolic rate, greater energy, improved circulation, an enhanced immune system, pain relief, better sleep, and reduced cellulite, though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cautions there's not the medical testing to back such claims.

"People are just starting to become educated on it here," Cryo Freeze owner Mike Tokich said. "It's been around in Japan since 1978 but it took a little longer to get here. It's for holistic wellness and an alternative to a physician giving you a handful of pills. It's used by athletes and for arthritis. I'd like to promote it for the working man, the worker in construction whose whole back and body are hurting, or who has the general aches and pains associated with aging."

Submerging oneself to 260 degrees below zero may not sound pleasant to some, but it's not as harsh as it sounds, Tokich said.

"It sounds like a temperature your mind can't comprehend," he said. "But if you're from the Midwest, it's nothing you couldn't handle. It feels no colder than a cold winter day. No one has asked to get out early because they couldn't handle it."

The treatment has become especially popular with athletes after it was embraced by sports stars like LeBron James, Ryan Braun and Floyd Mayweather Jr. 

Tokich, a mixed martial artist, started the studio after trying cryotherapy himself for the wear and tear on his body and becoming a believer.

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"It was pretty much my last option," he said. "I want to bring that relief to other people. I have a genuine interest in making other people feel better."

Cryo Freeze also offers NORMATEC compression recovery, hydromassage therapy, hypervolt vibration massage therapy, and infrared sauna therapy.

"A traditional sauna uses steam to heat up to 140 to 145 degrees," he said. "This uses infrared coils in the wall to heat up to 118 degrees to detox out the pain and stress."

The 1,600-square-foot facility employs three people and may add more later if needed.

Cryo Freeze is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, visit cryofreezeinc.com, call 219-558-0486 or find the business on social media.

Here's a look at 15 health and fitness trends to try in NWI this summer


Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.