Shrewsbury company's minus-85 degree 'reverse sauna' switched on
A therapy machine which plunges the body into temperatures of minus-85 degrees will be switched on today after the launch of a new business.
A sort of reverse sauna which exposes users to freezing sub-zero temperatures in order to tackle weight loss, skin conditions and to help athletes prepare for and recover from exercise, the cryo-chamber is the centrepiece of new Shrewsbury business Cryozone.
Founded by Lee Morgan, it is being proposed as a combined weight-loss and sports injury business which was previously available only to elite athletes and the very wealthy in London.
As well as being only the fourth publicly accessible cryo-chamber of its type in the country, the chamber at Longbow Close at Battlefield in Shrewsbury is also the first that can accommodate three people together.
Mr Morgan is an amateur racing driver in F1000, and in 2008 had a crash in Germany in which he broke several ribs and shattered his pelvis, after which he had to learn to walk all over again.
It was while looking into various therapies during his recovery that he heard about cryo-chambers, since when he and his family have been considering their benefits as a potential business opportunity.
"We have been talking about this for maybe seven years," said Mr Morgan, who switches on the machine for public use for the first time today ahead of a formal launch next month.
"The big selling point is that in the three minutes you're in there, depending on your BMI, you can burn 500 to 800 calories.
"We haven't really pushed the advertising, but 90 per cent of people we have spoken to have been very positive over what it can do."
He added: "I would have thought people would travel from even Birmingham, as the closest place for these sorts of machines otherwise is in London. We would also hope to attract people from Chester."
A similar two-man chamber has been installed by Leicester City Football Club to help players prepare for and recover from matches, while global football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has also reportedly used the chambers.
Mr Morgan added: "When you are in the main chamber, all the blood goes to protect your main organs because of the shock of it being cold, and the enzymes in your blood are protecting you.
"When you come out the goodness that it has created in the blood flows through the rest of the body and makes you feel good for three or four days.
"We are the fourth of these in the UK, and the first outside London. The first opened in Harvey Nicholls in Knightsbridge in February, then one in Sevenoaks in Kent, then in Harrods.
"It has been in Japan since the 1970s and is now taking off ni a big way in America – over the last couple of years they have started to pop up everywhere there.
"The ones that are in London are about £90 per session, and our opening offer is £99 for 10 sessions."
Eventually the new venture is expected to employ two or three people providing treatments, with other more localised freezing chambers also available.