DAYTON — Sidney native Mark Miller, of Versailles, says he’s a tropical kind of guy. That’s why he hasn’t yet visited the home of his best friend and new business partner, Austin McVety.
McVety, also originally from Sidney, likes colder climes. He now lives in Barrow, Alaska, above the Arctic Circle.
The 2007 Sidney High School graduates have recently ventured into territory that makes even McVety’s residential area feel warm.
They have opened Arctic Cryotherapy LLC in Beavercreek. The business offers whole-body cryotherapy treatments and treatments using NormaTec, compression hip boots that provide a deep tissue massage.
Cryotherapy is a technique that involves standing almost nude for three minutes in a chamber called a cryosauna while nitrogen gas is pumped in, cooling the air in the chamber to 260 degrees below zero.
Proponents say the treatment can help people suffering from asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, chronic pain, depression, fibromyalgia, insomnia, migraines, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis and can assist with weight loss.
However, the treatment has not been evaluated or endorsed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is not regulated by any U.S. government agency. McVety and Miller did not need to obtain any special licenses to operate the business.
Cryotherapy is a process that was developed by Japanese doctors in the late 1970s and has been widely used in Asia and Europe since then, McVety said. Its popularity in the U.S. has been growing in the last five years, thanks in part to professional athletes who have found it to lessen muscle pain after hard workouts.
Miller and McVety’s is the first whole-body cryotherapy center in the Dayton area.
“We were looking at California and Miami Beach, but in Dayton, we would be the first,” McVety said. Centers have already been established in many other large cities.
“And it was home. We had more support to be able to network,” Miller added. He has been working in sales since he graduated from Wright State University with a Bachelor of Science in behavioral neuroscience. He will manage the business on a day-to-day basis.
McVety has a Bachelor of Science in health administration from the University of Toledo and works at Samuel Simmons Memorial Hospital in Barrow.
It was his idea to look into a cryotherapy business.
“I started to discover that athletes would use it. I’m not huge into body building, but into health. There’s an epidemic in addiction to opiates (to relieve pain). This would be a good alternative to help chronic pain,” he said. He and Miller made a decision in April to start the business and opened the doors, July 1.
Their cryosauna, a Juka manufactured in Poland and distributed by Cryohealthcare, holds one person at a time. All clients must wear gloves and socks, provided by Artic Cryotherapy when they are under treatment. Men must wear underwear. All jewelry must be removed, but permanent body piercings can be covered to protect the skin around them.
When clients arrive, they must sign an insurance waiver. The treatment is not covered by health insurance plans. When they enter the chamber, they ride a small elevator, which puts their heads above the nitrogen gas.
No one is locked into the chamber. The longest treatment time is three minutes, but anyone can stop the treatment sooner than that, McVety said.
“You just open the door,” he said. The nitrogen gas doesn’t flow when the door is open.
According to Miller, the treatment causes blood to rush to the body’s vital organs and in the heart, it becomes re-oxygenized.
“It feels like you’re in a cloud,” he said. “It’s cold, but it’s not a painful, piercing cold.”
“When you get out, you’re going to feel like a million bucks,” McVety said. When the treatment is over, it takes about 15 minutes to warm up, he added.
People with heart conditions, Raynaud’s syndrome or cold-activated asthma, who have high blood pressure, or who are pregnant cannot receive treatment. Miller checks blood pressure before allowing clients to enter the cryosauna.
Treatments cost $30; although clients who pair cryotherapy with the NormaTec massage therapy pay $39 for both treatments. Appointments and walk-ins are accepted.
Arctic Cryotherapy is at 3351 Dayton-Xenia Road, Beavercreek. For information, call 937-956-6397 or visit www.arcticcryotherapy.com.