BEING plunged into sub zero temperatures might not sound like a fun — but it was a very rewarding experience.

Cryotherapy is becoming big business, and deputy news editor JASON KAYLEY got to a first-hand experience at the UK's first clinical cryotherapy centre in Blackburn.

WHAT do Floyd Mayweather Jr, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jennifer Aniston and I all have in common?

Well, apart from all having ears, we’ve all had cryotherapy treatment.

For those who don’t know what it is, cryotherapy is an internationally-recognised treatment which exposes the body to ultra-low temperatures in aid help the body to rapid recovery from injury.

Developed in Japan in the 1970s, the use of cryotherapy is now commonplace — especially in professional sports. Indeed, some of the centre’s best customers are boxer Luke Blackledge, players from Blackburn Rovers and strongman Graham Hicks.

And there’s various types but I got to try two - cryozone, or spot, and whole body - thanks to the lovely people at Cryo Express.

Many people will have heard of ice baths helping sportsmen to recover, but the whole body therapy takes out the need to be brave enough to plunge into a freezing cold bath for 45 minutes as you can get the same healing benefits in three minutes flat.

Now, as a Lancastrian, I’m no stranger to the cold, but being plunged into -200°F is quite a prospect.

But thanks to Debs Masson and business partner Nargis Akhtar Malik, they took the sting out of it.

Cryo Express was the first in the UK to introduce spot cryotherapy at its Blackburn clinic in 2014 and is now the first in Lancashire to offer whole body cryotherapy.

Launched by business partners Debs Masson and Nargis Akhtar Malik, as well as being the first to offer whole body cryotherapy in Lancashire, Cryo Express will be the first whole body Cryotherapy Centre of Excellence in the UK, backed by a dedicated medical advisory board.

Director and physiotherapist Debs Masson said: “Cryotherapy is well established in cutting edge sports therapy and there are whole body units already in use for player recovery at Premiership football clubs and other top-level professional sport health centres across the country.

“But we are the first Cryotherapy Centre of Excellence open to the public in the UK and so we are very excited and proud to be launching Lancashire’s first whole body cryotherapy clinic here in Blackburn as part of that.

“The benefits of cryotherapy are vast. It can help treat pain and aid recovery from sports injuries and heavy training. It also works on the skin to provide a youthful appearance and can give a significant boost to weight loss.

“It has also been reported to help mental wellbeing, which is all pretty amazing for a treatment that takes only three minutes.

“We have worked with our clinical and medical partners to develop this Centre of Excellence and we are aiming to forge strong relationships with our clients and professional institutions to further develop the efficacy of cryotherapy in the UK.”

So, after I donned my robe, thermal socks and gloves and kept my underwear on to keep me respectable, I waited for the cryo chamber to get down to temperature and then I got in, de-robed, and let the frozen liquid nitrogen vapour do its work.

It was quite a strange experience standing in the chamber, something between a sci-fi film and an 80s pop video, as the vapour swirled around.

But to keep my mind off the perishing temperature, Debs was constantly talking to me and kept me focused, and the time flew by.

And the results? Well, as age catches up with me I’m riddled with aches and pains, but after three minutes in the chamber I definitely felt better.

As Debs explained, my body went into a form of “thermic shock” which changes the enzymes in the system and how they operate. And the result? It was chilly but some of my ailments, especially in my back, certainly eased.

While I was at the Cunningham Court centre, I was also treated to a ‘spot’ or localised cryotherapy treatment.

I suffered a broken hand, little finger and wrist a few years ago playing cricket, and I still suffer with it - or at least I did until a few minutes of treatment.

Debs concentrated the icy blast on my right hand, and after a few minutes, once my hand had returned to normal temperature, my hand was pain-free for the first time in years. Amazing!

She said: “The cold temperatures help to increase the blood flow in the area, which helps with the inflammation, which is usually the cause of the pain.

“The increased oxygen levels flowing through the area helps the symptoms and causes relief.”

I also had a treatment from the G5 machine, a machine that provides a deep-tissue massage without the need to get undressed, and takes the strain off the operator.

Cryo Express is based at Unit 17, Cunningham Court, Blackburn BB1 2QX.

To find out more or book a session, visit or call 01254 56770.