THE COST OF CRYOTHERAPY - IS IT WORTH IT?
When you are exploring cryotherapy options, one consideration will be the price. Whether you’re a facility looking to purchase a machine, or a potential whole-body cryotherapy client, you’ll want to understand the cost implications involved.
In this article we’ll look deeper into the cost of cryotherapy, exploring the different technologies and the cost (and effectiveness) implications for facilities and clients alike.
By the end of the article you’ll be more informed about the options available to you and what the cost implications are. You’ll understand the pros and cons of the technologies and will be able to make a better-informed decision.
CRYOTHERAPY TECHNOLOGIES – ELECTRIC AND NITROGEN
There are two different types of cryotherapy chambers, electric and nitrogen gas. We’ll look at both:
Electric chambers use an electric powered cooling method. It works by exposing you to the extremely cold air for a few minutes. Your whole body will be in the chamber (head included), which is why it is known as WBC (whole body cryotherapy).
This is an easier and cheaper set up because all it relies on is electricity. You don’t need to make any extra provisions for gas and the set-up is incredibly simple. It’s a fully automated system, rather than relying on nitrogen gas, managing client's appointments to reduce per treatment consumable cost and restocking when gas runs out which can vary week to week.
The nitrogen direct chambers use a release of vapour nitrogen to create the cold environment. Nitrogen gas isn’t safe to inhale, so you can’t expose your head to the vapour before, during or after treatment. This is known as PBC (partial body cryotherapy).
Did you know 27% of your receptors are above your armpit.
In these chambers there is an open top for the head to be above the treatment space.
Some nitrogen-cooled indirect cryo-chambers use a forced cooling effect to supply cooled air in the chamber, but this comes at a significant additional running cost.
COST IMPLICATION TO BUSINESS AND CUSTOMERS
An electric system means your clients can book when they want to use the chamber. It is also cheaper, easier to install and no in-direct time and cost implications managing nitrogen gas. If the machine is plugged into a reliable electricity supply, then you’re up and running. There’s no ongoing safety concerns and no additional in-direct costs.
With nitrogen, you must consider the electrical power supply and the storage, delivery and safety of having nitrogen on site. Safety concerns are a real issue – in fact some parts of the NHS have stopped using nitrogen for cryotherapy, citing health and safety concerns as the reason.
There’s a cost implication to the businesses who operate a nitrogen system – they have stock (gas) to buy, which is expensive. This cost must be passed onto the customer for the business to protect their margin.
There’s a use consistency case to answer as well. An electric system doesn’t rely on anything other than an electrical supply, which is ever-present. If a facility offering nitrogen cryotherapy runs out of gas, or there’s an issue with supply then the machine won’t be operational. That can impact your ability to use the machine when you like.
Electricity is a largely fixed cost – when you enter a deal, you know what you’ll pay for your electricity for the duration of the deal. Gas isn’t quite as straight forward. You’re impacted on supply and demand, fluctuations on price and availability. It means you’ll potentially have to pay more for the gas, which can impact your margin or force you to change pricing models frequently. Estimated costs supplied by electric manufacturers are very accurate as they are based on kW usage of the system. With nitrogen estimated costs have many variables and in practice the running costs a lot of the time are significantly higher than what is estimated by nitrogen manufacturers.
OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS OF EACH APPROACH
The evidence shows that whole body cryotherapy is far more effective than partial body cryotherapy. The claim of the nitrogen based PBC is that the chamber temperature is lower, therefore more effective but that doesn’t hold up in the research.
Although the electrical cryotherapy chamber reaches –110°C in the above study referenced compared to a claimed -160°C with nitrogen, the body is cooled more with the WBC than with PBC, making the electrical WBC system more effective.
ELECTRIC VS NITROGEN CRYOTHERAPY – FINAL THOUGHTS
No matter which viewpoint you look at it, the electrical WBC is a better system than the nitrogen PBC.
It’s easier and cheaper to own and operate an electrical system for a facility. There’s no additional risk to the facility, customers and staff like you’d have with nitrogen. There are potential running cost fluctuations with nitrogen due to delivery costs, and additional considerations such as availability.
An electrical machine is quick to install, it’s fully automated and can be made available to your clients all day. It means businesses can offer predictability of usage and charge less per session whilst still enjoying a healthy profit margin.
INTERESTED? LEARN MORE…
RP-X are the leading providers of whole-body cryotherapy units in the UK. We have nearly two decades in the space and offer a wide range of turnkey solutions for facilities looking to invest in this technology.
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