Chelsea Ake-Salvacion, a young salon manager in the US, has died in a cryotherapy accident, with her body found last week after spending 10 hours inside a chamber that blasts out air as cold as -151 degrees Celsius.
The 24-year-old Chelsea, who ran the Rejuvenice salon in Las Vegas, is believed to have entered a machine alone after hours without turning it off, and died within minutes.
Her body was found the next morning inside the machine, which she had been praising to the Las Vegas Review-Journal just a few days before her death.
Cryotherapy was originally developed to help athletes treat sore muscles, aids in weight loss, burns down calories and reduces inflammation by freezing skin for just a few minutes at a time.
But in the case of Chelsea’s tragic death, it turns out that there wasn’t much evidence to support whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) even for its original purpose of reducing sports injuries – and there’s certainly not any replicable peer-reviewed evidence to suggest that it can aid weight loss or promote beauty.
Not only that, just last year, a review of the research found that there was only weak evidence that WBC can alter inflammatory pathways.
But still, the practice has become more popular in recent years, with athletes such as LeBron James publicly incorporating it into their daily routines, and plenty of media outlets giving the fad a try for weight loss and beauty purposes.
All devices are equipped with numerous safety features and doors are never locked, which allows clients to stop treatment instantaneously at any time,” as explained by The Rejuvenice website.
However, it seems for some reason that Chelsea went into the machine alone. An investigator has reportedly put Chelsea’s death down to an “operator error”, although it’s not yet clear what the cause of death was, with an autopsy unavailable for six or seven weeks. Her family has told the press that she was frozen in solid ice.
This is a sad thing to happen to someone so young, but hope that from this death come some better regulations for the use of cryotherapy machines, as well as some awareness of the potential risks of the said machine.