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Woman found frozen to death in cryotherapy chamber
01:37 - Source: KSNV

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Cryotherapy involves short exposure to very cold temperatures for possible use in pain management and detoxification

Despite its popularity and the recent tragedy, there is little hard evidence of cryotherapy's positive or negative health effects

CNN  — 

Chelsea Ake-Salvacion was hoping to soothe her aching body at the end of the day by taking a quick dip in one of the cryotherapy tanks at the spa in Nevada where she worked. But the session ended tragically when the 24-year-old was found dead the next day, her body “rock-hard solid,” according to a family member.

Although the details of Ake-Salvacion’s death last week are not clear yet, advocates of cryotherapy — which involves short exposure to very cold temperatures — say the treatment is safe when used correctly. For example, cryotherapy centers generally do not allow people, even employees such as Ake-Salvacion, to go into the machines without supervision.

Ake-Salvacion’s death may highlight the real risks of cryotherapy and also raise questions about whether it has real benefits. In a statement released by Ake-Salvacion’s employer, Rejuvenice, the company said, “We firmly believe in whole-body cryotherapy treatments for pain management, athletic recovery, detoxification and a variety of other ailments. Millions of treatments have been given safely all over the world for more than 20 years.”

Does it really work?