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Futuristic cryosauna puts healing freeze on Minnesota athletes

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Some of Minnesota's athletes are trying out an innovative form of physical therapy in favor of ice baths to heal injuries – and it looks like something out of a science fiction movie.

FOX 9 reports athletes from the Twin Cities – including some Vikings and Timberwolves players – are among those who use the cryosauna at The Locker in Minneapolis. Owner and operator Branden Johnson describes the device as an "ice bath on steroids."

Athletes can either hop in the stand-up chamber that covers their body up to their necks, or get spot therapy through a wand-like device.

The cryosauna at The Locker pumps vaporized liquid nitrogen through the machine for up to three minutes. FOX 9 says it was originally used to treat people with rheumatoid arthritis, but has since evolved into a device to help athletes heal their injuries.

The treatment, Johnson says, is cold, naturally, but it also helps the skin's receptors and forces the body to protect itself. It stimulates the metabolism and encourages positive red blood cells, he says.

Temperatures get down to 270 degrees below zero, a spokesperson with The Locker says in a video.

Johnson says he had to get a cryosauna device in Minneapolis after visiting a facility in Texas that helped treat the Dallas Mavericks.

WCCO said Johnson introduced the cryosauna to the Twin Cities in 2012. In addition to helping athletes alleviate pain, the device has also been utilized to help people burn calories.

According to the blog Gizmodo, the cryochamber was invented by trainer Alberto Salazar in 2011.

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