This is not a joke. At first I thought this tidbit from the Suns camp was a spoof of some sort. Something cooked up by the comedian/NBA star Steve Nash possibly?
But no, its true the Phoenix Suns organization has spent $50,000 on cryosauna to freeze the players after a hard game or practice. Ice baths have been commonplace among NBA players after workouts for years now, but this machine will basically speed up the process by subjecting the player’s bodies to nitrogen gas at temperatures of -256 to -274 degrees. Apparently the machine is even capable of going down as low as -320 degrees.
The hyper-cold temperature shocks the body, sending it into “survival mode,” Suns head athletic trainer Aaron Nelson said. The immune system prompts blood to rush away from the extremities to protect the vital organs in the player’s core, where the blood is oxygen- and nutrient-enriched. Once the three minutes in the chamber ends, the body relaxes from the stress and sends the enriched blood to areas it is needed, such as fatigued muscles.
“We use it for muscle recovery to pump the blood through the body,” Nelson said. “We’re trying to re-energize or reboot the body. It gives you a feeling of being cold and jump-starts your metabolism to feel refreshed the rest of the day.”
The practical application of cryotherapy for the Suns can be for use before or after practices or games because there is less down time after a treatment.
Given the Suns are still being powered by the aging veterans Steve Nash and Grant Hill, it makes sense that they would be one of the first few teams to invest in this therapy for basketball players that is intended to speed up recovery on back to back game nights. This is especially important for the Suns in the lockout shortened season.