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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Evolve Advances PT to Coolest Place in Tucson

Mar 01, 2016 05:06PM ● By Marcia Detwiler Scupin

Cryotherapy Chamber

Five years ago, physical therapist Kate Warren created Evolve Physical Therapy & Sports Performance, offering traditional physical therapy (PT) and a range of other pioneering therapies. Seven months ago, she introduced to Tucson one of the hottest—and coolest—topics in athlete therapy today: whole-body cryotherapy.

This subzero cold (minus 230 degrees Fahrenheit) cure, which was developed in Japan in the late 1970s and refined commercially in Europe in the decades following, is an alternative to cold-water immersion or ice packs. It was not used in the U.S. until recently. The method involves a three-minute session in a chamber in which the only part of the body not exposed to the cold is the head. The effect is cold, not wet. “It’s the best to lower inflammation,” says Warren. “And no prescription is needed.”

Besides cryotherapy’s use in sports recovery and injuries, Warren says it lifts depression and can be used for anti-aging, since it firms, clears and smooths the skin. It also “helps me sleep”, she says. The anti-aging virtues of extreme cold have been known for a long time in Nordic and Eastern countries for rejuvenation and as an apparent fountain of youth.

“Athletes can recover faster and train harder—burning 400 to 800 calories in a three-minute session,” according to Warren. Athlete LeBron James uses this therapy to recover from athletic exertion. Other star athletes like Kobe Bryant and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. also chill out in cold chambers regularly.

Celebrity Christina Aguilera is reported to use this therapy to lose weight quickly and safely. Other fans include Daniel Craig, Mandy Moore, Lindsay Lohan, Yoko Ono and the New York Knicks.

Evolve’s whole-body cryotherapy chamber is the only one in Tucson. A cold-chamber session costs $75, but purchasing a package of three, for example, knocks more than $10 off the price. Other package deals are available on Evolve’s website.

Beyond her PT credentials honed at her employment at Tucson Orthopedic Institute, Warren earned her doctorate in Physical Therapy and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. A graduate in the top of her class from The University of Arizona and the University of Southern California, Warren is also an expert physical therapist for tactical athletes, athletes of all ages and children. She has competed in multiple national physique competitions and state kickboxing competitions.

Evolve’s director also holds a certificate from the American Dry Needling Institute. Dry needling involves multiple advances of very thin needles into muscles along neural tracks, physiological structures like a muscle belly, tendons and joint spaces. Warren says the ancient art of dry needling is a very effective therapy for muscle spasms, tendonitis, headaches, back pain, muscle strain and nerve pain, working to increase blood flow. “It’s really best for pain relief—and people really respond to it,” she says.

Another page from antiquity—Ancient Egypt, to be precise—is cupping therapy, which focuses mostly on soft-tissue injuries. Cupping also works by enhancing blood flow to treat muscle strain, ligament sprain and back and neck pain. “The suction works like a massage,” explains Warren. “It separates fascia layers in the muscles.” Nowadays, suction for the various sized cups is machine generated, but in ancient days, fire heated the cups. Enhanced blood flow results, leading to healing. Cupping sessions at Evolve cost $35 per body area.

Cold-laser therapy involves a hand-held device that increases blood flow to promote healing by penetrating deeply into the tissue. This method increases and restores cellular activity and is also used for pain control. “Cold-laser therapy helps muscular-skeletal ailments heal,” Warren says. “It is also used by body-building competitors.”

When body support without restricting range of motion is necessary for healing, kinesiology taping can assist, Warren says. This taping method gently lifts the skin layer and attached tissue covering a muscle, so blood and other body fluids can move more freely in and around that muscle. “Tape can inhibit or facilitate muscles and joints,” Warren says. “I’ve been trained to apply it to different body parts.” The tape remains in place for 24 to 36 hours, and clients can remove it themselves.

Medical doctors refer patients to Evolve, many times for work injuries. “Or people call in and want to try dry needling or cupping,” Warren says. Evolve’s specialized PT services also include many other modalities, such as post-surgical rehabilitation, sports performance programs, physique competition counseling and training, post-mastectomy/breast reconstruction rehabilitation and pediatric PT.

Evolve Physical Therapy & Sports Performance is located at 1951 N. Wilmot Rd. Whole Body Cryotherapy now open at 3461 E Speedway, in Tucson. For more information, call 520-977-1516, email [email protected] or visit See ad, page 9.

Marcia Detwiler Scupin is a freelance writer in Tucson who enjoys writing about spiritual awareness, mind-body health approaches and ancient ways made new again. Connect at [email protected].

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