SCOTT FOWLER & COREY DEMERS
Founders @ Santa Cruz Cryotherapy
1220 41st Ave Suite I, Capitola CA (next to New Leaf)
Book by phone or website
Appointments: MWF 11-6 and Sat 12-3
Rates: $35 introductory one time session, ongoing sessions range from $15-$59
Hello from Bri Chmel, Realtor® & Owner at Live Love Santa Cruz! Some of my favorite things about living in Santa Cruz revolve around the colorful people and the businesses they have opened. Santa Cruz Cryotherapy can do wonders for your health when you supplement it with healthy eating and exercise. This business is located in the heart of Capitola, near neighborhoods like Pleasure Point and the Jewel Box. Please contact me to find your dream home in this neck of the Santa Cruz oasis!
Bri: Scott and Corey, you own the first Cryotherapy center in Santa Cruz. What is Cryotherapy and how does it work?
Scott: Cryotherapy is short term exposure to sub zero temperatures that gives you a big dose of anti-inflammatory, feel good hormones. It promotes rapid healing, speeds up recovery from sport or injury, and helps with pain management, arthritis, skin conditions, sleep disorders, mood disorders, and anti-aging. It is used a lot in Europe and it is slowly catching on here in the US. In the US it is mostly used for pain management and for athletes.
Cryotherapy tricks your brain into thinking that you are about to freeze. The cold air has a strong response on your skin. Receptors in your skin signal to your brain that you are about to freeze, so you blood is rushed to your core to protect your organs from freezing. Because you have tricked your brain into thinking you are freezing and that damage is being done to your skin, your body loads your blood full of anti-inflammatories, and a compound called collagenase, which prevents the breakdown and restoration of natural collagen. Norepinephrine, the big anti-inflammatory, boosts metabolism of fat cells to keep you warm to prevent you from freezing . Your core temperature stays warm, it doesn’t drop, and the top layers of your skin are all that get cold. It is a three minute session. After you come out, your blood immediately rushes back to your skin to try to heal it with all of the anti-infalmatories and collagenase. The collagen enzymes are part of the reason this treatment is so effective for people with arthritis pain, because they have an abundance of collagenase which breaks down natural collagen stores in the joints.
How it works is we cool the machine down, flooding it with nitrogen vapor. People should know that they are going to be cold for 3 minutes, but it is a dry cold and isn’t painful. You get in with a robe on, take the robe off, and then it starts. You have your head sticking out of the top of the machine and we are very close and talking to you the whole time. A lot of people shiver for the whole three minutes, but when you come out you warm up very fast.
Bri: When was Cryotherapy born, and when did you start using it?
Scott: Cryotherapy started in 1978 in Japan. A rheumatologist invented it for his rheumatoid arthritis patients in his practice. Europe got wind and started using it as a medical procedure soon after. Poland started using it at their athlete training center and then it spread like wild fire from there. It has been in the US since 2009. In 2011 somebody did a news report on it and it had a huge spike in popularity as more people learned about it and it’s health benefits. Corey and I met at Crossfit, we are regulars here at Amundson Crossfit on Pleasure Point. We got into Cryotherapy because we are 40 plus years old and we were constantly sore from banging up our bodies.
Corey: I also saw it in Crossfit Magazine. I was pretty intrigued by it and I did a little investigating. We tried it out and immediately and saw the results.
Bri: Why did you choose to open up in Santa Cruz?
Corey: The closest ones were in Carmel and Los Gatos, which was a far drive for us. We figured it would be a good fit for Santa Cruz because there are so many people with an active lifestyle here. I went to Dr Love, the chiropractor here, and while he was treating my heel pain I started having a friendly conversation with him about it and he liked the idea. He went down and tried it in Carmel. He offered to have us rent out a suite at his office. We ordered the machine and it took us a month to get it.
Scott: When we bought the machine there were three manufactures who made the machine. This one is made by a company out of Atlanta, the only domestic company that makes the “sauna” model. There is now a company in Davis that makes a full walk in model as well.
Bri: What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Scott: For me it was a patient that had Lyme disease. The disease comes in cycles and it was whipping her out. She was in a bad spell for a few weeks and was bed-ridden. She came in for a session and did not enjoy it at all, it made her feel worse. She came back the next day to try it again. Later that day she felt a little better so she came back a third day and was in tears hugging us because the progress the she had made in three days was so incredible. Later that week she was doing six mile hikes. It can be very powerful for pain relief and energy.
Corey: For me it was one of our clients. He had a frozen shoulder which he could barely move. He used to be a very active man. He would chop all his own wood and was an avid hunter. He came in and it took about a month of continuous therapy. Now he is back to all of his activities, sleeping back on that shoulder, using that shoulder like he was prior to the injury.
Bri: Why do you live in Santa Cruz and how long have you lived here?
Scott: I grew up in Ben Lomond, so this has always been home base. Santa Cruz is a beautiful place, it is hard to beat. It is a great community, everybody is so active and friendly. Corey: I have lived here for 20 years. I moved up here for a fire fighting job in San Jose and there was no way that I wanted to live on that side of the hill. I got a place in Santa Cruz and I have never left!
Bri: What are your hobbies- what do you do in your non-work time?
Scott: We both are into fitness. I love to surf. I picked up sailing recently, so have been super fixated on that. I also started doing the Spartan races- that has been great.
Corey: Crossfit, mountain biking, trail running, tough mudders. I love anything active.
Bri: Let’s imagine that we finish this interview and you step outside the office and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
Scott: I would travel half of the year. I would try to focus my time on helping people when I could. I really believe in spreading the word about Cryotherapy because I know there are many people out there that would benefit from it. I would start a foundation that made it much more accessible and affordable to people.
Corey: I say this time and time again- even if I won the lottery, I wouldn’t change my life or where I live. I love living in Santa Cruz and am fulfilled by running this business and also being a fire fighter. I would probably work less overtime and then hire more employees- spread the wealth a little bit more. But as far as my hobbies and my day to day life, I probably wouldn’t do much different.
Bri: Name the top three things that are on your bucket list.
Corey: Surfing Indonesia off a sailboat with some rad people!
Scott: Sailing around the world is on mine. I have been trying to do it for over a decade. I have been on several surf trips and have never had perfect, uncrowded, warm water waves. There are usually one or two of those elements present for every surf trip that I have done, but not all three. So it’s like chasing the dragon at this point as the world is getting a lot smaller. Hopefully I can mix that with sailing and find the perfect surf spot.