Hyperbaric chambers, IV therapy, infrared, cold laser therapy and more are changing the game for Aspen’s athletes and locals.
Marrying high altitude with activity can often help strengthen an athlete’s performance in the long run, but can also entail a more careful and considerate recovery routine. The good news—for athletes and locals in the valley—is that there are a handful of facilities offering a variety of recovery modalities at our disposal. From Carbondale to Aspen, therapies such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, infrared sauna treatment, IV therapy as well as laser therapy are changing the game for this active community.
Intimidating at first glance, hyperbaric chambers help recovery in many forms. This treatment increases energy levels, reduces altitude sickness symptoms and alleviates aching, swollen joints and muscles. Just how does it work? You simply lie down in the pressurized chamber and take in 91% or more of pure oxygen. “Hands down, the most versatile and beneficial therapy we offer is the hyperbaric chamber. It increases energy and endurance, relieves aching or swollen joints and muscles, improves motor function and equilibrium, and speeds recovery from injury or surgery,” says Marcy Maloy, business manager of The Fix. The Fix is a go-to facility for hyperbaric and recovery therapies, as is The Colorado Center for Hyperbaric Medicine.
Intravenous therapy is a direct and instant way to hydrate the body. For anyone hiking, running, biking, skiing and so on, hydrating at altitude is crucial to performance and recovery. We spoke to Spencer Thomas (RN, BSN, CRNI) from Rescue Lounge , who detailed the importance and benefits of intravenous therapy. “IV therapy allows for athletes to start their recovery process much faster by rehydrating rapidly following exercise or any strenuous activity. Intravenous hydration is the most direct way to hydrate your body while helping to reduce oxidative stress related to exercise and lactic acid buildup in your muscles. In addition, we lose electrolytes and other micronutrients through exercise, and these can be replaced much more efficiently via IV therapy when compared to oral supplements. Including IV therapy in your regimen can lead to less downtime from recovery and more time enjoying the activities you love doing at peak performance,” Thomas says. Local athlete Charles Lucarelli enjoys the health benefits of IV treatment for running recovery, saying, “I absolutely love IV therapies. There are a ton of useful benefits from it. I use them pre and post race. It sets me up well for race day and replenishes the nutrients and vitamins I lost. I love it. You can always use it as a pick-me-up when you’re not feeling well.” IV therapies are offered at Aspen Integrative Medicine, The Fix and Rescue Lounge, to name a few.
Imagine submerging yourself in nitrogen gas at temperatures ranging from minus 166 F to minus 270 F, all for the benefit of your body’s recovery and preservation. This is cryotherapy, a recovery modality that sends blood from your arms, legs, muscles and joints to your core to protect your vital organs—cleansing inflammatory properties and toxins from the heart, lungs and liver. It is quick—anywhere from three to 10 minutes—yet can be a profoundly effective treatment. Looking to jump into these negative temps? The Fix will hook you up.
Photography by: PHOTO BY JARED RICE/UNSPLASH