For better or worse, I’m someone who agrees to things without giving them too much thought beforehand... The latest? Standing in a human freezer at -90 degrees centigrade.

Though totally bonkers on face value, this sub-zero chamber is in fact the hottest beauty treatment trend that’s happening right now. Going by the name 'Cryotherapy' or 'cold therapy', it’s long been commonplace amongst athletes and the health conscious thanks to its vast physical and mental benefits.

Triggering the body’s anti-inflammatory responses and physiological reflexes, just three minutes in the chamber will cause post-exercise swellings or injuries to enter the recovery process; think of it as a bag of frozen peas for your entire body and mind.

Obvious physical benefits aside – it also promises to brighten complexions and boost your metabolism – a quick spurt of cold is also purported to strengthen the immune system and kick start a full-body detox, all while releasing a rush of ‘happy hormones’ (endorphins) for a natural high.

So, taking a cue from the pros, and after an early-morning HIIT session, I headed down to 111Cryo to see what all the fuss was about.

Dressed in itsy bitsy shorts and a crop top, with snug North Face slippers, a headband, face mask and gloves – to stave off turning into an actual snowman – I braced myself for the big chill.

And boy, OH, boy! Cold it was... Yet, to my pleasant surprise, it wasn’t quite as brutal as originally anticipated. Think more fresh than freezing – like the kind of invigorating sea breeze you get from a brisk winter’s walk on the beach. The only difference is that, here, my chattering teeth, frozen eye lashes and arm hairs were actively encouraged.

One thing I really didn’t expect is that I’d genuinely love to do it again – chiefly for the mood boost and supercharged surge of energy and focus it gave me. Once you overcome the mental barrier and surrender to the cold – in my case, through bouncing around on the spot with my eyes firmly shut – there is pleasure to be found in the challenge. 

I can definitely understand why others do it routinely: Like anything, the more you stick at it, the greater the return supposedly is. That’s why I won’t be giving cold therapy the cold shoulder.

Cryotherapy is available at 111Cryo, 4th Floor Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RJ. 

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