The Hottest Chill In Franchising
Entrepreneur|January - February 2020
Cryotherapy is the new wellness trend in franchising, and more than a dozen brands have already cropped up. Will it stick around like yoga or dissipate like oxygen bars? The truth is, it might not matter.
Jesse Will

It’s late summer in Austin, Texas, and it’s infernally hot inside the city’s newest cryotherapy center. The 3,500-square-foot facility is still weeks from opening, so sawdust is flying and workers are dripping sweat as they put the finishing touches on the drywall.

Walking the site, owner Jeff Mobley describes a vision that’s still taking shape. That empty patch of floor there? That’s where two cryotherapy chambers will sit.

This is the latest outpost for iCryo, a Texas-based franchise with 42 units open or under construction. If you don’t know what cryotherapy is, then you’re probably just not paying close enough attention to wellness trends. There are roughly 20 cryo centers in Austin alone, and one of those is just half a mile from Mobley’s. For $9.95, first-time customers can be blasted with nitrogen-cooled air to -166¡F for three minutes. This chill, cryo advocates say, will trigger the body’s flight-or-fight response and flood the body with feel-good hormones. It can (allegedly) cure any number of ailments. What sets iCryo apart from its competitors is the ease of access. In some cryo facilities, people lie down in a clamshell chamber. “With these, though, you’ll be able to walk right into them,” says Mobley’s son, Ty, who will manage the shop. “It’s gonna be pretty cool.”

Cryotherapy took a long time to become this cool, though. In the 1970s, the technology was developed in Japan as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. By the late 1990s, physical therapists in Poland and the U.K. began using it for rehab, and by 2010, Nike coach Alberto Salazar adopted whole-body cryo as a recovery aid for his pro athletes.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM ENTREPRENEURView All

Stop Working, Start Automating

Why waste your energy on tedious tasks when an app can do them instead?

2 mins read
Entrepreneur
January - February 2021

START YOUR YOUTH MOVEMENT

Young franchisees keep brands relevant with millennial and Gen Z customers, and with decades of career growth ahead of them, they can help bring long-term growth and continuity to franchise companies. So why don’t we spend more time courting them?

5 mins read
Entrepreneur
January - February 2021

A Bank That Keeps Things Simple

It’s not nuts – The 18-year-old coin bank on Casilimas’ desk.

2 mins read
Entrepreneur
January - February 2021

High Hopes For CBD Franchising

Plagued by misinformation and poor regulation, the CBD industry is banking on brick-and-mortar franchise shops to build confidence with cannabis-curious customers.

5 mins read
Entrepreneur
January - February 2021

This Year Will Be Great. Really

After months of forced closures and record-high unemployment, the U.S. is ready for an economic recovery—and the franchise industry is uniquely positioned to lead the charge.

4 mins read
Entrepreneur
January - February 2021

How to Take Down Goliath

The biggest companies can still be taken down by the smallest startups. Here are four strategies disruptors use to fight their way up.

5 mins read
Entrepreneur
January - February 2021

Your Secret Weapon: Great Expectations

The year 2021 may feel uncertain, but set your expectations high anyway. Doing so will become your guiding force.

3 mins read
Entrepreneur
January - February 2021

The Beauty of Being Rejected

I thought my idea to shake up the book industry was brilliant. Investors didn’t. That ended up being my greatest asset.

3 mins read
Entrepreneur
December 2020

Can There Be Two Tinders for Clothes?

She was a first-time founder with a fresh idea. Then a $30 million competitor arrived.

3 mins read
Entrepreneur
December 2020

Getting More from Less

Everyone has been forced to cut back in some way—but limitations can lead us to even greater growth. We asked six entrepreneurs: What unexpected benefits have you gotten from change?

2 mins read
Entrepreneur
December 2020