As Runners we rarely accept anything that comes in the way of our training. We all know the famous fraise that runners always seem to utter the moment they’re told of an injury. ‘So Doc, When can I run again?’

There are numerous ways of running recovery ranging from personal methods through to expert. Two methods of recovery are the EBC Hydro Spa and The Vacumed machine. Both of which can be found at Cryo Recovery here in Pretoria run by Altie Clark.

Cryo Recovery is a business specializing in Sports recovery and injury rehabilitation. The facility has two state of the art machines that focuses on reducing recovery time of injuries and also helps athletes to recover faster from hard sessions during training for big events like Comrades or Cape Epic.

Owner Altie Clark has been involved in endurance sport for eighteen years and have represented South Africa twice as a professional Cyclist. She has won multiple National medals as a cyclist and has competed in over 25 ultra-marathons.  The state of the art equipment at Cryo Recovery together with a passion for the sport and interest in the field of rehabilitation and recovery, makes Cryo Recovery the premier destination to sort out any injury problems or simply to recover faster so you can train harder.

For Altie The foundation of Athletic improvement is recovery, and I visited her to find out more about these state of the art machines.

The Vacuumed Machine

The Vacumed, which was developed in conjunction with the German space agency, acts like a pump, waves of negative pressure and atmospheric pressure occurring at irregular intervals causing an increase in capillaries that result in an increase in blood flow to the muscles. More oxygen and nutrients are sucked into the extremities resulting in a number benefits.

This High End negative pressure therapy was developed as a Neurolab Space Project at the Institute for Space Medicine at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) in Cologne by Weyergans High Care AG for the use in internal medicine, angiology, phlebology, cardiology, dermatology and rehabilitation.

In the vacuumed process two phases take place:

Phase one is the lower pressure phase (negative pressure), where the arteries swell as plasma and oxygen begin to flow. The now O2 enriched blood helps to raise the pH in those areas, making this an excellent treatment for patients and for those with leg pathologies. O2 levels also increase throughout the rest of the body, improving rejuvenation and feeling of recovery. A pH-balanced body is the pre-requisite for the healthy production of collagen fibers – the building blocks of soft tissue.

Phase two is the normal pressure phase (atmospheric pressure) venous blood and lymph is pressed back to the trunk. This means a relief for the reflux and CO2 and any waste products can be transported away. The increase of micro-perfusion and simultaneous increase of lymph drainage and removal of lymph-dependent waste also leads to natural purification of the interstitium* – and, in many cases, to a change of the pH level in the alkaline direction.

*The interstitium is a contiguous fluid-filled space existing between a structural barrier, such as a cell wall or the skin, and internal structures, such as organs

Since the lymphatic system is the body’s “garbage system”, and since cellulite is the “result” of weak tissue and failing lymph drainage, external, mechanical lymph drainage is the answer for many people with this problem.

The Vacuumed also helps for the following:

Personal experience:

Vacuumed was the first machine I tested and I personally loved this treatment – It was very relaxing and calming. Looking at the machine, it really reminded me of something from space.

I climbed into the machine up to my waist with my upper body sticking out. Altie turned a nob, sealing my lower body inside and proceeded to put the machine on. I could feel pressure increasing and decreasing in my lower body, almost like someone was sucking the air in and out of the chamber. Almost like when you blow air into and out of a brown paper bag.

I really enjoyed this recovery method as wasn’t invasive at all, and was quick and easy.

The Vacuumed can be done the day before a race or training session for fresh legs alternatively after race day or hard training session to promote faster recovery.

It is recommended that you do the Vacuumed on any day after or followed by training or any other activity.


The EBC Hydro Spa

Operating between 4 and 8 degrees Celsius, the ECB Cold Spa takes out heat and inflammation, provides analgesic pain management, inhibits enzyme degeneration of tendons post injury and massively increases circulation. The water density increases with salt concentration, which increases pressure to aid fluid and waste dispersal.

The spa has a high level of both Epsom Salts (MgSO4) and ordinary Salt (NaCl) and water aeration has a massaging effect on your legs and also increases the dissolved oxygen content of the spa solution.

As water temperature decreases, its ability to carry oxygen increases. Increased oxygenation through the introduction of aeration is believed to enhance natural defence systems, much like the use of a hyperbaric chamber.

Cold water immersion can relieve the symptoms of some medical conditions. When cold-water hydrotherapy is utilised on a regular basis it can create long lasting changes to your body’s immune, lymphatic, circulatory and digestive systems.

The EBC Hydro Spa provides a therapeutic effect for post exercise recovery and injury prevention. With a faster recovery process your muscles have the opportunity to perform for longer at a higher level, reducing the chance of injury from muscle fatigue. The cold eliminates fatigue and maximise recovery prepping your body for your next training session.

The treatment reduces heat and inflammation and the body undergoes vascular constriction, when getting out of the cold water your body experience’s a rush of blood to raise the temperature. The cold water also helps control enzyme deterioration on tendons & ligaments in the early stages of injury

The most common waste product your body needs to remove after a workout is lactic acid* build up. Too much lactic acid build-up can cause your muscles to not function optimally and will often lead to fatigue and injury. EBC Hydro Spa treatments ranging from 4-8 degrees will immediately reduce swelling while flushing lactic acid out of your muscles.

*lactic acid builds up in your bloodstream after performing exercise. Muscle ache, burning, rapid breathing, nausea, stomach pain: some of the unpleasant feelings of lactic acidosis

The cold water causes your blood vessels to tighten while lowering the damaged tissue’s temperature. This helps reduce the lactic acid and also to reduce swelling and inflammation, causing a return of oxygenated blood which helps to muscles to recover. It also numbs the nerve endings which means relief from pain.

EBC Hydro Spa treatments are an easy, natural way of expediting recovery, so there is no need to use pills and other medication.

The EBC Hydro Spa also helps for the following:

Personal experience:

The EBC Hydro Spa was the second machine I tested – looking at the machine it immediately reminded me of the Hot/cold/hot shower-Ice baths we took as kids between swimming races to help our bodies recover faster – So when Altie told me to dress down to get into the spa I had a feeling of what was waiting for me…

Ice, Ice, Ice cold…. But only for 2 minutes – after that everything felt numb and the feeling became more bearable. It’s hard to explain but the water density does feel a little thicker. I could feel all the hairs over my legs stand up, suddenly I regretted not shaving, lol. I stood there for 10 minutes and when I got out of the water I felt a rush in my legs as the blood was heating them up. The funny thing was after I’d already dried off my legs it continued to feel wet, although they were already dry.

After I got dressed I felt quite refreshed and exhilarated – it really was not that bad – I think it’s a mind over matter thing – so you just have to keep convincing yourself that this is for the best and that it is worth the recovery.

The EBC Hydro Spa can be done the day before a race or training session for fresh legs alternatively after race day or hard training session to promote faster recovery.

It is recommended that you do the EBC Hydro Spa on either a rest/recovery day or after training session for optimum effect.


Cryo Recovery is the optimum one stop recovery facility for the working athlete. The working athlete spends most of his/her time standing and moving, continuing with their day to day activities, making it difficult to reap the fruits of having a full rest and recovery day off. The utilization of these two machines are therefore highly recommended to aid in the recovery for working athletes that don’t have the luxury of an off rest and recovery day.

I would highly recommend Cryo Recovery as an affordable option for Sports recovery and injury rehabilitation.

You can follow Cryo Recovery on Facebook for more information.

As well as have a look at their website_ Click Here!



Happy Running!



written by

Jani du Toit

Mother, Blogger and Pattern maker from Pretoria

Age group: 30
Club: ASICS FrontRunner

My Disciplines
Half Marathon Trail 10k

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