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Williston resident opens cryotherapy spa

Cold shock therapy said to unlock host of wellness benefits

By Jason Starr

Observer staff

Annie Spencer figured she would have to focus her time in the first few months of opening Bijou Blu Spa in South Burlington introducing the concept of cryotherapy to potential clients. But she has found since her May opening that word about the emerging wellness therapy is out.

Bijou Blu is the first cryotherapy spa in Vermont, and Spencer says the community has been waiting for this type of business. 

“I expected I would have to do a lot more education about what it is and the benefits of it, but people are actually very aware,” Spencer said. “They come in and thank me for being here. A lot of people say ‘I’m so happy there is cryotherapy in Vermont.’”

In October, Spencer, who grew up in South Burlington and now lives in Williston, and her husband sold their ownership in the Williston-based trucking company Land and Air Express. They had both tried cryotherapy at a spa in Montreal and were looking for a new business to start in Chittenden County. After months of research and first-hand cryo treatments, they leased space on Farrell Street in South Burlington and began equipping it — bringing in a cryotherapy chamber, an infrared sauna and hand-held cryotherapy devices. 

The pandemic delayed what were March opening plans, but also strengthened Spencer’s belief in the benefits of the therapy: increased blood circulation, strengthened immune system and reduced inflammation.

Cryotherapy works by exposing the body to extremely cold temperatures for a short period of time to trigger’s the body’s natural “fight” response.

Bijou Blu’s walk-in cryotherapy chamber uses liquid nitrogen to hyper-cool the body for three minutes. Clients can also get more targeted cryotherapy treatments with hand-held cooling wands. 

“It’s painless,” Spencer said. 

Bijou Blu Spa is at 10 Farrell St. in South Burlington. More information at www.bijoubluespa.com.

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