A woman working at a Nevada cryotherapy clinic was found dead in one of the icy treatment chambers after being left alone to close up shop.
It’s believed Chelsea Ake, 24, did not turn off the machine before she entered the chamber on Oct. 19. She was found the next day by employees who arrived to open the clinic.
People usually use the chambers for just a few minutes; it appears Ake was in the machine for about 10 hours.
Cryotherapy is the use of low temperatures for therapeutic purposes. It is said to decrease inflammation, pain and spasms. The clinic’s website states the therapy can boost metabolism and burn calories, provide detox and anti-aging benefits and strengthen the immune system.
Ake was recently quoted in an article published by the Las Vegas Review Journal touting the benefits of the therapy, in which she was referred to as the clinic’s lead esthetician. The clinic also offers “cryofacioals.”
The clinic’s Facebook page indicated the location where Ake died had only been open since July.
Ake, a Hawaii native, was manager of the clinic, according to a report by local TV station KSNV News. It quoted Shae-Lynn Bee, a friend of Ake’s who had come from Hawaii to recover her body, as saying no one will ever know exactly what happened.
“It’s very frustrating to know because you know there are no cameras in there,” Bee said.
“Basically, the only person that does know what happened is Chelsea.”
Local police said Ake used the machine without assistance and may have suffocated. The report said investigators ruled “operator error” in the case.
An autopsy will be performed, with results expected in six to eight weeks.
The chambers at Rejuvenice reach temperatures as low as -115 C. When using a chamber — which looks a bit like a vertical shower stall — people wear socks, slippers, gloves, a mask and underwear.
Yelp reviews for the Henderson, Nevada “medical spa” are mostly positive, with comments reporting eased pain and boosted energy.