Cryotherapeutics NZ Director,
Registered Early Childhood Teacher,
Former New Zealand representative in gymnastics and former elite development coach of gymnastics.
Hi, I’m Anita Leney, founder of Cryotherapeutics NZ. I’m also a Registered Early Childhood Teacher, a busy mother of three, former New Zealand representative in gymnastics, former elite development coach of gymnastics and, like some of you out there, chronic pain syndrome sufferer.
I competed in competitive gymnastics for eight years and proudly represented New Zealand in this exciting sport. I have been coaching and judging gymnastics at the New Zealand level for 23 years part-time, while also working as an Early Childhood Teacher.
A back injury
I was coaching elite development gymnasts full-time for three years when I suffered an injury to my back. At the time I was highly active, physically fit and was enjoying my own children and the joy of teaching gymnastics to highly talented children. I never recovered from that accident and have not been able to work due to pain for just about five years now.
The pain and the medication
Of course, we went to all the doctors and specialists we could trying to get a diagnosis, but after multiple scans and tests the doctors just didn’t know what was causing my excruciating pain. So the answer for them was to prescribe pain medication. When that didn’t work they prescribed more and more and it went on like this for a few years until I was taking up to 15 pills at a time! I had lost my ability to hold a conversation, exercise, drive or work and was constantly being rushed to hospital due to seizures. I was now addicted to many opiates and still in pain.
My Indian Specialist
In 2015, an Indian specialist found a protruding disc in my neck, which was transferring the pain down the nerve. I had a cervical fusion in India and since then I have been slowly clawing my life back. While the pain is nowhere near as bad, and I have been able to come off most medications, it has never completely left, and I live every day in pain. I have been diagnosed with chronic pain syndrome, which is a problem with my nervous system. Basically, because it took so long to fix the problem my brain has decided to just keep sending me those awful pain signals – it’s kind of like a stuck alarm.
My decision to bring Whole Body Cryotherapy to NZ
I have been researching this condition and with the recommendation of my partner, who has done Whole Body Cryotherapy sessions in Prague, I realised Whole Body Cryotherapy is a really useful tool in the war against pain, depression and myriad of other disorders. The only problem is that it seems to be available everywhere except New Zealand. Through my research I found out that 1 in 5 people suffer from Chronic Pain. That’s a lot of people who are going through what I am going through. I became determined to be the person who brought a treatment to New Zealand that the world has known about for ages and that can help so many. I am excited to be bringing a non-invasive, non-toxic alternative to many people who at the moment are relying on medications. I am sure the implications of my experiences will be that many others are helped and that is something that I can be truly grateful for.