Did you know that The term “cryotherapy” comes from the Greek cryo (κρύο) meaning cold, and therapy (θεραπεία) meaning cure.
Cold Therapy A.K.A. Cryotherapy
We all have likely seen the benefits of cold treatment, from using cold compresses, ice packs, coolant sprays, and even ice baths. Similarly, cryotherapy can be used in just one localized area, or as a full body immersion. Cryotherapy, or “cold therapy” as it is otherwise known, is a technique of exposing the body to extremely low, cold temperatures, ranging from -160℉ to -220℉, for intervals of 2-4 minutes. An individual enters the cryogenic chamber undressed, except for gloves, socks, and underwear to protect extremities, and immerses themselves in the cold, vaporized chamber. While sitting in a tank of cold temperatures might seem like an odd way to realize health benefits, cryotherapy is a popular way to improve both mental and physical health. In fact a study states that whole body cryotherapy lowers skin temperature more significantly than cold water immersion. Research is in the early stages, but already many potential benefits have emerged. Read below to learn more about cryotherapy and its benefits.
Whole Body Cryotherapy
Did you know that The very first Whole Body Cryotherapy chamber was made almost 50 years ago in Japan but it has only been in North America for less than a decade.
What is Whole Body Cryotherapy?
Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) is when we expose ourselves to air temperatures below −148°F by immersing our bodies in a cryosauna or a cryotherapy chamber. Cryosaunas and cryo chambers are either electric or they use nitrogen gas. Nitrogen gas chambers emit vapors that could reach even lower temperatures (around -160℉ to -220℉) than of electric ones. The duration of this exposure is usually done for intervals of 2 to 4 minutes.
What is a Cryosauna or Cryotherapy Chamber?
A cryosauna or cryo chamber is a large machine that a person walks into to then have his/her be exposed with very cold air. The person’s head is almost always outside of the chamber/machine to protect the person from breathing any harmful gas. The person also wears gloves, underwear and socks to protect his/her sensitive skin and prevent skin damage. The extremely cold environment created by the emission of the nitrogen cooled air will then expose the outer body to temperatures that cause the body to enter a “fight or flight” mode, to ultimately allow the body to heal itself, reduce stress and stimulate metabolism.
Benefits of Cryotherapy
Many people have reported positive experiences with cryo. However, like most other things, result vary from person to person. Cryo has been known to help with many things such as muscle recovery, skin rejuvenation, reducing inflammation, decreasing chronic pain, reducing anxiety and depression, and helping with weight loss. Find out about the benefits of cryotherapy and learn more about cryotherapy by reading our blogs.
Is Cryotherapy Safe?
Anyone who wishes to discover the benefits of cryotherapy should first consult a doctor. Then visit a cryotherapy treatment center that provides a skilled personnel to assist you. Any side effects of treatment, such as tingling or numbness, is temporary. Always use the cryotherapy chamber for the recommended amount of time and no longer.
Side Effects of Cryotherapy
A controlled study of 23 subjects (35 to 69 years old) showed that after 21 WBC sessions, a significant rise in blood pressure was recorded.
Another study of 25 younger male participants also showed that WBC increased blood pressures immediately after the cryo session and also decreased the heart rate of participants.
There has been no long-term effects of cryotherapy studied yet, but it is strongly suggested that patients with heart condition should NOT use WBC.
For more cryotherapy related questions and answers visit our Cryotherapy FAQ page.
Share your experiences
Since everyone’s experience with cryotherapy is different we encourage you to comment on this page and share your experiences with us. Make sure to let us know which cryo chamber you used, how many times you used it and share with us the results you’ve seen so far. Cheers!