If you remember your athlete friend jumping into an ice bath after practice to heal their wounds and relax their muscles, then you have an idea of what cryotherapy is. If not, we’re here to give you the low down.
Cryotherapy boasts benefits of weight loss, pain relief, and improved sleep. But would you try it, and does it really work?
Cryo- comes from the Greek word “Krous” and translates to “icy,” “frost,” or “cold.” Cryotherapy is a treatment that requires an individual to immerse themselves in freezing or near-freezing temperatures to treat the body and provide it with health benefits.
How Does It Work?
This treatment has slowly been gaining popularity among celebs and athletes. Dozens of spas and salons have jumped at the opportunity to join this new trend and offer cryotherapy treatment on a subscription basis or as a one-time gig.
A full body cryotherapy treatment includes the process of standing in a tank or a booth with freezing temperatures that can bring the skin temperature down to as low as -200ºF.
During treatment, the individual will voluntarily step inside a booth designed for cryotherapy and withstand the freezing temperature for about 3 – 5 minutes.
Don’t like the cold? A full body treatment might not be the one for you, but you have the option to do localized cryotherapy and simply target your face or other specific parts of the body.
How Does Cryotherapy Benefit You?
Cryotherapy claims that it comes with many benefits for the skin, body, and overall wellness. Here are 5 health benefits that could come from a whole body cryotherapy treatment.
1. Alleviates Muscle and Joint Pain
Just like your athlete friend would use an ice bath to relieve muscle soreness, cryotherapy works to do the same thing. Cryotherapy proponents claim that the procedure can help relieve pain from wounds and sore muscles and help you achieve quicker recovery from exercise.
2. Boosts the Immune System
There has been some research that suggests cryotherapy can boost the immune system from exposure to extreme cold. Studies say that the cold temperatures activate the hypothalamus and switch on anti-inflammatory processes in the body.
Other research suggests that exposure to the cold triggers the body’s fight-or-flight response and puts it into survival mode, which kickstarts the immune system in the body.
3. Kickstarts the Metabolism
Some studies claim that the cold can give you a metabolic boost and increase the metabolic rate during the day. Some individuals have shared that their energy levels have increased and they have felt more active during the day.
4. Fights Chronic Inflammation
With claims of giving the immune system a boost and reduced inflammation, it’s not that surprising to learn that cryotherapy can help fight certain diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and dementia.
Inflammation is linked to the immune system and is the way the body fights infections and other illnesses that come our way. Sometimes, however, that inflammation can become chronic and do more harm than good. Based on studies conducted on rats, cryotherapy can reduce inflammation and, therefore, reduce the risk of developing chronic inflammation leading to cancer and other health problems.
5. Reduces Feelings of Anxiety
Cryotherapy leaves you with a euphoric sensation and an adrenaline boost. Your body gets its blood flowing and circulation is improved right after treatment.
With improved blood circulation and lifted spirits, your mind is in a more relaxed state and feelings of anxiety can temporarily subside.
Although cryotherapy gives you multiple health benefits that you might be looking for, it is always better to consult your doctor before going through any alternative treatments, especially if you have an underlying medical condition, or are under any medication.
There are risks of developing frostbite and other skin issues with exposure to the cold. Make sure to do thorough research and ensure that if you are deciding to get treatment, the place you visit is known for its safety and supervision.
The content of this Website is for is for informational purposes only, is general in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and does not constitute professional advice. The information on this Website should not be considered as complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions, or their treatment. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise, weight loss, or health care program and/or any of the beauty treatments.
Miller, A. M. (n.d.). Should You Try Whole Body Cryotherapy? Retrieved April 10, 2018, from https://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2016-01-25/should-you-try-whole-body-cryotherapy
Lee, B. Y. (2016, September 12). What Are The Cold, Hard Facts On Cryotherapy? Retrieved April 10, 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2015/11/23/the-cold-hard-facts-on-cryotherapy/#22404e325390
Villines, Z. (n.d.). Cryotherapy: Safety, what to expect, and benefits. Retrieved April 10, 2018, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319740.php
K. (2018, January 11). What is Cryotherapy: Is it Healthy or Hype? Wellness Mama. Retrieved April 10, 2018, from https://wellnessmama.com/120789/cryotherapy/