A Cryotherapy Chamber at a glance might seem to belong in some strange science fiction film. Though it does look futuristic and otherworldly, cryotherapy is very much here and now. The cryosauna machines stand up straight and immerse the patient in the chamber from the neck down. The patient is in minimal clothing, and the “dry cold” of liquid nitrogen lowers the skin temperature to around 30 degrees for a short period of three to four minutes. Now you might just be wondering why anyone in their right mind would pay to be freezing cold, even if it is just for a few minutes. Well, there are plenty of celebrities, athletes, and regular patients who suffer from Rheumatoid arthritis that tout the benefits of cryotherapy. If you’re looking for a boost in overall health, cryotherapy might just be right for you.
Increase Performance Levels
Athletes like Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, and the entirety of the Dallas Mavericks have used cryotherapy to much success. For such high-performing and energy expending athletes, recover time is essential to prevent injuries and reduce muscle soreness. Cryotherapy allows athletes the opportunity to recover quicker, train sooner, and improve. When the surface of the skin goes back to a normal temperature, vasodilation allows enriched blood to flow back through the body. But unlike an ice bath, only the outer surface is exposed to cold, allowing for quick recovery.
An ice-pack to the arm or leg reduces inflammation in one area and is the basis of why whole body cryotherapy works reduce inflammation all around. Inflammation is inflammatory, and the body gets heated up as it tries to heal. It is perfectly normal to have inflammation with an injury, but this can be incredibly painful. Cryotherapy works because it dulls the pain and swelling that inflammation causes. In the ice vs. heat debate, heat does nothing but make injury inflammation worse.
Reduction of Pain and Fatigue
Patients with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, or any other all-encompassing and debilitating issue, have found cryotherapy to be beneficial. As mentioned earlier, inflammation and pain go hand in hand. By reducing inflammation with cold, you are reducing the pain. Often, these whole-body illnesses can be attributed to inflammation in the body. In addition, the initial shock of the short-term cold session can awaken the body, leaving it in a state of high energy which can help push back fatigue
Brave souls and experimental athletes or health enthusiasts have claimed that ice baths in the morning improve metabolic speed and improve digestion. With cryotherapy, you can get the same benefits without submerging your entire body in cold water that essentially freezes you to the bone. Rather, you stand nicely in dry cold that doesn’t chill you to the spine (it’s much more pleasant than an ice bath) and reap the benefits. As the body must work hard to reheat, one to three minute cryotherapy treatments burn a significant number of calories.
Healthy Skin and Glow
Collagen is a protein in the body responsible for keeping the cell and tissues of our skin together. It protects the organs, strengthens the blood vessels, replaces dead skin cells, and keeps the skin firm and plump. Collagen loss doesn’t only affect the outer appearance, it can weaken the muscles and joints as well. Cryotherapy works to boost collagen production by widening the vascular system. The quick constriction caused by the extreme temperature change is combatted with the rapid dilation when the treatment ends. The quick constrict/widen of the vascular system allows for better blood circulation. It also eliminates toxins in the skin and allows nutrients to be absorbed more readily so that the cells can increase collagen production.
Improved Mental Health
Decreasing pain will most certainly improve mood. However, what really causes the sudden feel-goods after a good cryotherapy session are the endorphins that are released into the bloodstream. Endorphins are chemical in our brain and nervous system that give people a sense of elation and relief. When endorphins are low, people experience depression, anxiety, fatigue, and many other issues. With extreme cold temperature exposure, endorphins are naturally released. Just as you might feel after a good workout, the endorphins that come from a cryotherapy session stay without you throughout the day and encourage productivity.