Cryotherapy is one of the latest buzz words in the world of health, fitness, and wellness. Blog posts, social media posts, magazine articles; you see the term “cryotherapy” virtually everywhere these days.
Are you a professional weight lifter or an athlete? Do you just like working out on the regular for the sake of improving your physique and overall health? And are you just sick and tired of using ice packs or getting in an extreme cold ice bath?
Whatever your particular situation may be, if your lifestyle includes exercising on the regular or having an intense exercise regime, there’s no doubt that you want to get the most out of your work outs.
It’s no secret that recovery is a crucial part of a successful fitness routine. If you’re looking for a way to maximize your muscle recovery efforts, a whole body cryotherapy treatment may be just the thing you need.
Keep on reading to learn more about the benefits of cryotherapy treatments and how this cold treatment can help to boost your muscle recovery – and support your overall fitness goals.
What is Whole Body Cryotherapy?
Whole Body Cryotherapy is a practice that has been used for centuries; in fact, there is evidence that the ancient Egyptians used cryotherapy.
You’ve probably practiced cryotherapy yourself and didn’t even know it... if you’ve ever put an ice pack or sat in an ice cold bath to soothe your aching muscles, that’s cryotherapy!
The type of therapy we’re talking about, though, is a lot colder than an ice pack that you keep in your freezer or the cold water that pours out of your faucet, and it involves liquid nitrogen.
The technique we’re talking about, is Whole Body Cryotherapy, and it involves rapidly exposing the body to very cold temperatures for a brief period of time.
Once entering the cryotherapy chamber, liquid nitrogen cooling technology is used to lower the temperature within the chamber, usually within a range of -150 to -220 degrees F, the temperature is regulated by an operating staff.
Whole body cryotherapy sessions are short, usually lasting between 1 to 3 minutes, though they never exceed 4 minutes. Once the session is complete, you exit the vessel and go about the rest of your day. No down time or recovery time is needed.
What's the Purpose of Whole Body Cryotherapy?
The primary goal of Cryotherapy is to boost cell regrowth and the reproduction of cell metabolism. This, in turn, helps to lengthen the life of the cells, which also minimizes joint and muscle pain and spasms.
Cryotherapy has a positive effect on the immune system which allows the body to fight off many different types of medical conditions like abnormal cells, chronic pain, muscle spasms, rheumatoid arthritis, skin tags, and more.
One of the main benefits of cryotherapy is to reduce inflammation in the muscles and in the body overall by the use of extremely low temperatures. The objective of whole body cryotherapy is to improve blood flow, which instantly has a positive effective on treating muscle soreness.
Quickly reducing your body temperature promotes better blood circulation and deeper vasodilation. It also blocks the afferent nerves, which helps to minimize the feelings of pain, and promotes reduced inflammation in the muscles and joints.
Whole Body Cryotherapy and Rehabilitation
Since it was first adopted centuries ago, cryotherapy has primarily been used as an effective treatment to treat physical injuries and chronic health conditions in sports medicine.
As science and medicine advanced, so too, did cryotherapy, and today, while the practice is still used to treat injuries and ease chronic ailments, it is also used for many more applications and yields much better results.
Most notably, the development and introduction of liquid nitrogen cryotherapy saunas have replaced the ice baths, ice-packed towels, and ice packs that were once the only tools used for cryotherapy, which has helped to significantly increase the application and effectiveness of treatment.
The advancements to use extremely cold dry air through cryotherapy chambers have made the practice suitable for everyone and the whole body.
What Are The Benefits of Cryotherapy?
Whole body cryotherapy offers a variety of benefits. Many benefits can be experienced after a single session, but this type of cold therapy yields the most effective results when it’s practiced on a regular basis. Many athletes, for example, undergo cryotherapy multiple times a day to manage pain, increase blood flow, and have a healthier inflammatory response.
So, what kind of benefits does cryogenic therapy provide? Several studies have been conducted to examine the effects of exposing the entire body to subzero temperatures, and those studies have revealed that participants experienced a variety of benefits.
Some of the most notable cryotherapy potential benefits include:
Reduce Joint & Arthritic Pain Relief
While localized cold therapy has long been used and is well known for alleviating discomfort (the application of ice packs to a sore muscle after a workout or to twisted ankle, for example), whole body cryotherapy has also been found to be highly beneficial for the reduction of arthritis-related pain.
A study found that patients who suffered from arthritis experienced a notable reduction in the amount of pain they experienced, and that the therapy was well-tolerated amongst the individuals who participated in the study.
Whole body cryotherapy not only helps alleviate inflamed muscles, but it's also beneficial for specific types of conditions that lead to pain that's caused by joint and cartilage disorders.
Plus, medical and scientific experts think that this method boosts the rate of wound healing, particularly for sports injuries that require rapid healing.
It's thought that rapid exposure to sub-zero temperatures for a brief period of time boosts blood flow, which thus promotes pain relief and healing. Examples of cases that whole body cryotherapy can be used to treat include:
- Swelling and pain in inflamed joints
- Closed injuries
- Exudative inflammation
- Changes in the muscle tone that are caused by central nervous system diseases
Faster Injury Recovery Rate
Whole body cryotherapy has been found to speed up the rate of injury recovery, as the cold treatment can help to reduce inflammation and lower concentrations of exercise induced muscle damage. It’s for this reason that cryotherapy is largely used as a medical physical treatment in sports medicine.
Whole body cryotherapy is also used to treat active injuries, as it cools the tissues. When the tissues are cooled, vasoconstriction occurs, which slows circulation. As a result, bleeding is reduced and the development of hematomas surrounding the injury site is prevented.
Furthermore, whole body cryotherapy helps the body achieve anti-edematous, analgesic (pain reduction), and ant-inflammatory impacts. This is commonly seen on football fields when a player sustains an injury during a game.
A lot of professional sports teams and the physiotherapists that attend to the players, are equipped with mobile crypto-devices. These devices are used to help injured players right after they sustain an injury.
This type of therapy not only impacts the muscles, but it also has a wide point of action when the skin is injured and changes.
Treat Anxiety Disorders and Depression
Exposure to the subzero temperatures that are used in whole body cryotherapy have been found to reduce the symptoms that are associated with mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression.
That’s because the super-cold temperatures can illicit physiological hormonal responses, such as the triggering the release of endorphins, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. These hormones have a direct impact on mood and imbalances in these hormones are linked to anxiety and depression.
Thus, whole body cryotherapy can be a beneficial treatment for those who suffer from these mood disorders.
Not only does whole body cryotherapy help to alleviate the symptoms that are associated with anxiety and depression, but it also provides mood enhancement in individuals who do not suffer from such disorders.
Again, this is due to the fact that exposing the body to freezing temperatures triggers the release of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and endorphins; hormones that make you feel happier, more positive, and even more energetic.
Add in the fact that it can help to alleviate pain and discomfort, and it’s easy to see how whole body cryotherapy can give your mood a boost.
Boosts Energy Levels and Reduces Fatigue
A lot of whole body cryotherapy users report that they feel more energetic and less tired after their sessions. The energy boost and reduced fatigue is likely due to the fact that the subzero temps trigger the release of endorphins and adrenaline, reduce inflammation, and boost blood flow.
When you take these factors into consideration, it stands to reason that you’d feel more chipper after a cryotherapy session.
Those who suffer from skin conditions also benefit from whole body cryotherapy. Studies have found that exposing the body to subzero temperatures minimized atopic dermatitis, a skin disease that is marked by chronic inflammation and causes excessive dryness and itching.
Since cryotherapy can boost antioxidant levels in the blood and minimize inflammation, it helps to alleviate the side effects that are associated with atopic dermatitis, as well as other skin conditions.
Metabolic Disease Prevention.
Some studies have found that whole body cryotherapy can help to minimize oxidative stress and inflammation, while also increasing antioxidants in the blood.
As such, scientists believe that it may be an effective way to prevent the development of metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.
Some studies have shown that the extreme cold air have health benefits like reducing high blood pressure, treating cancerous cells and prevent precancerous cells from being formed.
Promote Weight Loss.
It is also suspected that whole body cryotherapy can accelerate weight loss.
Many Proponents of cold therapy state that it can help to speed up metabolic rate, as exposure to freezing temperatures triggers the body’s fight or flight response, or the release of adrenaline and norepinephrine, which may help to support weight loss. So yes, cryotherapy does burn calories.
Cold therapy is one of the most efficient, effective, and fastest recovery methods for strenuous training activities that causes muscle soreness – particularly for people who play professional sports.
Today, athletes who put their bodies under extreme amounts of stress, such as weight lifters, MMA fighters, swimmers, tennis players, triathletes, football players, and marathoners, commonly use whole body cryotherapy as a way to ease muscle soreness, reduce inflammation, and to promote muscle healing.
Let’s take a look at how exposing the body to extreme cold liquid nitrogen, reduces sore muscles, repairs muscle damage, improves muscle function, and promotes better blood flow.
Treat Exercise Induced Muscle Damage
Whole body cryotherapy has several impacts on the body. At its most basic level, exposure to cold temperatures minimizes muscle pain and inflammation, contracts the muscles, and then later, promotes muscle healing.
It also helps to increase blood flow; and it changes the physical properties of the tissues for a temporary period of time, too.
Plus, when properly performed, whole body cryotherapy does not pose negative effects on healthy individuals. It is for this reason that it is an effective and safe technique for the treatment of sports-related injuries, or during the period of rehabilitation.
SCHEDULE YOUR CRYOTHERAPY TREATMENT AT MUSCLE LAB TODAY!
To take your muscle recovery up a notch and really get the most out your workouts, head to Muscle Lab, the chilliest muscle recovery and wellness centers in Los Angeles.