Benefits of Cryotherapy are indeed many. Taking the theory of “icing for relief” to a whole new level, Cryotherapy pumps liquid nitrogen (which turns to vapor once it hits the air) into a single-person chamber that cools to temperatures between -238°F to -274°F. In 3 minutes or less, the session is complete, and the user exits the chamber feeling rejuvenated in mind and body, with increased energy, fresh oxygen and vital nutrients flooding the system.
More and more applications of whole-body Cryotherapy (WBCH) have been discovered over the last few years as what was once an elite treatment for athletes and celebrities in the 1970s, is now both affordable and accessible as a popular lifestyle choice.
Cryotherapy clinics are mushrooming all over the United States, and people are booking sessions for everything from pain relief and emotional health to weight loss, sleep disorders, cancer, fibromyalgia, allergies, arthritis and more.
Read on to learn how Cryotherapy can help youimprove your quality of life in 14 different ways:
# 1: Benefits Of Cryotherapy For Arthritis
Using cold compresses and ice baths to ease inflammation and pain is a well-known and time-honored practice. Cryotherapy takes this remedy for arthritis several steps further by exposing the body to extreme cold for 3 minutes or less, helping with inflamed and painful joints.
In fact, in 1978 in Japan, renowned Japanese rheumatologist Dr. Toshima Yamaguchi first started treating rheumatoid arthritis patients with Cryotherapy and declared that the results were far better than ice baths. The short and sudden exposure to extreme cold on the skin led to the immediate release of endorphins, making people less sensitive to pain.
Studies have shown that patients suffering from rheumatic arthritis declare the following benefits after undergoing whole-body Cryotherapy:
• An improvement in their sense of general well-being.
• Significant reduction in pain associated with swollen, inflamed joints.
• Improvement in mobility. The benefits of Cryotherapy helped arthritic patients tolerate more aggressive physiotherapy and occupational therapy, making these rehabilitation programs much more effective.
• 35%-40% patients even report that they have reduced their prescription medicine (such as glucocorticoids and non-steroidal anti-rheumatics) after undergoing Cryotherapy for chronic arthritis.
# 2: Benefits Of Cryotherapy After Surgery
After any surgery, big or small, there is a mandatory recovery period when patients have to deal with swellings, bruising and of course, pain. The healing process isn’t easy, but Cryotherapy has proven to be a great recovery solution that accelerates and manages post-op stress.
Just 3 minutes or less spent in a Cryotherapy chamber triggers the body’s natural propensity to heal with oxygen, enzymes and nutrients replenishing the bloodstream.
6 benefits of Cryotherapy after surgery include:
• Pain relief from the operation.
• Reducing inflammation caused by surgical trauma.
• Boosting the immune system.
• Hastening the repair of muscles and tendons.
• Improving flexibility.
• Managing post-surgery depression.
# 3: Benefits Of Cryotherapy After Exercise
Athletes were one of the earliest fans of Cryotherapy. The treatment has long been a recovery tool in the field of sports medicine, and as Cryotherapy becomes more and more popular, gym-goers, runners and fitness buffs are also adopting it for fast relief from exertion, pain and other exercise-related symptoms.
Just a few minutes spent in a Cryotherapy chamber after exercise helps them recover between one training session and another in the same day.
Benefits of Cryotherapy after exercise include:
• Relief from Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).
• Restoration of the muscles’ functional capacity after strenuous exercise.
• Reduction of the body’s core temperature after extended workout sessions.
• Hastened detoxification and cellular damage repair after exercise.
• Increased blood circulation resulting in increased metabolism rate.
• Quick adrenaline release that promotes a sense of well-being and renews motivation to stay on task with the exercise regimen.
# 4: Benefits Of Cryotherapy To Delay Aging
You may have heard rave reviews about the efficacy of Cryotherapy when it comes to health and fitness. But as an anti-aging treatment?
A less-known benefit of Cryotherapy is the rejuvenating impact it has on loose and mature skin.
Here are 4 ways that Cryotherapy can benefit aging skin and delay the appearance of fine lines, crow’s feet, frown lines, forehead furrows and deepening nasolabial folds.
• The treatment increases production of collagen, the key to youthful skin, which gets depleted as people get older.
• Regular Cryotherapy sessions detoxify the skin and replenish it with natural skin nutrients and minerals.
• Cryotherapy supports cellular regeneration (which means dead cells are replaced quickly with new ones) and therefore delays the formation – or deepening – of wrinkles.
• The treatment also helps reduce fat deposits in the facial area, tightening sagging cheeks, neck and chin.
# 5: Benefits Of Cryotherapy For Back Pain
More than 31 million adults in the United States say they suffer periodically or chronically from back pain. There are multiple causes for back pain, such as strained muscles or ligaments, excess weight, arthritis, poor posture, bulging/ruptured disks etc.
But no matter what the cause, the impact that back pain can have in people’s day-to-day life is pretty debilitating.
The use of over-the-counter pain medications, muscle relaxants, nerve blocking injections etc. all offer temporary relief. But one of the most invigorating treatments available to treat back pain is Cryotherapy. Even after a week has passed after a session, many people suffering from back pain say they can stillfeel the relief they got from Cryotherapy. And book regular sessions after that.
Here are 3 principle reasons why Cryotherapy works so well with back pain issues:
• Sudden exposure to extreme cold for less than 3 minutes is enough to reduce nerve activity – and therefore pain.
• Cryotherapy restricts the flow of blood to the trauma area, reducing the discomfort caused by inflammation.
• In 3 randomized control studies, it was found that Cryotherapy treatment increased the presence of anti-inflammatory proteins (cytokines IL-6, IL-10, and IL-1ra). It also decreased pro-inflammatory cytokine (protein) levels. And what’s more, the back pain relief lasted longer with repeated sessions in the Cyro chamber.
# 6: Benefits Of Cryotherapy For Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among men in USA. According to latest statistics available from the American Cancer Society, 174,650 men were newly diagnosed with the disease in 2019, which is 6% higher than the previous year.
Studies are showing that Cryotherapy can benefit men with early-stage prostate cancer, and even those whose cancer has returned after other treatments.
So how does Cryotherapy work to treat prostate cancer? By freezing tissue within the prostate gland until the cancer cells die.
Though a lot of cancer specialists are convinced of the effectiveness of this treatment, it still comes with a few caveats.
Men who are still sexually active, have had previous surgery for rectal cancer or have large tumors that cannot be targeted without damaging surrounding tissue and organs are not advised to try Cryotherapy.
Talk to your doctor to know if you’re a good candidate.
# 7: Benefits Of Cryotherapy For Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a disease characterized by chronic fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, memory problems and mood swings.
More than 3.7 million people in USA suffer from fibromyalgia (mostly women between the age of 40-75), but medical science can only point to a variety of circumstances as probable causes – such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, obesity, infectious illnesses, physical/emotional trauma and hormonal changes.
While fibromyalgia is not life-threatening, it does compromise quality of life in varying degrees. And Cryotherapy has proven to be extremely effective in restoring mind-body balance that the disease has upset.
A clinical trial report, for instance, published in Complementary Therapies In Medicine says: “Our aim was to determine whether whole-body Cryotherapy only can result in improved perceived health and quality of life in fibromyalgia patients.” Ten sessions of Cryotherapy were administered to a randomized group for a period of eight days, after which patients reported “significantly improved quality of life”.
These effects lasted for at least one month, which means ongoing sessions of Cryotherapy can rebalance symptoms of fibromyalgia for a protracted period of time.
# 8: Benefits Of Cryotherapy For Depression And Anxiety
It is a sad fact that people suffering from anxiety and depression hesitate to seek medical intervention for fear of either social stigma or dependency on mood-lifting drugs. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in our country, affecting 40 million adults, according to the Anxiety And Depression Association Of America, but only 36% step forward to ask for help.
It is a well-known fact that holistic solutions – that don’t involve pharmaceutical drugs – can help people with mood disorders, and Cryotherapy is one of them.
Exposure to ultra-cold temperatures during a Cryotherapy session causes physiological hormonal responses. `Happy’ hormones, like adrenaline, noradrenaline and endorphins flood the system and the negative impact of an elevated level of cortisol (a stress inducing hormone) is significantly reduced.
Patients feel euphoric when their brain is released from the crippling grip of cortisol. They enjoy sensations of relaxation, mood elevation, memory enhancement, newfound energy and improved sleep, which may last several weeks from just one session in the Cryotherapy chamber.
# 8: Benefits Of Cryotherapy For Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is a degenerative disease that occurs when the body’s own immune system begins to attack the protective covering (called myelin) around nerve fibers, leaving them exposed to damage. In such an event, the brain cannot send optimal signals throughout the body, and patients suffer from a variety of symptoms like lack of balance, weakened muscles, blurred vision, chronic fatigue, pain, depression etc.
While some MS sufferers don’t experience severe MS episodes, others can lose motor skills in an irrevocable progression, and be relegated to a wheelchair as time goes on.
Cryotherapy is proving to be very effective in some controlled studies conducted with MS patients, and helping them manage their symptoms.
For example, this study found that just ten whole-body Cryotherapy sessions reduced oxidative stress in depressive MS patients. Another test found Cryotherapy improved quality of life by reducing fatigue levels. During a third study, patients declared they could exercise more, and for longer durations, after being exposed to Cryotherapy at controlled intervals over a period of 1-3 months.
# 9: Benefits Of Cryotherapy For Alzheimer’s Disease
According to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC), Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the 6thlargest cause of death in the United States, leading to 37.3 fatalities in a population of 100,000.
As the disease progresses, brain cells begin to die and behavioral changes related to dementia worsens. But, while Alzheimer’s is still considered incurable, there are treatments that can stabilize the symptoms for a limited period of time. Whole-body Cryotherapy is considered to be one of them.
A paper published in Medical Hypothesis wrote: “Nowadays, there is a general consensus that vascular alterations, oxidative stress and inflammatory response contribute to the development of AD. Following these mechanisms and tracing the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects of Cryostimulation, we postulate that whole-body Cryotherapy might be utilized as a means of preventing AD.”
With a slow-moving disease like AD, it is difficult to pin-point if interventions with alternatives like Cryotherapy is treatment or prevention in nature. But as experiments continue to be conducted, patients being exposed to sessions are definitely presenting marked improvement in both cognitive functions and memory domains.
# 10: Benefits Of Cryotherapy For Bursitis
Bursae are fluid sacs that act as a cushion between bones, joints, muscles and tendons. There are over 150 bursae in the human body and if they happen to get inflamed, the result is extreme pain in areas such as elbows (tennis elbow), ankles, knees, shoulders, hips, thighs and buttocks in a condition called bursitis.
Often, people treat bursitis at home with painkillers, cold packs, resting and elevating the affected area. Medical treatments include administration of steroids and antibiotics.
Localized Cryotherapy, however, is proving to be a quick and easy pain relief procedure for people suffering with bursitis. Targeting the affected area with liquid nitrogen cooled to -238°F to -274°F in the Cryotherapy chamber reduces inflammation and the feeling of relief is instantaneous. Another advantage of Cryotherapy is that it impacts rheumatoid arthritis as well, which is known to trigger bursitis episodes.
# 11: Benefits Of Cryotherapy For Weight Loss
Cryotherapy fans rave about how effective the treatment is to boost metabolism and burn anywhere from 500 to 800 calories in short, 3-minute sessions in the Cryo chamber.
Sudden exposure to extreme cold fools the brain into thinking the body is in danger of freezing, and therefore it swings into preservation mode, trying to build and stabilize core temperatures to keep vital organs safe from damage. And as the body works to increase internal temperature, through shivering and other internal processes, calories get burnt in that effort.
A second perceived advantage of Cryotherapy for weight loss is the increase of brown fat (or brown adipose tissue) in the system, that is triggered by the cold. Iron-rich brown fat (as opposed to white fat) has been found to battle obesity and diabetes. It improves insulin sensitivity, while helping to control blood sugar and raise metabolism.
# 12: Benefits Of Cryotherapy For Insomnia
Sleep disorders are typically characterized by symptoms like inability to relax in bed, anxious thoughts, inability to get into a comfortable position, muscle tension, vegetative symptoms like palpitations etc. The result of chronic insomnia is fatigue and tiredness the day after. Vital organs too suffer from this lack of rest because the healing and recuperative functions that take place at night have also been compromised.
Whole-body Cryotherapy has shown to be quite effective in balancing disrupted sleep patterns. Patients suffering from primary sleep orders can achieve increased muscular metabolism and psychological calm that helps them sleep – and stay asleep – during the night. Patients with secondary sleep disorders report significant pain relief.
Results vary, of course, from person to person but improvements have been observed after even a week of daily 3-minute sessions in the Cryo chamber.
# 13: Benefits Of Cryotherapy For Migraine
Over 50% of Americans suffering from migraine episodes are forced to take sick days, says the Migraine Research Foundation. But only 42% actually report this cause to their supervisors because the problem is often viewed as just another headache. Not enough ground therefore to be absent from work.
According to Reuters, more than $ 41 million is spent every year in migraine treatments in the country. And as there is no known cure, people resign themselves to powering through the extreme discomfort until the worst of the symptoms has blown over.
The use of cold therapy (ice packs, ice head baths, cold compression wraps etc.) to treat migraines have been popular all over the world for over 150 years. The sudden introduction of a cooling agent to the head and neck constricts the blood vessels (vasoconstriction), thereby reducing inflammation and sensitivity to light and pain.
It is not hard to see why Cryotherapy is helping patients suffering from chronic migraine episodes to find quick relief via this treatment. However, do speak to your doctor, especially if you’re pregnant or nursing, before you book your first session.
# 14: Benefits Of Cryotherapy For Skin
We have already discussed the smoothening and tightening effect that Cryotherapy has on aging skin. But that’s not all. By jumpstarting flow of oxygenated blood and nutrients like collagen, the treatment can take reduce visible skin irregularities as well for people of any age.
Cryotherapy facials are becoming very popular these days, where a stream of nitrogen is directed at the skin on the face to constrict blood vessels, reduce puffiness and appearances of of bloating caused by late nights, long-haul flights, overindulging in alcohol and spicy foods etc.
Cryotherapy can also reduce redness caused by rosacea and acne, lighten dark spots and remove subcutaneous toxins, leaving you looking fresh and glowing after just one treatment.
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