Cryotherapy, meaning “cold therapy,” is where the body is exposed to extremely cold temperatures for a short period of time. This alternative treatment can aid in the treatment of a range of conditions, especially when used in conjunction with other forms of natural healing.
Whole-body cryotherapy is an excellent treatment for athletes who use this therapy to reduce their core body temperature including inflamed tissues to help with the recovery time needed after a workout or competition. In the event of an injury such as a strain or a sprain, Cryotherapy is also effective.
Exposing your body to colder temperatures using Cryotherapy makes your body work harder, causing your body to produce ‘cold shock proteins’ which help your body survive in cold conditions, which causes a spike in amino acids and hormones such as human growth hormone which is essential for building new tissue. They work together to produce a reaction that is out of proportion to what your body needs resulting in a surplus of tissue-building compounds. These are then applied to the minor muscle damage allowing your body to recover faster and better than it would under normal conditions.
As your body gets exposed to -220°F of cold air, it goes through a fight response. All the blood pulls to your internal organs to keep you alive. As the blood pulls, it goes through your lungs several times making this rich oxygen blood. Once you step out of the machine your body realizes you are no longer in danger. However, your extremities are cold so it shoots the rich oxygen blood to your extremities to warm up. This massive circulation of blood in short duration creates all this magic for cryotherapy.
The Benefits of Cryotherapy
Cryotherapy induces a flood of endorphins that create an immediate sense of rejuvenation and energy. Other benefits include faster muscle recovery after injuries or exercise, a stronger immune system, an increase in metabolism, reduced inflammation and a reduction of the symptoms of various autoimmune diseases.
It is used effectively to:
Promote muscle recovery and performance by reducing inflammation and increasing metabolism
Reduce nerve pain; athletes often use Cryotherapy to treat injuries as it numbers the pain, which is helpful for pinched nerves, neuromas, acute injuries, and chronic pain.
Reduce migraine symptoms; Cryotherapy can treat migraines by applying cold numbing the nerves in the neck.
Treat mood disorders, the body’s physiological hormonal response to cold can include the release of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and endorphins, which can have a positive effect on conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Reduce joint pain, the pain associated with arthritis and similar conditions can be significantly reduced with Cryotherapy and allows for a more aggressive and effective rehabilitation program using physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
Preparing for Your Cryotherapy Session
What to Expect from Your Session?
During your Cryotherapy session, you will stand in a small chamber that surrounds the body, with an opening for your head. The temperature will drop to -200 to -300 degrees for between two and four minutes, and the session will be around 15 minutes in total.
You will experience benefits from a single session but, for maximum efficacy, it should be used regularly. Athletes will often opt for daily sessions, while most people will go once a month (but more regularly at the beginning).
Need relief from pain or a quicker recovery?
Regular Cryotherapy sessions will help relieve pain and allow your body to recover more quickly from exercise or injury. Our experienced therapists look forward to working with you to promote healing in your body.
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