The Big Chill—The Benefits Of Cryotherapy

You may have heard of cryotherapy, but not known much about it, except for the fact it uses cold air. There are many benefits of cryotherapy. Since it’s relatively new, many of the benefits come from tests on smaller groups of people, but clients provide firsthand testimony to the effectiveness. Cryotherapy lowers the body temperature and causes the blood to flow from the surface skin to deep inside the body and keep it warm. If you have inflammation, it reduces the blood to those areas. When you step out, the blood quickly flows back to the entire body bringing anti-inflammatory proteins with it.

Cryotherapy is better than icing.

If you’ve ever sat in a tub with icy cold water with ice swirling around your body, you know how uncomfortable it can be. For those brave people that jump in the already iced water, it takes 15 minutes of chilling and for those less valiant who add the ice after they’re in the water, as much as 25 minutes. You can get the same and in fact, better effects without the discomfort from a few minutes in a cryotherapy chamber. However, that’s not the only reason you’ll get superior results from the cryotherapy chamber, compared to icing.

Cryotherapy doesn’t require as much time to get results.

An ice bath doesn’t reach the cold temperatures of a cryotherapy chamber. Compare the 45 degrees Fahrenheit to the negative two hundred seventy degrees Fahrenheit and it’s easy to understand. The surface of the skin only reaches a 41 degree Fahrenheit temperature after a considerable period of time while the skin surface in a cryotherapy chamber reaches below freezing in a half minute or so. That means you only have to spend 3 minutes or less in the chamber. Ice baths freeze muscle tissue and require rest for recuperation, sometimes overnight.

Cryotherapy and icing work in different ways.

Cryotherapy doesn’t freeze muscle tissue for results, but tricks the body into believing it does. Once you exit the chamber, blood flow starts back to the muscle area quickly and warms them immediately, so no rest after a session is required. There’s no interruption of oxygen to the skin that can cause skin issues with cryotherapy, yet you get even better effects for muscle pain relief in a fraction of the time and it doesn’t require a long recovery time, like ice baths do.

  • Cryotherapy sends the blood to the core to protect organs and keep blood from cooling. That change causes it to pick up more nutrients quicker than it normally would and once out, send those nutrients to the muscles that need repair.
  • Cryotherapy addresses pain throughout the body all at one time. Referred pain may trick you into treating one area, where the pain actually comes from another. It’s not a problem with cryotherapy.
  • Cryotherapy was created in Japan in 1978 by Dr. Yamaguchi for rheumatoid arthritis treatment. He found it caused endorphins to be released and brought immediate relief from pain.
  • There are many more benefits that come with cryotherapy, some of which come from the increased blood flow after exiting the chamber. However, there are also some side effects that need to be investigated, such as increased blood pressure in people with untreated hypertension. Always consult your health care professional first.

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