Is Cryotherapy Good For You? Benefits & Info
Have you ever held an ice pack on a swollen ankle? Guess what - you have experienced cryotherapy!
Cryotherapy basically translates to mean “cold therapy,” and it covers a range of treatments from sore muscles to migraines, and it can even help you lose weight! It can be a great addition to your health regimen, especially for those on-the-go since it takes less than four minutes.
Let’s dive into how cryotherapy works and the specific benefits you can receive from cryotherapy treatment.
How Does Cryotherapy Work?
Types of Cryotherapy
There are two general sections of cryotherapy: whole-body cryotherapy (WBC), and localized cryotherapy which is where you focus cold therapy on one part of the body.
We will be looking at dry cryotherapy as opposed to cryotherapy that contains liquids like an ice bath.
There is another branch of cryotherapy called: “cryosurgery.” Some cancer patients have experienced benefits from freezing cancer cells which produces ice crystals around the cells, effectively destroying them in the localized area that’s treated.
How Cryotherapy Works
Whole-body cryotherapy happens inside a cryo-chamber. Some chambers use liquid nitrogen to produce the cooling effect. Many current models use an electric cooling method that releases oxygen-enriched air into the walk-in chamber. This cooling method reduces the risk of uneven cold exposure and forced air burns.
You are in the machine for no more than four minutes. The main idea is that the extremely cold temperature will jumpstart certain systems and chemicals in the body or help control issues like inflammation and skin problems. You will shiver! But that’s okay!
Localized cryotherapy uses anything from ice packs to probes to target specific tissues or areas of the body where the freezing effect will freeze bad cells or help to reset or stimulate tissues or organs. If you do use products like ice packs, always be sure to wrap them in a dry cloth to protect your skin.
Yes, one session of cryotherapy can help. But like anything, if you want to see long-term benefits you may want to consider a regular schedule of cryotherapy to gain maximum well-being and recuperation. Be sure to speak with your physician about the right regimen as well as risks and side effects (like temporary redness or skin irritation) you personally may experience with cryotherapy.
The Benefits of Cryotherapy
Help Athletic Training & Relieve Sore Muscles
People who are physically active or play on a sports team may benefit from cryotherapy as it is known to soothe aching muscles. Some athletes like to use cryotherapy daily as part of their health regimen. If you have stiff muscles from being physically active, consider cryotherapy a few times a week as part of your physical therapy regimen. The cold can help reduce inflammation in the muscles which can feel relieving after a strenuous workout or mid-day run.
Improve Weight Loss
While modifying your diet is a sure way to lose weight, cryotherapy can be a great addition in your weight-loss arsenal. When you are cold, your body goes into overdrive to stay warm, and in return, you boost your metabolism and burn calories. So, if you did this often, it could help you burn hundreds of thousands of extra calories a week.
Reduce Anxiety & Depressed Mood
When you get the shock of cold from cryotherapy, your body naturally responds by releasing adrenaline and endorphins. When these natural chemicals reach the brain, they can enhance your mood leaving you feeling almost euphoric at times. Your body will also increase blood flow throughout your body which can help boost your mood.
Help With Migraine Headaches
For those who have to experience the excruciating pain of migraines, cryotherapy may be an answer to reducing your painful symptoms. You can try this by localizing ice packs or specialized cryotherapy probes onto your neck near your carotid arteries (the right side of your neck) when you have a migraine. It is believed that the cooling of the blood in the vessels near your head reduces the intensity of the migraine.
Treat Skin Issues Like Eczema and Acne
Do you have problems with dry, flaky skin? Well, cryotherapy is known to improve the levels of antioxidants in your blood which can reduce eczema’s annoying effect. Research is still being done on how targeting sebaceous glands in your skin with cryotherapy could help eliminate acne.
Cryotherapy Can Be Good For You
While the verdict is still out on all of the benefits that chilling your body down can produce, I hope you were able to see some ways cryotherapy could be beneficial for you. At the end of the day, cryotherapy is just one of the ways to improve your health.
Too busy for cryotherapy? Try out my Just Add Water superfood snack to help you get through those stressful days.
Make sure to check out my episode with Robin Kuehne, the first to bring cryotherapy to the United States now up on Serena Loves TV.
Have a blessed and healthy day!
XO - Serena