What is Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy is the process of using cold temperatures for the health benefits it provides. In one form or another, cryotherapy can be traced as far back as the 18th Century where it was used to decrease pain and muscle spasms, slow cell aging, improve recovery and generally improve the body’s health.

The application has been used differently over time and careers, most popular, however, is the athletes dipping themselves in ice baths and cold tubs. In recent studies, innovations have been made that can now allow for a whole body cryotherapy in a customized chamber, instead of using the conventional ice, the chamber uses liquid nitrogen.

Though the liquid nitrogen chamber method was originally discovered in the late 1970’s in Japan, it has only become popular in the western culture in the last decade. It has been warmly received by athletes, patients with certain chronic illnesses and also as a household item.

Though cryotherapy has received its fair share of acceptance, some are still skeptical over health benefits of getting into a chamber and having your body sprayed with liquid nitrogen with temperatures as low as -240 degrees F.

Below, we are going to look at the effectiveness of the cryotherapy, and if there are any risks involved with it as well.

Benefits of Using Cryotherapy

· Quicker Recovery from Exercises.

Both in theory and in practice, the cryotherapy has been proven to help the body recover at a faster pace from exercise. Though studies go a long way to back up the claim, the best way to look at is in an experiential view; though only difference in method, athletes, and sportsmen, in general, have been using cold temperatures to help their bodies recover.

Some of the renowned athletes and sportsmen who have been known to use cryotherapy include Jessica Alba, Kobe Bryant and Baseball teams like the Dallas Mavericks. Furthermore, studies have gone ahead to prove whole body cryotherapy (WBC) proves effective against delayed onset muscle soreness, popularly referred to as DOMS.

· Amplified Metabolism and Energy

Many users of the cryotherapy say that after a few days of using it, they got an energetic boost. The scientific explanation for this is due to the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline (catecholamines) which apart from the increased energy, also provide more mental alertness. Furthermore, studies have shown that WBC can help boost your body’s metabolism by as much as 300 %.

· Helps with Inflammation

At some point, you have probably used ice to soothe a burn, bruise or inflammation. Now imagine that effect on your whole body. Doctors and physicians have been known to use cryotherapy to treat inflammatory conditions like arthritis and other chronic pain ailments.

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