Cryotherapy, also known as “cold therapy,” is a treatment in which the body is subjected to extremely low temperatures, typically lasting several minutes.
One localized area of the body is all that is required to be treated with cryotherapy, but the option to treat the entire body is also available. Localized cryotherapy can be delivered in various ways, such as through ice packs, ice massage, and even probes inserted directly into the tissue to deliver the treatment.
Whole-body cryotherapy, also known as WBC, is based on the idea that one could reap various health benefits by subjecting their body to an extremely cold atmosphere for a period of time measured in minutes rather than seconds. The person will be required to stand in a closed room or a small enclosure that envelops their body but has a hole at the top for their head to pass through. The enclosure temperature will fall between -200 and -300 degrees Fahrenheit. They will remain in the air that is kept at an extremely low temperature for between two and four minutes.
Even a single session of cryotherapy can provide some benefits, but the treatment is at its most beneficial when it is utilized on a consistent basis. Cryotherapy is something that some athletes do twice a day. Others will go once per week for the first ten days, then once every other week after that.
Benefits of Whole Body Cryotherapy
Reduction of migraine symptoms
Migraines can be treated with cryotherapy, which numbs and cools the nerves in the neck region. One research found that applying a neck wrap to the carotid arteries containing two frozen ice packs substantially reduced the pain experienced by those tested for the treatment. It is believed that this works by lowering the temperature of the blood as it travels through the intracranial vessels.
Improves the Mood
Cryotherapy, in which the patient is exposed to temperatures that are extremely low, can cause physiological and hormonal responses. Among these are the hormones adrenaline and endorphins being released. Those struggling with mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression may benefit from the effects of this factor. According to the findings of one study, whole-body cryotherapy can be an effective short-term treatment option for both conditions.
Alleviates the aching pain of arthritis
One research indicated that persons with arthritis who had whole-body cryotherapy saw a considerable reduction in pain. Another study found that localized cryotherapy is not the only thing that is beneficial in treating severe illnesses.
They came to the conclusion that the therapy was well-tolerated by the patients. As a direct consequence of this, it was also possible to engage in more vigorous physiotherapy and occupational therapy. The effectiveness of rehabilitation programs was ultimately increased as a result of this.
Effectively treats atopic dermatitis as well as other forms of skin disease.
Dryness and itchiness of the skin are hallmark signs of atopic dermatitis, a persistent inflammatory skin condition also known as atopic eczema. Both topical and whole-body cryotherapy make sense as potential treatments for atopic dermatitis, given that cryotherapy has been shown to increase antioxidant levels in the blood while at the same time reducing inflammation. In yet another study, the sebaceous glands were the focus of the investigation as they related to acne.
What kind of effects can severe cold have on the body?
Temperatures that low have the potential to influence the body in a variety of different ways. To begin with, the blood arteries constrict, which reduces the amount of blood that can reach the muscles and skin. This could help reduce the edema. The impulses that are sent along your nerves move more slowly, which might result in a reduced amount of pain.
A decrease in inflammatory molecules in your blood is accompanied by a rise in anti-inflammatory compounds when you are exposed to cold temperatures. It’s possible that the combination of these modifications may result in less discomfort, damage, and edema.
After being exposed to cold, there is an increase in blood flow. This can aid the healing process of muscles. After receiving whole-body cryotherapy, participants in some trials experienced less weariness and an improvement in their mood.
What are the potential side effects of undergoing whole-body cryotherapy?
There is much ongoing discussion on whether or not cryotherapy is beneficial. However, we are aware of the potential dangers of this therapy, and they can be rather severe.
Changes in vital sign
It is possible for your vital indicators, such as your heart rate and blood oxygen levels, to fluctuate as a result of receiving whole-body cryotherapy. These shifts may have a variety of effects on each individual. Cryotherapy may have different effects on different people depending on factors such as their gender and whether or not they smoke. Cryotherapy of the whole body is not indicated for individuals who have a history of heart failure or chest discomfort.
Damage to the skin or rashes
Other potentially life-threatening adverse effects of whole-body cryotherapy include changes in vital signs. These include severe injury to the skin, such as frostbite and frozen limbs, among other things. After the skin has warmed back up, it produces blistering, edema, and burns of the third degree.
An additional dangerous issue is known as cold panniculitis. When this happens, the layer of fat that sits directly beneath your skin freezes, which results in a rash that lasts for a significant amount of time.
Before putting your whole body through a whole-body cryotherapy session, what should you know?
Suppose you are thinking about undergoing whole-body cryotherapy. In that case, you first need to remember that it is a therapy with undetermined benefits and potential complications. Be certain that you have a complete understanding of any underlying medical issues that you could have. Have a conversation with your primary care physician about the medical issues you’re experiencing and how whole-body cryotherapy could affect you.
When ready, enter the cryosauna at Blue Ice Med Spa, known locally as “BIG BLU,” and enjoy the many advantages of whole-body cryotherapy.