The health and wellness world is moving so quickly and has so many trends, it can often feel overwhelming to keep up. Whether it’s putting charcoal in your toothpaste, starting each morning with celery juice, or filling your morning coffee with adaptogens, it seems like there’s a new trend every week to try. Prioritizing health and self-care is incredibly important, but its hard to wade through the trends to find out what actually works. One minute you’re reading about toxins inside of your body, and the next your spending a fortune on something that may not even be useful. Plenty of wellness trends have been debunked, but there are many out there that promote overall health and are worth the while.
If you’re tapped into the health and wellness world, you probably heard of cryotherapy. Many recognize it as “the thing celebrities do where they step into a huge tank and freeze themselves”. And while it may seem that cryotherapy has come out of nowhere in the last few years, it’s actually been around for decades. You also don’t have to be a famous athlete or celebrity to use cryotherapy and reap its health benefits.
What is Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy actually means “cold therapy”. Cryotherapy began back in the 1970’s Japan. Toshima Yamauchi was a medical doctor seeking a treatment for people who suffered from intense cases of rheumatoid arthritis. It was also used for achy muscles and inflammatory diseases. Like anything that becomes successful, cryotherapy began to spread. It was used in Europe for trainers and their athletes, as well as physical therapists.
Nowadays, it’s used for pretty much the same thing, though its certainly evolved over time. Many chiropractors and physical therapists use cryotherapy to help those who have muscle aches and injuries. It also speeds up recovery time, reduces pain, and helps people recover form surgery.
Cryotherapy exposes the body to freezing temperatures that ranges typically from any these from -200F and -256F. The most popular type of cryotherapy involves a person going into a cryotherapy booth for several minutes. It’s not quite the same as just stepping outside for a little while on a cold day- its a lot more involved than that.
What Are the Different Types of Cryotherapy?
Some cryotherapy establishments offer whole body cryotherapy, facial cryotherapy, and local cryotherapy. Whole body cryotherapy involves standing in a cryotherapy booth for about 2-3 minutes.
A cryotherapy facial takes pressurized liquid nitrogen vapors that are then applied to the face and the neck to increase stimulation of collagen and decrease pores. The results is tighter and more even skin. “Cryofacials” can also soothe intense acne, and smooth out wrinkles and fine lines.
Local cryotherapy helps to soothe pain, swelling, and inflammation in targeted areas of the body. Local cryotherapy is an alternative to using a ice pack in a particular area. For local cryotherapy, the session is around 5-10 minutes.
What are the Benefits of Cryotherapy and What Can be treated by Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy has numerous benefits, such as mood improvement, better skin, and soothing aching joints. Some others may include:
helps muscle pain
pain relief for autoimmune diseases
improves mental health
possibility of treating low-risk tumors
helps with skin conditions
So…….Is Cryotherapy Safe?
Clearly, cryotherapy has numerous benefits. But for anyone considering cryotherapy treatments, the question of its safety is probably looming in their mind. After all, it’s not surprising that stepping into a freezing chamber for several minutes can feel a little frightening.
While it’s extremely important to consult your healthcare provider before trying cryotherapy, or any new procedure, cryotherapy is generally safe for most people, excluding pregnant or breastfeeding women, and people with certain health issues. Ask your healthcare provider first! Also, if you are under 18 and want to try our cryotherapy, you will need to have consent from your parents.
Medical News Today notes that the first cryotherapy session may be unpleasant, but will likely get better with each appointment. Your body begins to adjust to frigid temperatues. You should also never have a cryotherapy session longer than the scheduled and regulated time frame. Also, don’t fall asleep during a session. That last one seems a given, but its important to know everything in order to have a safe and productive cryotherapy session.
Can Cryotherapy Help You Lose Weight and Burn Calories?
The quest for new and inventive ways to lose weight has been gong on forever. There’s always a new superfood, a new supplement or a new workout regime that can help shed those pesky pounds- and fast. Nobody wants to hear that in order to have long-lasting weight loss, it takes time and commitment.
But does cryotherapy help with weight loss?
The ideal way to lose weight will always be diet and exercise. In order to achieve long term weight loss, it‘s important to look at what you are eating and how you are moving. Cryotherapy, however can certainly aid in your weight loss journey.
Ray Cronise, a former NASA scientist, is a believer that exposing the human body to the cold can help with weight loss. There have also been studies that show that exposure to cold temperatures can boost your metabolism anywhere from 8-80 percent. Cronise himself added cold to his weight loss plan, and he shed a whopping 27 pounds in a matter of weeks.
Obvously, if you‘re looking to lose weight, you should first focus on exercising and eating healthy. But educating yourself about how the cold can improve your weight loss plan and using cryotherapy to help speed up your metabolism is totally a valid path as well, and can be extremely beneficial.
What Exactly Does Cryotherapy Do to Your Body?
So you’ve done your research and you’ve decided to try a cryotherapy session. Exciting, yeah? But its important to know exactly what will happen to your body when you step in for your cryotherapy session.
When you’re inside that freezing cold booth, the cold will actually trigger the body’s responses to a drop in the temperature. Our bodies are incredibly smart. The boSy will immediately recognize there’s no way we can maintain our internal core temperature. There are receptors below our skin’s surface that instruct the nervous system into “vasoconstriction” which is the shrinking of arteries and blood vessels.
How Often Can You Do Cryotherapy?
When you find a new health and wellness trend that you like, it can be tempting to want to do it all of the time. It’s important to know just how often you should do cryotherapy in order to experience the best results. The amount of times in which you have cryotherapy sessions is also dependent of the type of cryotherapy you’re using and what exactly you’re using it for.
Most people who do cryotherapy for overall wellness and health typically do sessions 1-2 times per week. If you’re using cryotherapy to treat an injury, muscle aches and pains, or inflammation, then sometimes a client will do a cryotherapy session 2-4 times a week. It’s useful to consult your cryotherapy professional to find out what is best for you.
Is Cryotherapy for You?
Cryotherapy can have benefits for anyone. While most of us grow up hearing it’s important to take care of ourselves, a lot of the time our mental and physical health takes a backseat to jobs, relationships, and the general stress of life. Making time for your mental and physical health only improves other areas in life. Making time for cryotherapy sessions can have an incredibly positive impact on your health and happiness, and is worth educating yourself about to see it it’s right for you.
Contact the office @ (301) 997-4453 if you would like to schedule a Cryotherapy session.