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Cryotherapy involves exposing your body to extreme low temperatures. Most people are familiar with localized cryotherapy. For example, any time you put an ice pack on an injury, you are using cryotherapy. Whole body cryotherapy involves many of the same principles. However, you expose your entire body to extreme low temperatures at a time.
You do this by stepping into a cryotherapy chamber. This supercooled chamber uses liquid nitrogen to get to extreme low temperatures. Do not worry. You are there for very short periods of time. Sessions are three minutes or shorter. It is enough time for your skin temperature to drop several degrees, but not long enough to drop your core body temperature. As a result, your body experiences a ton of positive effects. It can help you heal faster, reduce pain, help with stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and maybe lose a little weight.
Immediately after you get out of the cryotherapy chamber, you may feel blood rushing to your extremities. During the cold exposure, your blood vessels constrict and your blood rushes to your core to keep your vital organs safe. When you get out of the cold chamber, those blood vessels will dilate, sending oxygen rich blood to your muscles, skin, and other organs. You may not feel very thirsty, but you should drink plenty of water. If you have ever felt a toxin dump after a massage, the feeling after cryotherapy can be similar. Drinking plenty of water can ensure that you feel great.
The first thing you may notice is that your pain is reduced or gone. If you suffer from chronic pain, you have probably tried many things to feel better. However, your body adjusts to those efforts. Exposure to cryotherapy uses your body to help itself by boosting production of adrenaline/ epinephrine. These natural hormones can help minimize your pain. For some people, the effects fade quickly after they step out of the cryo chamber. Others may notice positive effects for days after their treatment.
One of the main effects of a cryotherapy session is reduced inflammation. We know that inflammation is one of the main drivers of disease. It is also cyclical. Disease can cause inflammation, which can make you more susceptible to disease. Extreme cold temps trigger your nervous system to produce a substance called norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is an anti-inflammatory that helps minimize inflammation and constrict your blood vessels. That can lead to a reduction in swelling aka inflammation.
Even if you are not an athlete, you may notice a performance increase after a cryotherapy session. Cryotherapy promotes healing and can help improve the flow of oxygen to your muscles. Those gains can show in your performance. You can even train immediately after a cryotherapy session, to help you maximize your gains.
We have already told you about the physical effects of hormone changes on your body- reduced pain and inflammation. However, another important effect is stress reduction. When your body releases endorphins into your bloodstream, it creates a stress-reducing effect. In fact, some people even compare it to the feeling of being a little high. While this “high” feeling does not last long after your session, the anxiety reduction can.
You may notice your skin looks better and more supple. That is because cold temps can promote collagen production. So, you may have smoother, more supple skin. If you deal with cellulite, you may notice it looks less noticeable after cryotherapy.
Finally, you may lose a little weight. Cryotherapy sessions immediately boost metabolism as your body works hard to warm your extremities up to body temperatures. Even a short session can burn 500 to 800 calories. Many people report long-term gains in their metabolism after repeated cryotherapy sessions. So, if you combine the sessions with diet and exercise, you can boost your results.
For healthy people, cryotherapy is a low-risk way to get some amazing positive results. Give us a call to find out if you are a candidate for cryotherapy and to schedule your first session.