As we search for ways to improve our health and wellness, we're constantly introduced to new treatments and therapies. One of the more recent therapies gaining attention is full-body cryotherapy. Cryotherapy involves exposing the body to extremely cold temperatures for short periods of time, and proponents of the therapy claim that it has numerous benefits. In this article, we'll explore what does full body cryotherapy do, how it works, and what it can do for your health and well-being.
What is Full-Body Cryotherapy?
Full-body cryotherapy involves exposing the entire body to very low temperatures for a short period of time, typically three minutes or less. During the procedure, the patient stands in a special chamber or room that is cooled with liquid nitrogen or another cooling agent. The temperature inside the chamber can range from -110°C to -140°C (-166°F to -220°F). The patient typically wears minimal clothing, such as shorts, a t-shirt, and gloves and socks to protect their extremities.
How Does Full-Body Cryotherapy Work?
The cold temperatures used in cryotherapy stimulate the body's natural healing mechanisms. When exposed to extreme cold, the body goes into survival mode, which triggers a range of physiological responses. These responses are believed to provide numerous benefits, including:
- Reduced inflammation - Cryotherapy is believed to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation is the body's response to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation can contribute to numerous health problems, including arthritis, heart disease, and cancer. By reducing inflammation, cryotherapy may help improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
- Pain relief - Cryotherapy is also believed to relieve pain. The cold temperatures are thought to numb the nerve endings, which can reduce pain and discomfort. This may be particularly beneficial for individuals with chronic pain, such as those with arthritis or fibromyalgia.
- Improved circulation - The extreme cold temperatures of cryotherapy cause blood vessels to constrict, which can improve circulation. This can help deliver oxygen and nutrients to the body's tissues more efficiently, which can improve overall health and well-being.
- Boosted immune function - The body's natural response to extreme cold is to release a range of hormones and other chemicals that stimulate the immune system. This can help improve immune function and reduce the risk of illness.
- Improved mood - Finally, cryotherapy is believed to improve mood by triggering the release of endorphins, which are the body's natural mood-boosting chemicals. This can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve overall well-being.
What Does Full Body Cryotherapy Do?
There are numerous benefits associated with full-body cryotherapy, including:
- Reduced inflammation - As mentioned above, cryotherapy is believed to reduce inflammation throughout the body. This can help improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
- Pain relief - Cryotherapy is also believed to relieve pain, particularly chronic pain. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with conditions such as arthritis or fibromyalgia.
- Improved recovery after exercise - Some athletes and fitness enthusiasts use cryotherapy as a way to speed up recovery after intense workouts. The cold temperatures are believed to reduce muscle soreness and inflammation, allowing athletes to get back to their training more quickly.
- Improved mood - Cryotherapy is believed to improve mood by triggering the release of endorphins, which are the body's natural mood-boosting chemicals. This can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve overall well-being.
- Boosted immune function - The immune-boosting effects of cryotherapy may help reduce the risk of illness and infection.
- Weight loss - Some proponents of cryotherapy believe that it can help with weight loss by boosting the metabolism and increasing calorie burn.
- Reduced signs of aging - Cryotherapy may also help reduce signs of aging, such as wrinkles and sagging skin. The cold temperatures are believed to stimulate collagen production, which can improve skin elasticity and firmness.
- Improved sleep - Cryotherapy may also improve sleep quality by reducing stress and anxiety and promoting relaxation.
Full-body cryotherapy is a relatively new therapy that is gaining popularity for its numerous health benefits. By exposing the body to extreme cold, cryotherapy is believed to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, improve circulation, boost immune function, improve mood, and more. However, there are also potential risks and side effects to be aware of, so it's important to talk to your doctor before trying cryotherapy. With the right precautions, cryotherapy can be a safe and effective way to improve your health and well-being.
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- "Cryotherapy - Benefits and Risks." NHS, 2 July 2021, www.nhs.uk/conditions/cryotherapy/.