Whole body cryotherapy, as we know it, was developed in the late 70’s in Japan by Dr. Toshima Yamauchi. This doctor found a method to cool the body surface using nitrogen in gaseous state avoiding freezing the subcutaneous part. Dr. Yamauchi used it for with therapeutical purposes to treat patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
The ancient Egyptians already used cold therapies as beauty and wellness treatments. Its effectiveness has been demonstrated with time. Lowering the skin surface’s temperature leads to releasing endorphins, producing a feeling of wellness and pain relief.
The investigations carried out in the last two decades, specially in Europe and Germany (Dr. Fricke) and Poland (Dr. Zagrobelny), have confirmed the therapeutic efficacy of the cryotherapy in many areas. The main investigation lines are related with treatment of pain and musculoskeletal disorders.
How does cryotherapy affect the organism?
The application of cold in Cryotherapy involves the spinal marrow. This way, the effect is produces throughout the whole body. In contrast, localized Cryotherapy is limited to a few segments of the marrow, so the effect is mainly located in the area of application.
Main effects of cryotherapy
An analgesic effect: cryotherapy has proved to be very effective in the treatment of acute and chronic pain. This is the case of patients with fibromyalgia. The extreme cold of the cryotherapy decreases the speed of nerve conduction and inhibits nociceptive fibers, helping to reduce the feeling of pain.
Anti-inflammatory effect: cryotherapy has an influence in the inflammatory process in a similar way as explained in the case of pain relief. The application of extreme cold on the skin causes a reduction of hyperfusion dependent on inflammation through vasoconstriction. It also causes the desensitization of the nociceptors, a reduction of the muscular tone and a reduction of mediators of inflammation.
Metabolic activation: the extreme cold generated inside the cabin produces some reactions in the organism in order to compensate the decrease in the temperature of the outer surface of the skin. It activates the metabolism and the mobilization of accumulated fats. It can burn between 200 and 800 kilocalories per session. The loss of kilocalories is not only during the three minutes of the application of cold, but also during the next six hours.
Relaxation: cryotherapy promotes the release of endorphins and serotonin, as well as, other natural substances that produce a feeling of well-being and that help to combat stress.
The shock effect produced by extreme cold generates the following effects:
It produces a vasoconstriction followed by a vasodilatation. Due to the extreme cold, the brain sends a signal to transport blood to the vital organs. There, blood is enriched with oxygen and another nutrients and toxins are purified. After exiting the cryosauna the vasodilatation takes place: enriched blood goes back to the peripheral systems of the body.
It releases substances as endorphins, that produce a feeling of well-being.
Through neuroreflexive mechanisms, positive results are obtained regarding pain sensitivity and inflammatory processes.
Whole Body Cryotherapy is a non-invasive, hyper-cooling process that exposes clients to cold, dry air for up to 3 minutes, promoting natural healing at the cellular level. The body's exposure to extreme cold, triggers a systemic anti-inflammatory response. Exposure to temperatures of below -110°C triggers temperature receptors in the skin to send information to the brain to restore balance ;in an attempt to maintain core temperature, it carries out vasoconstriction of blood vessels and blood is retained in the body’s core as a means of protecting vital organs.
Blood becomes enriched with oxygen, nutrients, and enzymes, and there is a release of endorphins and anti-inflammatory proteins after the 90 sec —3 minute treatment is complete. This process occurs when the blood vessels vasodilate causing increased blood flow to the skin and extremities. During the process of severe vasoconstriction and severe vasodilation, the body breaks down toxins, that are then carried away by the vessels.
When the immune system is activated in this fashion, the body is affected positively. The results are an energy boost lasting up to eight hours, and skin rejuvenation due to the production of collagen. Elite athletes realise increased performance and endurance due to faster recovery and healing. Inflammatory, medical and skin conditions have reportedly been significantly alleviated or eliminated through this process. Cryotherapy increases your metabolic rate, as the body encounters the cold, by burning calories to create heat. The estimate of caloric burn is between 400 to 800 calories over the next twenty-four hours.
Local Cryotherapy treatments rapidly cool down the skin using a stream of nitrogen vapor which can be as low as -160° Celsius. The skin over the affected area being cooled drops to 3-7 ° Celsius. This rapid cooling of the skin takes between 3 and 5 minutes depending on the size of the area being treated.
The treatment is used on targeted areas to reduce inflammation, swelling and pain. It also increases the release of pain relieving hormones and activity in the cells being treated, which accelerates healing. As a result, this is a wonderful treatment option for pain and inflammation associated with arthritic joints, sports injuries, lower back pain, knee issues, neck pain and numerous other musculoskeletal conditions.
Unlike Whole Body Cryotherapy, which triggers an internal systemic anti-inflammatory response in the body, local cryotherapy is similar, but far more powerful, to “icing”. Clients frequently combine this treatment with Whole Body Cryotherapy, to treat specific problem areas.
This treatment involves using a controlled stream of pressurized liquid nitrogen vapor applied to the face and neck to help stimulate and improve the overall appearance of the spine. The treatment produces an increased production of collagen, skin firmness and a decrease in fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, CryoFacial flushes away built up toxins in the skin and soothes inflammation, eliminating inflammation and puffiness. Pore size is reduced, keeping toxins, dirt and grime out. It is also a perfect treatment for chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.