Brief, controlled applications of cold can cause the body to engage its most powerful healing systems. Whole Body Cryotherapy represents the most effective means to date to engage these mechanisms. Done with the right timing and frequency, numerous health benefits can be obtained including reductions in pain and inflammation.
For millennia, people have used applications of cold to manage pain. This has been in the form of cold plunges, applications of ice, snow and cold air. It is only recent that the exact mechanisms by which cold alleviates pain have become well understood.
Based on work of Japanese scientists in the mid 1970’s, we have learned that the benefits of cold on pain, are in proportion to the temperature reduction achieved by the skin’s thermo-receptors. Our nervous system constantly evaluates the temperature of the world around us and adjusts our bodies accordingly.
Ice, cold water and cold air help, but they have limits on how much they can chill the skin’s thermo-receptors. Athletes have used cold plunges for some time.
It has been shown that in cold plunges, the skin’s temperature does reduce but this temperature reduction reaches maximum benefits after several minutes.
Cryotherapy has the advantage of chilling the skin to lower temperatures and much more quickly. This rapid drop of termperature engages rebound increases in blood supply and endorphins far superior to those achieved by even prolonged exposure to ice water.
Whole Body Cryotherapy has been shown to reduce the circulating levels of inflammatory chemicals such as histamine and cytokines by strongly stimulating these thermoreceptors. It also improves circulation of healthy, nutrient rich blood to the tendons, muscles, ligaments and cartilage. This increase in blood can help these tissues regenerate and become stronger. Nerve pain has also been shown to be reduced by Cryotherapy.
Commonly noticed improvements include:
- Reduction in chronic pain
- Decreased joint swelling
- Less morning stiffness
- Less pain from movement
- Less need for pain medication
- Greater stability of joints
- Better spinal alignment
- Quicker resolution of muscle spasms
Unfortunately, most medical treatments for pain are not adequately effective, or carry substantial long term side effects.
Whole Body Cryotherapy is a great adjunct for those with chronic arthritis due to its lack of harmful side effects and quick timeframe for relief.