What is Whole Body Cryotherapy?
Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) is a cold therapy treatment method where the skin in exposed to temperatures between -200° F to -250° F for up to three minutes. The method was first used in Japan back in1978 for treating rheumatic disease. Since then, numerous studies have been conducted and have all proven that cryotherapy is a powerful treatment for reducing inflammation and pain symptoms associated with a wide range of chronic conditions.
How Does It Work?
The body’s sympathetic nervous system is intensely stimulated by cold receptors in the skin. As a result, blood flows to the extremities and skin’s surface is redirected to insulate the body’s vital organs and maintain core temperature. The response is a body’s survival mechanism where attention is directed towards maintaining the most crucial systems.
The end result of Cryotherapy is an immediate improvement in blood circulation which ensures adequate delivery of nutrients and oxygen to body tissues. The therapy also improves your body’s ability to eliminate toxins. The WBC process delivers dry cold, unlike what you would experience on a normal cold winter day.
What are the Benefits?
Whole Body Cryotherapy triggers your body’s natural healing abilities. The therapy uses cold to induce a response in the nervous system, circulation system, and Energy Meridians. This is the only powerful therapy known to induce such powerful, holistic and positive response. Here are some of the specific benefits you can get from Whole Body Cryotherapy:
When ice is applied to the body, it reduces inflammation in specific areas. Whole Body Cryotherapy, on the other hand, reduces inflammation throughout your body ensuring that healing occurs in more than one area. Cryotherapy reduces fatigue and anxiety by stimulating the vagus nerve.
At the end of a cryotherapy session, it requires a lot of energy to revert the body back to its normal state. During the 3-minute treatment session, your body burns about 500 to 800 calories. Reheating the skin back to its normal temperature needs a lot of energy which triggers the body to increase metabolism.
Reduced Chronic Pain and Fatigue
If you suffer from chronic fatigue, general body pain or fibromyalgia, you will be pleased to realize that cryotherapy reduces both. The feeling of relief may last for a few hours to several days depending on the individual. There are studies indicating that fibromyalgia patients can experience significant improvement after 10 to fewer sessions. 4. Increases Performance Levels Many bodybuilders and athletes use Whole Body Cryotherapy to recover from strenuous training and sporting sessions. Athletes are able to increase muscle and joint strength sooner and resume their sessions within a shorter period. The therapy increases blood flow to the body through vasodilation, and you don’t need recovery time after Whole Body Cryotherapy session.
What should you expect during a Cryotherapy session?
Prior to a Cryotherapy session, you will be required to fill some form for assessment of contraindications. Your blood pressure will also be taken. You will then get undressed to the level of your comfort in the changing room. Next, you will be required to put on the slippers, socks gloves, and a robe and then step into the cryotherapy chamber. Once in the chamber, you will hand the robe to a technician and begin your session.
If you’re a first timer, you will be limited to two minutes during your initial session. After that, the subsequent sessions will last not more than 3 minutes. During the session, the temperature will drop significantly. But don’t worry, it’s nothing you can’t handle, neither is it painful. Once the three minutes are over, the technician will hand back the robe to you and you can call it a day.
After the session, it’s normal to feel a little cold to the touch, but since the cooling system is dry, you will warm up almost immediately. You will then feel energized and any inflammation, pain and fatigue should be relieved.