Whole-body cryotherapy isn’t just a celebrity trend. People have been using ice to reduce inflammation, increase energy levels, and treat pain for centuries. Even before whole-body cryotherapy gained popularity, athletes would submerge themselves in ice baths after exercise, doctors would recommend ice packs for swelling, and people would jump into ice-cold water to spike their alertness and improve their moods. People use extreme cold to freeze off warts and break down other diseased tissues. Cold therapy has many benefits, which lend themselves to the rise of whole-body cryotherapy.
What Does Whole-Body Cryotherapy Consist Of?
Whole-body cryotherapy (aka WBC) is conducted in a hyperbolic chamber where the temperature drops down to subzero temperatures. People wear anything from nothing aside from slippers, to underwear, to athletic wear. They need proper footwear and other protective coverings like gloves, masks, and head-gear. After stepping into the chamber, you can expect 2-3 minutes of subzero temperatures, and rest easy knowing that a professional is monitoring you the entire time. After treatment, they’ll help you warm up!
But why would you do this to yourself? There are multiple reasons! Here are six reasons why you should give whole-body cryotherapy a shot.
Boosted Recovery Rates After Exercise
There’s a reason why you always hear about athletes using ice baths following training. The cold increases muscular recovery rates. WBC is similar to ice baths in that your whole body is exposed to extreme cold, which ergo helps your muscles recover faster after physical activity. Cold is also proven to numb pain, which is another reason why it’s a go-to after exercise. WBC can reduce pain and provide relief for any strained, inflamed, or injured muscles.
It should be noted that one session alone likely won’t ease any muscular pains, which is why going to regular whole-body cryotherapy sessions for a period of several weeks or months is recommended for the best results if this is your goal.
People commonly apply ice packs to sore muscles and inflamed areas because the cold helps the swelling go down. It also aids in soft-tissue related injuries and can revitalize damaged tissue. Reducing inflammation is a key benefit of WBC. WBC helps your body fight off the toxins and injuries causing inflammation, ergo improving healing rates.
Improves Immune System
This goes hand-in-hand with the above point. Because whole-body cryotherapy reduces inflammation, it, clearly, triggers the anti-inflammatory process. This boosts the immune system. Since bringing down inflammation is one of the main things whole-body cryotherapy helps with, it can also improve your overall health both by that, and by improving your immune system’s performance.
When you think cold, you think bundling up to conserve heat and energy. You wouldn’t necessarily associate WBC with increased energy, but it’s true! Immediately following whole-body cryotherapy treatment, many patients report increased levels of energy, due to the adrenaline of being exposed to subzero temperatures.
Whole-body cryotherapy can also spike up your metabolism! Cold boosts your metabolic rate because it sends your body into overdrive, making it work double time in order to try to stay warm. The cold can also freeze fat cells so they’re broken down faster.
The extreme cold can cause physiological responses which include releasing endorphins. Endorphins are proven to improve mood. This is especially beneficial for those suffering from mood disorders such as anxiety or depression, as part of those disorders involves the brain not producing enough endorphins.
Whole-body cryotherapy can also positively affect one’s mood because the cold triggers the parasympathetic system. Your parasympathetic nervous system is what creates a sense of calm and relaxation after elevated heart rates – something whole-body cryotherapy causes -, which can also ease anxiety. This is why people often report a sensation of lightness and calm after a whole-body cryotherapy session.
While Great, Cryotherapy Isn’t For Everyone
While cryotherapy can prove many benefits to many people, it is not recommended and can even be harmful to others. Some of the conditions cryotherapy can worsen include: poor circulation, heart disease, neuropathy, and more. Consult a doctor to see if cryotherapy is right for you!
Considering Cryotherapy? Call The Health And Wellness Clinic!
At the Health and Wellness Clinic, we offer whole-body cryotherapy and recommend it for anyone plagued by inflammation or who wants a good, reinvigorating energy boost! Our expert team of professional chiropractors is passionate about providing you with the best care possible. For more information about cryotherapy or any of the other services we offer, contact us at Health and Wellness Clinic today!