While most people know what to expect during the three minutes of whole-body cryotherapy treatment (liquid nitrogen-cooled air between -110°C to -170°C blasted on your body) the interest is in what happens after the cryotherapy treatment.
Like most types of treatments, one single whole-body cryotherapy session won’t work miracles. Instead, consistent cryotherapy is what brings about the many beneficial after-effects.
The following benefits are what you can expect from spending only a few minutes a week in the extremely low temperatures of the cryo-chamber.
Putting an ice pack on an inflamed muscle has been an effective method used to treat injuries and reduce swelling for decades. Icing minimises the pain as the very cold temperatures cause the blood vessels to constrict. This decreases blood circulation to the injured area and halts the body’s natural inflammatory response.
Many athletes and professional sportspeople have taken icing to the next level and have implemented ice baths after strenuous training sessions or competitions. This way, the whole body can benefit from constricted blood vessels and reduced swelling.
Whole-body cryotherapy does the same thing but in an exponentially shorter amount of time. Applying ice packs to muscles is usually done for 10-20 minutes, while a cryotherapy session is merely three minutes.
Exposing your body to extreme cold for half an hour is much, much more difficult than just a few minutes. This is why many professional sportspeople prefer whole-body therapy, as it’s much quicker and easier to handle.
The inflammation in athletes and the average gym-goer, runner or cyclist is usually acute inflammation, which can cause throbbing and sensitivity that lasts for a few days. Reducing inflammation means reduced pain and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), too, so you can get back to training and using that muscle quicker.
Chronic inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis, is when your body sends inflammatory cells to a site by mistake, without it having been hurt. A randomised control trial proved that patients with rheumatoid arthritis who underwent full-body cryotherapy sessions over the space of a week reported significantly reduced pain in the inflamed sites.
Increased White Blood Cells
Whole-body cryotherapy has been shown to increase the number of white blood cells in the body.
These white blood cells help the immune system fight against infections and diseases. If you don’t have enough white blood cells, your body is at a higher risk of getting sick.
White blood cells are also responsible for assisting with muscle regeneration after injury. They send chemical signals that activate growth factors to regenerate the broken muscle tissues and fibres.
This is yet another reason why professional athletes and sportspeople choose whole-body cryotherapy for athletic injuries: the extreme cold of the liquid nitrogen results in increased white blood cells which repair muscles quicker, effectively decreasing recovery time.
The body builds up toxins each day as we perform normal activities like walking, eating and drinking. Many of these are removed naturally through processes like urination and respiration. The accumulated toxins that aren’t removed will remain in your body and begin to weaken it bit by bit, with symptoms such as fatigue, pain, blood sugar imbalances and digestive issues.
Whole-body cryotherapy doesn’t penetrate more than one to two millimetres into the skin’s surface. It cools down the skin but your internal body temperature remains the same.
Your body undergoes vasoconstriction as your skin’s outer layer’s temperature decreases, which causes the capillaries and blood vessels to constrict. The blood vessels then dilate and release any built-up toxins (vasodilation).
Removing waste products from the cells means that they can be replaced with fresh, oxygenated blood bringing nutrients such as white blood cells. This improves cellular function, growth, and organ function.
Applying creams, serums and face masks and sticking to a strict skincare regimen may improve how your skin looks on appearance, but they don’t penetrate any deeper than the surface layer. Youthful, radiant skin begins on the inside at a cellular level.
The improved immune system enjoyed from whole-body cryotherapy triggers the body to heal itself naturally by stimulating the autonomic nervous system.
When the skin is exposed to the extremely cold air, its pores shrink in an attempt to keep heat in. Smaller pores are a good thing because they minimise environmental toxins and bacteria entering and reaching the bloodstream.
Improved blood flow and the release of toxins means that puffy water retention is excreted and reduced and new, oxygenated blood can regenerate and rejuvenate the skin cells. This can increase the skin’s elasticity which reduces the appearance of wrinkles and cellulite.
Increased Adrenaline and Endorphins, Decreased Cortisol
The extreme cold of whole-body cryotherapy can trigger hormonal responses such as the release of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and endorphins.
Studies show that this not only elevates one’s mood and decreases stress, but it can also have a positive effect on mood disorders like anxiety and depression.
High cortisol and stress can weaken the body’s immune system which makes it vulnerable to illnesses and diseases. Therefore, cortisol reduction can effectively strengthen the immune system.
While many athletes and those performing intense exercise use whole-body cryotherapy regularly, most people will enjoy a better quality of life thanks to the benefits that can be expected after consistent treatments.
- decreased inflammation which reduces muscle soreness,
- increased white blood cells to help the immune system fight infections and diseases and speed up muscle recovery,
- removed toxins and waste products from the cells, replacing them with fresh, oxygenated blood bringing nutrients,
- minimised pores, more skin elasticity and reduced appearance of wrinkles and cellulite, and
- increased endorphins and decreased cortisol.
Contact us today if you have any questions or book a consultation to see for yourself.
The information on this website is for informational purposes only. No material is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor with any questions you have regarding a medical condition or treatment before undertaking a new health regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.