The science of subjecting the entire human body to extreme cold temperatures to stimulate the healing of its circulatory, nervous and energy systems is a powerful modality. Studies conducted in Europe over the last two decades have established Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) as an effective treatment for inflammatory disorders and injuries. Professional athletes who have used ice baths in the past have replaced this and have implemented Whole-Body Cryotherapy into their recovery and training regimen to decrease recovery times and increase and enhance athletic performance.
A Cryotherapy session takes three minutes and it starts by the patient entering the Cryochamber where cryogenically cooled air is released. Improvements in the skin’s appearance and increased energy in the patient are immediately noticeable after the first treatment. For longer lasting results a minimum of 10 sessions are generally recommended.
According to scientific and medical research, the optimum efficiency of Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) procedures is achieved once the body is exposed to temperatures between -120C and -150°C. By reducing the skin’s surface temperature WBC induces adaptive changes correlating with effects of analgesia, reduction of inflammation, and increases in serum markers of tissue repair. These non-invasive, short and extremely cold bursts projected to the human body evoke physiological reactions that prompt healing and recovery in numerous fields including Sports Recovery, Sports Injury Rehabilitation, and many Medical functions. Additionally, the controlled cold environment has been proven to trigger an analgesic reaction in the neural mind leading to positive mood state, improving sleep disorders and thus acting as an anti-depressant. Patients also report the treatment as energizing and improves an array of conditions such as insomnia, psychological stress, rheumatism, muscle and joint pain, fibromyalgia, eczema and psoriasis.
- Pain Management
- Athletic Performance
- Surgery Recovery
- Injury Recovery
- Tissue Repair
- Weight-Loss Management
To read the complete Whole-Body Cryotherapy FAQ, click here.
Whole Body Cryotherapy vs. Ice Bath
Whole Body Cryotherapy is not simply a faster version of an ice bath. The body’s reaction to low temperatures while submerged in an ice bath (7°C/45°F) is radically different from its reaction to cryo temperatures (lower than -110°C/-166°C) in the cryosauna.
In an ice bath, the body attempts to warm blood in its core and send it to the peripheral tissues to prevent the skin surface from freezing (vasodilation). While in an ice bath, the body is struggling with actual, unrelenting, penetrating physical cold (not just signals from skin cold sensors). Blood begins cooling as it nears the skin surface and its return to the core begins to decrease the body’s core temperature. Eventually muscles start to congeal and freeze as well. The small benefit of a temporary numbing effect for perceived reduction of pain and inflammation is far outweighed by the potentially damaging effects of the ice bath.
Conversely, in the cryosauna (also known as a cryotherapy chamber or cryotherapy unit), the body constricts peripheral tissues sending blood from the skin surface, muscle tissue, and surrounding joint space to the core to protect core temperature (vasoconstriction). As the blood travels to the core it passes through the cardiovascular system where it is cleansed of toxins and supplied with oxygen, nutrients, and enzymes. As long as the exposure to the extremely cold temperature continues the body continues to flush the tissue of toxins and circulate blood between the cardiovascular system and the vital organs on a continuous loop. This continues to cleanse the blood over and over while continuing to add oxygen, nutrients, and enzymes. Once the participant exits the cryosauna, the body immediately begins vasodilation, returning the enriched blood to peripheral tissues that have been cleansed of toxins.
The key to this difference is the temperature of the environment, the skin surface temperature, and the speed of the reduction of the skin surface temperature. In an ice bath the temperature can only reach 7°C/45°F while the temperature in a cryosauna/cryotherapy chamber can reach -170°C/-270°F. This means that skin surface temperature in an ice bath can only reach 5°C/41°F after a wet, prolonged, and often painful session while skin surface temperature in the cryosauna reaches -1°C/30°F in just 30-40 seconds and the total length of time the skin is exposed to this invigorating, dry, temperature is never more than 3 minutes.
During an ice bath, tissue begins to freeze and muscles temporarily lose capacity. Muscle tissue then needs time to return to normal which requires the body to rest. Therefore, an ice bath must be scheduled at the end of a rigorous workout so the participant can recuperate overnight. In contrast, the cryosauna/cryotherapy chamber does not actually freeze muscle tissue. It only creates a powerful illusion that the body freezes. In fact, upon exit from the cryosauna, the blood flow back to the peripheral tissues warms the muscles almost immediately. Accordingly, the participant may use the cryosauna both before and after a workout which is an effect that is impossible to realize with an ice bath.
Lastly, while in an ice bath, oxygen supply to the skin surface is interrupted, and it causes skin surface injury that can promote skin disease if the procedure is often repeated. Significant health risks may involve the MRSA infection (a bacterial infection that is highly resistant to some antibiotics) if ice baths are not cleaned and maintained properly. There is no such effect in the whole body cryotherapy chamber as the client is surrounded by cold dry air and oxygen supply to the skin surface is not significantly interrupted.
Our Cryo Sauna
The Cryofacial™ is a cryogenic treatment, in which a controlled beam of vaporized liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the skin of the face, scalp and neck area. The scalp and neck area are included in the facial treatment, to maximize stimulation temperature and maintain safety for the face.
Vasoconstriction causes pore sizes to be decreased. Collagen production is stimulated, which tightens the skin and reduces wrinkles. Toxins in the skin are reduced by increasing blood flow. When treating the scalp: Hair growth is stimulated, by increasing blood flow. Reduces inflamation and puffyness of the skin.
The benefits of hyper cooled air applied directly to specific portions of the body are achieved through Spot Cryotherapy. It is most commonly used for isolated areas of swelling and inflammation from a variety of causes such as injections, a tough workout which has resulted in pain and inflammation, an injury, or post-surgical condition.