Posted on May 01 2017
Whether you’re an athlete like myself or a hard-working WRITTEN Woman who pushes herself daily, you may have experienced some of those long day aches and pains a time or two. Now don’t get me wrong, like WRITTEN’s motto, everyone has their own story to write in life, the same could be said for de-stressing and managing those sore muscles. Whether a healthy pour of vino, a soak in Epsom salts, or an Advil or two do the trick is entirely based on the individual, however, I recently learned of another type of therapy that can work wonders for your body in more than one way. A few weeks back I was introduced to Total Rejuvenation owner, Josh Giles who shed light on the alternative technique known as cryotherapy. Commonly used with professional athletes I was beyond intrigued, but turns out, cryotherapy is becoming more and more popular as a treatment for the masses and with good reason.
What Is Cryotherapy?
Native to Japan in the 1970’s, cryotherapy was originally developed for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Only becoming popular within the past decade in the United States, the “dry cold” treatment is still relatively new to us. Most cryosaunas or cryo chambers, which resemble that of a stand-up tanning bed, use liquid nitrogen to encase the body with extremely cold air at temperatures ranging from -100 Fahrenheit to -274 Fahrenheit. Despite these dangerously frigid temperatures, the liquid nitrogen only lowers your skin temperature to about 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit so not to worry.
Josh at Total Rejuvenation mentioned that his clients have the choice of how long they would like their cryo session to last, however generally, cryotherapy sessions are a max of three minutes…a large difference compared to your somewhat antiquated 15-20 minute ice baths. During the session, your skin reacts to the cold, sending messages to the brain to kick into “survival mode”. It is during this stage of survival that regulatory functions of the body are stimulated, assisting areas that might not be working to their full potential.
What Are The Effects?
Due to significantly lower temperatures, when participating in a cryotherapy session, blood runs through your cardiovascular system many more times than normal which is beneficial in supplying your system with oxygen, nutrients, and enzymes while stripping it of toxins. Once you exit the cryo chamber the enriched and cleansed blood returns to the rest of your body through a process known as vasodilation. This process has been known to aid in reduced times for athletic recovery and muscle repair, reduction of chronic pain and inflammation, and an overall enhancement of health and wellness. In addition to these benefits, there are many more to be had.
Benefits To Cryotherapy
- Energy Boost: According to an article written in Harper’s Bazaar, editor Tara Lamont-Djite credits cryotherapy in helping improve her energy level.
- Weight Loss: After a session of cryotherapy, it takes a lot of energy to reheat the body. It has been said that during a normal therapy session, you can burn approximately 500 to 800 calories. Sign me up!
- Skin Improvement: Regular treatments can help lessen the appearance of wrinkles, increasing the skin’s collagen. This results in younger, more glowing skin. Yes please.
Cryotherapy vs. Ice Bath
Even with all the benefits listed, people are still skeptical about cryotherapy. Ranging from about $50 to $100 a session, many wonder if an old-fashioned, less expensive ice bath would be just as effective.
The truth of the matter is that the two remedies are just not the same. If the main benefit from doing either is seeking a reduction of inflammation, then you may find the reduced cost of dumping a few bags of ice into your bath tub more beneficial than giving cryotherapy a try…that is if you want to lug those bags around in the first place. Aside from that, the differences between the two treatments are in favor of cryotherapy which boasts longer term results and no risk for hypothermia.
If you ask me, the results speak for themselves. Though more expensive, cryotherapy is less time consuming and much more beneficial than your typical ice bath.
Have you tried cryotherapy before? Tell us your story below.