With all that has been said and written about the effect of Whole Body Cryotherapy, we set out to dig a little deeper and try to understand what exactly it entails – more than freezing for a couple of minutes at temperatures lower than the North Pole. To that purpose, we take a look back at the origins of modern cryotherapy.
Cryotherapy: History and Background
The father of the modern cryotherapy moment is Dr. Yamaguchi of Japan, who began using short-term topical freezing treatments on patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. He found that he could significantly reduce the swelling and pain through the rapid decrease of skin temperatures.
He concluded that the effects of decreasing skin surface temperatures at an accelerated rate was more beneficial that the gradual cooling effects of ice bath immersion or applied ice packs.
As a result, he centered his research and application of Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) around 3 different body processes:
- Biochemical – the circulatory system
- Energetic – the energy meridians
- Informative – the nervous system
When a patient steps into the cooling chamber their skin’s surface is rapidly cooled to approximately 0ºC/32ºF degrees for a short period of time (about 2-3 minutes). Human bodies are designed to maintain an internal temperature around 98ºF. When it drops to ~32ºF in the cryochamber, an innate survival response is triggered.
In an effort to preserve the most important body functions, the brain directs a majority of the body’s blood flow to the core in order to maintain internal temperatures. Your core internal temperature can also jump up to about 104ºF in order to maintain healthy conditions and may even destroy existing viruses and bacteria with a rapid response fever effect.
Once the patient exits the full body cryotherapy chamber, hyper-enriched warm blood flows quickly and forcefully back into the body’s extremities and flushes away toxins while stimulating the regeneration and revitalization of old tissues.
It has long been accepted that the body is composed of a network of energy meridians, similar to the body’s physical functioning systems. The human body is said to consist of 12 main meridians and many lateral meridians. The constant and unimpeded flow of energy across the network is necessary to maintain optimal health levels. When an energy flow is blocked, this may cause a decrease in organ functioning and body processes.
Whole Body Cryotherapy essentially turns the entire human body into a conductor for energy flow. By cooling skin temperatures and maintaining an elevated core temperature, a low embodying electric current travels through the body, restoring and regenerating energy pathways.
The nervous system is responsible for effective communication and regulation of the entire network of body processes.
During Whole Body Cryotherapy, the same signals that trigger the vasoconstriction response also send out an evaluative signal of the entire body to assess and locate the point of compromise. The nervous system will continue to monitor the viability of organ functions and tissues throughout the entire WBC treatment. During this assessment, researchers suggest that the patient’s brain is continually updating the entire state of health and determining which areas need resources allocated to them. According to research, cryotherapy may produce a “reboot and reassessment effect” upon the body and brain link.
The body is an extraordinary mechanic and every organ, muscle, cell has a function and a mission. As such, the “fight or flight” response induced by cryotherapy allows not only to alleviate pain but also to dispatch instructions for restorative and healing purposes.
As you can see, the treatment by nitrogen vapors is largely superior to localized icing. The whole body gets involved to fix not just a specific problem (pain or inflammation) but to rejuvenate its entire mechanism. In just under 3 minutes, you get a drop from the Fountain of Youth.
[button link=”https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/home?studioid=245624″ color=”custom” size=”medium” stretch=”no” type=”flat” shape=”pill” target=”_self” title=”” gradient_colors=”#f99d1c|#f99d1c” gradient_hover_colors=”|” accent_color=”” accent_hover_color=”” bevel_color=”” border_width=”1px” icon=”fa-calendar” icon_divider=”yes” icon_position=”left” modal=”” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ animation_offset=”” alignment=”center” class=”” id=””]Schedule an Appointment[/button]