Do you experience inflammation after an intense workout, run or yoga? Would you rather have a mood boost to boot and reduce inflammation? Well, here’s my review of the top on-trend treatment for inflammation of the body, Cryotherapy. Most high end sauna places recommend you go at least twice to three times a week to get the full benefits. But, I wanted to at least try cryotherapy at least once to see if it’s worth it.
Back in the day, I was invited as a guest for a health service review of a high-end local studio. The guests were taken in groups of 4 on a tour of the entire facility. I remember ending the tour by seeing someone’s husband immersed inside of what looked like a science fiction, Star Trek-like steel chamber. It was truly something out of a futuristic dream. This chamber called the cryosauna looks similar to a stand-up tanning booth with foggy steam coming out of it. But, let’s be clear. The fog should not be confused with nitrogen gas emitted from the cryosauna. You know it’s more techie than fog. For me, the real experience took place about a month later.
I was asked to strip down to underwear and was told to put on two layers of socks and gloves. Next, put on my robe. The attendant was nice as she kept the conversation flowing for the next five minutes. The average time for women inside the cryosauna is about 2:15 seconds while the average time for men is 2:30 or more. I took off the robe and remember feeling intense coldness mainly on my arms. The attendant suggested I put my arms along the upper edge perimeter of the cryotherapy sauna. The coldness immediately felt tolerable. After walking gently around in circles, almost like a doggie trying to figure out which way to go, my two minute time was almost over. Afterwards, I felt a more alive as though I had adrenaline rush. It was a happy experience, not at all stressful. I slept better and no longer had any achy quad pain from running or biking.
Cryotherapy makes claims to alleviate the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune disorder, psoriasis, dermatitis and osteoporosis. Studies even in Europe have show the whole body cryotherapy eases symptoms of mood disorders, anxiety and depression.
Temperature stress has physical benefits. “Cryotherapy induces a short duration temperature stress to the body,” explains Dimitris Tsoukalas, M.D., leading expert in the application of Metabolomics and Nutritional Medicine in chronic and autoimmune diseases, as well as the author of How To Live 150 Years In Health. The hormones released during stress — cortisol, adrenaline, and dopamine — increase our ability to withstand pain, fatigue, and hunger. They also decrease inflammation and related symptoms.” Dr. Tsoukalas goes on to state that appropriate responsiveness to cold, mental stress, physical strain, dehydration, fasting, etc. is a crucial prerequisite for a sense of well-being, adequate performance of tasks, and positive social interactions. He explains that a pioneering Austrian-Canadian endocrinologist, Hans Selye first observed stress and defined it as ‘the nonspecific response of the body to any demand for change.’”
According to Mental Floss, the vagus nerve is literally the captain of your inner nerve center — the parasympathetic nervous system, to be specific. And like a good captain, it does a great job of overseeing a vast range of crucial functions, communicating nerve impulses to every organ in your body. New research has revealed that it may also be the missing link to treating chronic inflammation, and the beginning of an exciting new field of treatment that leaves medications behind.
Here are the TOP 5 Benefits from using Cryotherapy.
- The Happy Boost – The cryotherapy allows the body to release endorphins into the bloodstream, and one feels their mood increasing after the session. The endorphin interact with pain receptor, reducing the perception of pain. Cortisol levels are reduced making the body happier and relatively more relaxed than entering the chamber itself.
- The Collagen Surge – There are facial cryotherapy session that help lessen the appearance of wrinkles, increasing the skin’s collagen. According to one of the top Cryotherapy providers, routine cryotherapy treatment can help rejuvenate the collagen matrix, improving skin’s surface and reducing the appearance of cellulite and fatty deposits at the skin’s surface.
- The Chronic Pain Reduction – Each person is different. For those suffering from general body pain, cryotherapy reduces pain and fatigue. Results will vary but most patrons will feel pain relief for a few hours and others will have pain relief for days. One study regarding fibromyalgia patients showed that after 15 sessions of cryotherapy, pain levels were improved.
- The Decrease in Inflammation – I sought out cryotherapy because of prior spine surgery of my L4-L5 lumber herniated disc. I rarely get pain from this surgery but believe in prevention as means to stay healthy. I’ve tried mung bean baths from Chinese Medicine to massages but found this cryotherapy to be most promising for my body.
- ICE is the best natural inflammation reducer – However, cryotherapy reduces inflammation throughout the body so the healing can take place in more than one area at a time. According to Mental Floss, the vagus nerve is literally the captain of your inner nerve center — the parasympathetic nervous system, to be specific. And like a good captain, it does a great job of overseeing a vast range of crucial functions, communicating nerve impulses to every organ in your body. New research has revealed that it may also be the missing link to treating chronic inflammation, and the beginning of an exciting new field of treatment that leaves medications behind.
So, go ahead and kill the pain with one cold stone cryotherapy treatment or multiple ones. Many athletes use cryotherapy because the treatment can help them recover from their sports activity. Since joint and muscle strength is increased, athletes can sports-train sooner which usually improves their outcomes. The muscles are not frozen so you can exercise sooner. Blood flows are also restored in the body through vasodilation. Unlike ice bath, muscles don’t need time to recover after cryotherapy. So, enjoy this one cold cryotherapy!
By: Dena Perry,
Dena is a certified yoga teacher 500- CYT in the Chicagoland area, product developer and beauty executive with Beautycounter. She specializes in yoga with back care, meditation, breathing and vinyasa flow techniques. She currently teaches yoga for two large corporations in Chicago. Her passion, as a wellness blogger, is sharing ideas that improves the quality of life for human beings. It’s all about being happy, healthy and helpful! Namaste!