Cryotherapy was primarily used for athletes, however today the hysteria for liquid nitrogen spray treatment, is becoming more and more for everyone. Here we will try to crack the code on whether it’s really worth all the exaggerated publicity or is it actually beneficial to your health.
What is Cryotherapy? This treatment was invented by the Japanese in the late 1970s using a Cryotherapy machine- essentially it looks like a large ice box where below freezing temperatures run between -110 and -200 °F. Yes you read that right. Cryotherapy improved an athlete immune system and promoted the release of endorphins, which allowed for optimal preparation and recovery before and/or after a sport, competition or marathon. This cold therapy has only been introduced for non-athletes in France, the UK, the US and other parts of the world within the last decade and a half, and is quickly picking up in popularity.
How does it work? Cold therapy is one of the oldest methods used (picture the famous ice-pack) to alleviate swellings, inflammations, and pains. It’s been used in the medical industry for hundreds of years and has been very well documented. Cryotherapy is based on the same ancient idea, however on a more intense level: The cold acts as an analgesic and has anti-inflammatory properties, which help to relieve pain related to a chronic disease or a physical activity injury (tendonitis, muscle strains, bruises). This is done by being submerged anywhere from one to three minutes, in a bathing suit, while protecting sensitive areas of the body (i.e. ears, mouth, hands, feet).
If you can get through the first few shocking seconds, then having a full session should be endurable
What is it used for? Because it also fights anti-inflammatory ailments, it acts on the majority of rheumatologic diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatism, muscular pains and many others. Cryotherapy also helps cure certain tendinitis and sprains. As far as skin diseases it has been proven to reduce the symptoms of psoriasis, eczema or dermatitis.
For those looking at it from an aesthetic point of view, Cryotherapy boosts circulation, which helps with getting rid of orange skin and cellulite. The skin becomes noticeably tighter and more plumped as the cold forces the body to secrete endorphins. The immediate analgesic effect provides a feeling of well-being at the end of the session, therefore long term effects would include better sleep, better mold, and a decrease in anxiety disorders.
Is it for me? Today, professionals and non-pro athletes use this technique to improve their performance. However, we also see an increase in treatments for:
- Fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, migraines, rheumatism, tendonitis
- Stress or sleep disorders
- Weight loss
We do advise against it for people that suffer from claustrophobia (cabins can be cramped) and of course for those who cannot tolerate the cold. Cryotherapy is also prohibited for people with heart problems, high blood pressure, phlebitis or nephritic colic, and pregnant women.
Where can I get it? If this is your first time, it’s best to go to a qualified center, however, in general, no medical prescription is required. Each center (medical or aesthetic) who practices Cryotherapy is supposed to conduct a thorough background health check before you are allowed a session.
Are you thinking of getting Cryotherapy? Have you already had it? What do you think? Your experience? We would love to hear from you!