5 Surprising Benefits of Whole-Body Cryotherapy: A Quick Guide
Have you ever been in freezing temperatures?
Maybe 32°F... 0°F... or even -40°F?
What about -150°F (-101°C)... or even lower?
It might sound crazy, but studies show there are benefits to exposing our bodies to extremely low temperatures for short periods of time...
This is what whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) is all about.
This new, popular biohacking method could help men and women with pain relief, cosmetic issues, reduced inflammation, improved mood, and other positive effects.
So, here's everything you need to know about "cryo" in 3 minutes or less (Scroll for more) 👇
What Is Cryotherapy Used For?
Although cryotherapy can be used as another way to say cold therapy — which also includes things like ice baths, cold showers, icing injuries, etc....
When using the word, most people are referring to the type which uses large, industrial equipment (powered by electricity or liquid nitrogen) to set temperatures well below 0.
This advanced treatment is an increasingly common way to treat pain, cosmetic, and health issues.
The sessions can be done somewhat partially, with machines that leave the patient's head outside of the treatment area...
...Or with the patient stepping entirely inside of a closed personal chamber.
Different from WBC, there's also a cosmetic procedure called Cryolipolysis (better known as tissue cryotherapy or by the popular brand name, CoolSculpting) which addresses skin and weight issues.
And there's more focused external or internal cryotherapy (sometimes called cryosurgery) to get rid of warts, skin tags, or — in more severe cases — cancer cells.
But today, we'll focus on the potential medicinal and cosmetic effects of WBC for overall wellness.
5 Potential Benefits of Cryotherapy Treatments
Clinical studies in this field are still emerging, but here are a few ways that cryotherapy could help:
1. Pain Relief
It's estimated that 1 in every 5 people suffers from a chronic pain condition.
Luckily, these cold temperatures are used to ease pain.
Whether it's strained muscles, joint problems, back pain, etc....
Cryotherapy could help to reduce pain in these inflamed areas because the cold forces blood to redirect somewhere else.
It's also used by some arthritis patients, since this condition can leave joints painfully swollen.
Living with constant pain can be challenging, especially when you haven't been able to find a way to relieve it—
This offers hope for those suffering.
2. Weight Loss
No, you can't step into a chamber for 2 minutes and expect your "problem areas" to melt off...
But there's studies (like this, this, or this) about the potential effects of cold temperatures and WBC on weight loss and glucose markers.
This could be, in part, a result of cold-induced thermogenesis — which is when the body is exposed to cold and then creates its own heat.
3. Skin Benefits
Some anecdotal evidence suggests those who use non-cosmetic, whole-body cryo-chambers experience "calming" and/or tightening effects on their skin...
And tissue cryotherapy has some interesting studies behind this...
But this area of study in WBC needs much more attention.
4. Cryotherapy for Reducing Inflammation & Injury Recovery
Athletes all over the world famously dip into ice baths in an attempt to recover from injury or fatigue quicker.
Now, WBC is catching on in the same way.
Preliminary findings seem to show that it could have a positive influence during athletic recovery:
The reduction in pain, and in muscle stiffness or soreness, also can help increase mobility.
And since immobility is often a factor in physical rehab, it could help in the recovery process.
But you don't need to be injured, or play sports, if you want to try it out...
Nearly anyone could benefit from overall reduced inflammation, which is often cited as a root cause of many adverse health conditions.
5. Cryotherapy for Energy
Cryotherapy's is also used as a tool for biohackers who want more energy.
First off, a reduction in pain tends make life more enjoyable...
And many have reported an endorphin rush as soon as they step out of the machine...
But beyond that, long-term WBC use has been shown to increase norepinephrine by 2-fold to 3-fold.
The stimulation of this neurotransmitter/hormone could play a part in improved mood and perceived energy.
What Are Some Cryotherapy Risks?
While we don't know of any reported adverse events, as with all things, cryotherapy has its risks.
The body isn't meant to be in extreme cold for too long...
So sessions that are too long can be dangerous, leading a cold-induced rash or frostbite.
Also, talk to your doctor. You may want to avoid WBC sessions if you conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, or poor blood circulation.
These issues might be made worse in some circumstances, and you may want to seek out other methods for similar same benefits.
The Bottom Line
WBC holds a promise to treat people with a variety of conditions.
More clinical research needs to be done before more definitive claims can be made...
But your doctor recommends it, WBC could be worth a look if you need new options.
Have you ever tried it? Let us know about your experience:
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