Most of us are familiar with the long-standing tradition of athletes taking the cold plunge into a tub full of ice & freezing water after a strenuous work-out. It IS just as displeasing as it sounds too—but the benefits for the body outweigh the discomfort and I’m sure anyone who has ever had to experience it would agree. The idea is that immersing the body in freezing cold water speeds up recovery after exercise by reducing temperature, blood flow, and inflammation in muscle tissue. Ever used a bag of frozen peas to reduce pain and swelling? Same concept. Now, we know that works but if you could try something that was FOUR times more effective within a 3-minute period, would you make the switch?
Whole-Body Cryotherapy has become increasingly popular and there’s plenty of reasons to back it up. The process was invented in 1978 by Toshima Yamauchi, a Japanese MD who was seeking a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Earlier methods involved applying freezing instruments to targeted areas of a person’s body, but the process has evolved over time. Today, patients are encased in a cryo-sauna chamber from the shoulders down with temperatures ranging from -160 degrees Fahrenheit to as low as -256 degrees Fahrenheit during a 3-minute session. This procedure triggers a fight-or-flight response that causes blood to temporarily leave the less important extremities to the body’s core. The body is then signaled to fix any potentially damaged vital organs by pushing more oxygen, enzymes, and nutrients into the blood. When the treatment is over, that enriched blood flows back into the rest of the body; The body’s natural response is to accelerate cell renewal in tissues and skin, boost metabolism & immune system, and provide a decrease in pain and inflammation.
Although an ice bath and cryotherapy provide the same benefits, Cryotherapy has become the new go-to among athletes, chronic pain sufferers, and even those struggling with immune system deficiencies. It has been proven to be four times more effective within half the amount of time spent submerged in freezing water/ice & it provides more benefits other than just a decrease in pain and inflammation.
Natural healing is where it’s at, folks; Be well today, and every day.