Cryotherapy is a phenomenal tool that helps create overall wellness for the body. It has physiological benefits, as well as physical and mental benefits.
Cryotherapy is most commonly used by professional athletes after practice or a game. However, it has transitioned to have a special place in spa and recovery boutiques, for everyday use.
Here, we’re going over what exactly cryotherapy is, the benefits of cryotherapy and whether or not it’s worth all the hype. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
What is cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy originated in Japan in 1978 and was originally designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
While originally a remedy for arthritis, we’ve seen an explosion of the use of cold therapy for sports recovery in the past two decades.
The term “cryo” means cold. Therefore, cryotherapy refers to exposing your body to extreme cold for a short amount of time. This can be done in two ways: dry or wet.
Dry cryotherapy is the process of engulfing the entire body in a chamber that is between negative 200-300 degrees Fahrenheit. Cryotherapy can be localized to treat an injury using a special hose-like tube that pushes out the cold air.
Wet cold therapy includes ice baths, ice packs, and cold showers. These are common in sports teams, smaller injuries, and daily life. Ice baths penetrate the skin faster than dry cryotherapy, sinking deep into the muscles and tendons.
Benefits of Cryotherapy
The benefits of cryotherapy are endless. As we mentioned, it was originally designed to help arthritis, but we’ve seen more and more benefits come forward with the regular use of cryotherapy.
When your body is inflamed, heat is generated, which makes the muscle swell. Cryotherapy is the reverse of that. By decreasing the temperature of your muscles and skin, pain and swelling will go down.
Increased Metabolic Rate
When you indulge in a cryo tank, your body’s core temperature will drop dramatically, usually down to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It takes a significant amount of energy once you exit the chamber for your body to heat itself again.
This use of energy helps to increase your metabolic rate and keeps your body burning calories throughout the rest of your day.
Helps Flush Blood to the Heart
When your body feels the cold temperature, your blood vessels will narrow. Since blood vessels carry blood to the heart, this will increase the blood flow to your core. This is your body’s natural response to nurturing your most vital organs.
When you step out of the cryotherapy chamber, we see a rush of fresh blood throughout the body. This new blood brings oxygen, nutrients, and enzymes.
Helps Quicken Recovery Time
When you exercise, your muscles, cells, and tissues break down. This breakdown allows for growth and strength as your muscles are built back up. The length of this recovery period depends on what nutrients your blood brings and how quickly.
As mentioned before, once you exit the cryotherapy chamber, fresh blood is flushed throughout the body. This blood helps rebuild your cells and cleans out the dead ones, making your recovery time quicker.
Reduces Migraine Symptoms
Cryotherapy helps to numb the nerves around the head and neck, reducing the pain felt from a migraine. The carotid arteries are close to the skin’s surface and can be cooled through cryotherapy or the use of ice packs.
Helps Prevent Anxiety and Depression
Along with all of the blood flow benefits, cryotherapy can also cause a physiological hormone response. Chemicals such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, and endorphins are released into the bloodstream and carried to the brain and body.
Is cryotherapy worth the hype?
So, is cryotherapy worth the hype? We’d say it is! But it might not be for everyone. Always make sure to assess the risks and speak to a cryotherapy specialist to see if it’s right for you.
Still, if you want to heal faster, recover quicker, and feel better, cryotherapy just might be worth it.
It’s a quick, easy, non-invasive, and relatively pain-free way to feel better and take care of your body. Especially if you’re training a lot with the OOMPH app, cryotherapy might be the perfect tool for your recovery. Try it today!