Whole Body Cryotherapy… A New Trend in America
Whole body Cryotherapy (WBC), began back in Japan in 1978. It was originally founded for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Not long ago, athletes like Lebron James and Peyton Manning spoke about how they had been using Cold Air Cryotherapy for healing and recovery. The concept of Cold Care is obviously not a new subject and or therapy, but yet utilizing Liquid Nitrogen as the Cold Air Fuel is very new in the United States.
The Cryotherapy System looks much in line with a “Stand up Tanning Bed.” The devices are commonly known
as Cryotherapy Saunas, but yet they for sure are not Hot, like a Dry and or Infra Red Sauna. The Stand up Cryo Sauna devices have lift systems that allow for height adjustments and so the cold air Cryotherapy exposure is only from the Chin area down. This is a comfortable approach in that there is no claustrophobia and also no need to cover the face areas. Treatment times are in the range of 2.5 to 3 minutes in duration.
Cryotherapy temperatures are typically in that area of -200 to -250F, although the new Cryotherapy machines are capable of achieving a depth of cold down to -310F. In my opinion, and from what I have seen in over 4 years of taking care of patients with a wide variety of conditions, from garden variety sprains, to sciatic pain, fibromyalgia, plantar fasciitis, to sleepless nights is that the -200F temperature seems to be spot on. Patients from the ages of 11 to over 100 have no difficulty being in the sauna for a full three minutes and in fact the vast majority find it fun, invigorating and a powerful healing modality.
The biggest confusion seems to be the purpose and as to why it works. The unit expresses cold air which does in fact surround the body from the neck down and so many people relate this experience in line with something such as Ice pack therapy, when in fact, being surrounded by this rich and dry Medical Grade Nitrogen is the driving force to bring the “Surface” skin temperature down by 35+ degrees in approximately two (2) minutes which kicks the nervous system (Body & Brain) into high gear and in high alert called the “Fight or Flight” survival response action. This survival response is brought about all the while, the patients is very comfortable, with no fear or anxiety as would be the case in Primitive times such a Lion chasing after you…. Thankfully,…. those days are done unless you are a Zoo Keeper.
The Neuro-Physiological repsonse create vaso-constriction followed after the three (3) minutes by vaso-dilation with an increase in neuradrenaline and followed 24 to 48 hours by the beginnings in the reduction of Inflammatory Cytokines…. The Reduction of Inflammatory Cytokines is the greatest appeal in my opinion. This ability to drive down inflammation with Whole Body Cryotherapy, without the use of corticosteroids or injectable steroids is the greatest part of Cryotherapy, besides the ability to increase blood profusion and activate hormonal response such as Adrenal, and endorphin, along with the potential elevation in not only Testosterone, but also growth hormone from the pituitary.
Athletes have caught on all over the United States. Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) is being utilized not only by some of the top athletes in the world, but yet even the local High School athletes are attending to Cryotherapy Cold Air to help in performance and recovery. Local Martial Arts Centers have found a tremendous benefit especially in helping to cut down in the general soreness, aches and pains and even reducing bruising and or hematomas.
If you haven’t given Whole Body Cryotherapy a try, now is the time. It is a “Chilling” but yet extremely fun and invigorating experience. The time you are exposed to the cold air is Only Three (3) Minutes and the cost in only $40-60 and the results are immediate for many patients which is the even more exciting part.
Cryotherapy can be an integral part of a weight loss protocol. Weight loss and being overweight is one of the hardest things on the human body and skeletal system. Weight Loss is many times associated with inflammatory states and being overweight especially the development of large amounts of belly fat that then can lead to visceral fat. Even though this article is not about weight loss, I would be remiss to not tie in the fact the weight loss and reduction of inflammation most certainly go hand in hand.
To learn more, feel free to contact Dr. Repice in Naples Florida.
Rejuvenations… COOL Cryo Spa
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Dr. Ronald M. Repice
President and Founder