Cryotherapy: Is it Really A Miracle Treatment?
By Janet Early
Have you heard about cryotherapy, the new favorite health trend of celebrities and fitness experts?
Cryotherapy is a treatment method that exposes the body to extremely cold temperatures in order to heal, prevent illness or improve general well-being.
Cryo comes from a Greek word meaning severe cold – but can you actually freeze yourself to better health?
People who practice or administer cryotherapy rave about its benefits, such as:
Step #1: Arrive at a cryotherapy center for your treatment. Full-body therapies cost around $90 per session, while a cryo-facial is usually around $45 (of course cost depends on your area).
Step #2: Dress the part – typically women wear a sports bra, tube socks, mask, gloves and booties that are provided. The mask and booties guard against frostbite.
Step #3: Enter the cryogenic chamber, which looks like a miniature sauna. Your head stays above the walls as liquid nitrogen fills the chamber, exposing the rest of your body to temperatures between -166 and -319°F (for comparison, the coldest natural temperature ever recorded on land was -136°F in Antarctica).
Step #4: Remain in the chamber for up to 3 minutes. You are encouraged to move around or dance in order to keep your blood flowing.
What Happens Inside Your Body In The Meantime:
When your body endures these extreme cold temperatures, the brain ferociously pumps out endorphins and pushes blood to where you need it the most in a frazzled effort to keep your internal organs warm.
Advocates say cryotherapy jumpstarts the immune, endocrine and nervous systems, which promotes recovery, relaxation and increased energy.
Cryotherapy has also been used to destroy cancer cells. Also called cryosurgery or cryoablation, this process targets specific areas of the body and literally freezes cancer cells to death. This method has been found to be highly effective at preventing cervical cancer.
Now The Real Question – Is It Safe?
There has been one recent death resulting from cryotherapy, in which a manager of the center was reportedly locked inside a chamber accidentally and was later found frozen to death.
Apart from this extreme event, many people tout the benefits of the treatment without reporting negative side effects.
Pro athletes like Floyd Mayweather, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lebron James are known to use cryotherapy chambers to relieve sore muscles and enhance athletic performance. Lindsay Lohan and Mandy Moore have also tried it for its skin rejuvenation properties.
However, the health community is mixed as to whether the treatment actually works. As of now, there is not enough evidence available to confirm cryotherapy’s rumored benefits.
Still, many praise the method as a much more effective alternative to ice therapy. Also, studies have indicated that the process decreases inflammatory molecules and levels of creatine kinase, which is connected to muscle damage.
Would YOU try this ice age health method? Have you already? I’d love to hear about your experience. Comment below and share!
Janet Early is a health enthusiast living in Los Angeles and working as a researcher for a major television company. An aspiring writer, Janet discovered her passion for wholesome nutrition and natural healing while navigating the struggles of balancing food sensitivities in a modern world. In addition to nutrition, she enjoys traveling, storytelling and embarking on daily adventures.
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