Cryotherapy is all the rave for athletes who have suffered injuries and want to make a fast recovery. This “cool” recovery health trend includes freezing your behind off in a 32 degree or less sauna. You walk into the terribly cold sauna with only socks and gloves and remain there for 2-4 minutes. Get ready for your body to go entirely numb because that is what will happen.
This trend is not all that new. It has been around for years, it just has been more of a manual process. Have you ever seen athletes take ice baths? Literally sitting in a tub of ice in order to either heal an injury or go into muscle recovery? Well, it is sort of the same concept, just better. It has been scientifically proven that freezing temperatures send your body into survival mode. Survival mode causes your blood flow to be brought to the location of your most important organs, giving off oxygen and nutrients. Once you leave the freezing temperatures and warm up a little the blood that is less-toxic flows back into your body. When you shock your body temperatures you are essentially getting rid of the blood that includes inflammatory components which aid injury. Ridding your body of these toxins and components is what helps you heal.
A New York City-based sports physician stated via Fox News “So their claim of having health benefits or skin benefits to that is the washing away of the bad [blood] and renewing it with good, vital blood”. Once a cryotherapy session is up it is highly recommended by medical professionals that the patient does something to immediately warm them up such as cardio activity.
A customer who does cryotherapy in New York City explained how it felt when you first exit the sauna. He does these sessions regularly due to an ankle injury. His name is Ben Famiglietti and he says, “the first thing that you realize when you are done in the sauna is this “enormous rush of endorphins and energy afterward, and that high lasts like five or six hours.” He typically does the sessions three times a week and thanks cryotherapy for reducing the swelling around his ankles and joint and helping him be able to improve his motion and stability again. Many people use ice packs to expedite healing so it isn’t out of the ordinary, this new trend. It is just much faster. Athletes who use cryotherapy for on the field injuries see an expedited healing process of about 30% more and it also eliminates the discomfort and pain when doing physical therapy, IF you do it prior to your physical therapy appointment.
Cool thing is that cryotherapy can be used for more than just healing injuries. It is actually popular among celebrities for beauty reasons. Joanna Fryben, owner of KryoLife in New York says she sees many celebrities such as Demi Lovato come in and use it for anti-aging purposes. “The effects on your skin basically are immediate— you get the healthy glow, improve circulation, and then with time, because of the boost in collagen, you see lasting effects in the smoothing of the skin tone and reducing wrinkles,” Fryben told FoxNews.com. The question that we all NEED to know is, is this method really healthy?
To start it off cryotherapy isn’t FDA approved BUT most things in the states aren’t FDA approved so that isn’t really enough to scare us away from trying it. Most studies have shown that it isn’t harmful to athletes who are fairly healthy but scientifically speaking, most doctors would say it can cause possible issues for people who have risks of heart disease and cardiac disease. Certain conditions such as hypertension and deep vein thrombosis can definitely stop a doctor from approving an individual to partake in this sort of treatment. I personally don’t see any harm in this method, especially because it is for such a short period of time and you get results almost immediately for the most part, but I am also not a physician. Like all new health methods, always consult with a doctor before trying out something new.