Sid Frost, owner of Alpha Cryo, described his first cryotherapy session as a scene from a science fiction movie. Sid was told to strip down and was given socks, shoes, and gloves. The cryotherapy chamber, which looks similar to a stand-up tanning booth, was towering in the middle of a room. After he stepped into the cryotherapy chamber, the real experience began.
To say Sid wasn’t shocked by the sudden cold would be a lie. The cold was both invigorating and shocking, yet surprisingly tolerable. It was certainly much better than the ice baths he had tried years before.
When Sid and his wife Dee first heard of cryotherapy, they hesitated. Could cold therapy really be beneficial? Yes, yes, and yes! As Sid and Dee continued on their cryotherapy journey and eventually opened Alpha Cryo, they first-hand experienced six ways cryotherapy helped them:
1. Decreased Inflammation
Dee was battling lower back pain on and off and Sid had two herniated discs. They both were looking for a natural way to heal and decrease inflammation throughout their bodies. The speed with which their pain and symptoms improved after their very first cryotherapy session shocked them both.
Ice, when applied to a specific area of the body, reduces inflammation, such as when you have a bruise. Cryotherapy, however, reduces inflammation throughout the entire body, so that healing can occur in more than one area at a time. If you have an injury on the arm and leg, for example, cryotherapy will automatically target these areas. Cryotherapy also stimulates the vagus nerve, reducing anxiety and fatigue. The vagus nerve is literally the captain of your inner nerve center — the parasympathetic nervous system, to be specific. And like a good captain, it does a great job of overseeing a vast range of crucial functions, communicating nerve impulses to every organ in your body. New research has revealed that it may also be the missing link to treating chronic inflammation, and the beginning of an exciting new field of treatment that leaves medications behind. Stimulation of the vagus nerve can also help reduce anxiety and fatigue, allowing those with these conditions to feel natural relief from their symptoms.
2. Increased Performance Levels
Many athletes use cryotherapy because the treatment can help them recover faster from intense training, games and matches. LeBron James, Floyd Mayweather, and most NFL and NBA players use cryotherapy as their secret weapon to perform at their best no matter what aches, pains and injuries they are battling.
After you step out of the cryotherapy chamber, enriched blood flows back through your body, via vasodilation. Unlike ice baths, muscles don’t need time to recover after cryotherapy.
Since joint and muscle strength is increased, athletes can train sooner and more aggressively. Because the muscles and tissues are not frozen, there is no need to wait before exercising after a cryotherapy session – many of our clients head straight to the gym or Cross Fit after doing cryo at Alpha Cryo.
3. Increased Metabolism
After a session of cryotherapy, it takes a lot of energy to reheat the body. During a three minute treatment, you burn approximately 800 calories. When skin is rapidly cooled to low temperatures, it requires a lot of energy to reheat it to regular body temperature. Burning 800 calories without breaking a sweat or spending hours at the gym? Our clients love it!
4. Reduced Pain and Fatigue
For those that suffer from chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia or general body pain, cryotherapy can offer fast relief. Some people experience a few hours of relief, while others enjoy a relief that lasts days, and even longer. Each individual is different, so results vary, but most participants feel that three minutes of cold is worth the hours of pain relief later. One study regarding fibromyalgia patients showed that after 15 sessions of cryotherapy, pain levels were significantly improved.
5. Happiness Boost
Rather than reach out for antidepressants, many opt for cryotherapy instead. That’s because the procedure releases endorphins into the bloodstream, and our clients report that they feel their mood and energy improve after a cryotherapy session. The endorphins interact with pain receptors, reducing pain perception. Cortisol levels are reduced, and one feels, well … happier.
6. Increased Collagen
With regular treatments, cryotherapy can help lessen the appearance of wrinkles, increasing the skin’s collagen. This is because routine cryotherapy treatments can help rejuvenate the collagen matrix, improving skin’s resilience and reducing the appearance of cellulite and fatty deposits at the skin’s surface.