Whole body cryotherapy is a holistic treatment offered by wellness professionals, physical therapists and chiropractors. The treatment involves exposing your whole body to extremely cold air within an enclosed chamber, and this sudden exposure to cold air will raise your internal body temperature for a brief period. This is thought to stimulate your immune system, and a stimulated immune system has the ability to heal. It's also thought that the thrill of being exposed to such cold temperature can trigger your body to release feel-good endorphins. Whole body cryotherapy was developed in Japan, but is now widely available across America. If you're considering this type of treatment, here's what you need to know:
The air temperature in a cryogenic chamber stays at around -170 degrees Fahrenheit for the duration of the treatment, and liquid nitrogen is typically used to maintain such a cold environment. Cryogenic chambers are typically made of glass and have easy-open doors that allow you to leave the chamber at any point if you're feeling uncomfortable. A speaker system allows you to talk to the practitioner during treatment, and the air inside the chamber is dry, so there's no need to shower or dry off after your session. Some chambers are completely sealed, while others are open at the top to allow your head to remain outside the chamber during treatment.
The Treatment Process
When you arrive for your whole body cryotherapy treatment, you will be asked to provide information relating to your overall health and any medication you take. This is to ensure the treatment is suitable and safe for you, so ensure your chosen practitioner is fully informed about your health before you start your treatment. Before entering the chamber, you will need to wear socks, gloves and a face mask to protect vulnerable parts of your body from such cold temperatures. You will only be in the chamber for a few minutes, as that's as long as your body can cope with such extreme cold, and you should remain at the treatment center for a short time after treatment to ensure you feel fine, as when you're new to cryotherapy you may feel a little lightheaded after the treatment. Whole body cryotherapy is typically offered as a course of treatment sessions, and you can expect to have a few treatments a week for several weeks.
Uses And Contraindications
Whole body cryotherapy is believed to have a therapeutic benefit in those with conditions affecting the soft tissues or nervous system. It's also considered useful for those with certain mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety. Examples of physical conditions that whole body cryotherapy can be used for include arthritis, muscle pain, multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia. The aim of the treatment is to reduce certain symptoms, such as inflammation. Whole body cryotherapy treatment cannot be utilized if you have certain health conditions including open wounds, ulcers, hypothyroidism, blood clotting disorders and certain respiratory conditions.
If you're considering whole body cryotherapy, search for an experienced practitioner who's happy to show you the treatment chamber and answer any questions you have about the treatment.