What is Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy (Greek Cryo-Cold) is the old method of physiotherapy and involves medical treatment based on the application of low temperatures to cool the tissue, organs or the whole organism. It was used by the ancient Egyptians, and later by the ancient Greeks. Cold therapy has evolved and developed over the past 200 years.
Many medical studies have shown positive effects on mental and physical health in people who used this method. For example, a study of rheumatoid arthritis patients reported the one variable that showed definite improvement with WBC (vs local cold treatment) was pain. Patients report less pain following WBC.
A new kind of cold therapy involves getting into a body-sized chamber up to your neck, and having liquid nitrogen sprayed into the air to bring skin temperature down to below -200ºF. Interesting, right? The essence of this method is maintaining a constant internal body temperature, as in the time of rest, and during physical exertion. Whole body cryotherapy is a fast and effective alternative to traditional ice baths.
Effects of whole body cryotherapy in multiple sclerosis patients were positive (and postulated to be) beneficial. The total ant oxidative state is distinctly reduced in MS patients vs. healthy population. The WBC treatement proved to be beneficial in treatment of MS patients and better than exercise alone. Three WBC sessions within 48 hours after damaging running exercises accelerate recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage to a greater extent than from passive modalities or far-infrared modalities.
Use of coldness for medical purposes is an ancient method, but the real benefits were discovered in the twentieth century. Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) focuses on the activation of the Central Nervous System, by extreme cold, which activates the sensors on the skin. Today, Cryotherapy involves standing in an ice-cube, during which the body is exposed to very low temperatures, for a few minutes. During the three-minute treatment, the body perceives this sudden and extreme cold to be a life-threatening situation and activates a chain of powerful survival mechanisms involving the body’s most crucial systems.
WBC was officially recommended in 2015, by respected orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who is the founder of the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI).
Often the question is, whether it is an ice-bath? The answer is no. There are key differences. The ice bath irritate the skin, and lasts longer than therapy in Cryosauna. This treatment last three minutes and has a much stronger effect on the body. Whole body cryotherapy cold dissipates quickly; ice bath cold dissipates gradually.
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