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6 Things to Expect From Cryotherapy

Updated: Dec 1, 2021

Though Electric Cryotherapy Chambers are becoming popular, there are still many uncertainties around the benefits that you can expect from using cryo chambers regularly. There are countless benefits that come from electric cryotherapy but below are some specific benefits that you can expect from regular usage of cryotherapy.

1. Losing Fats/Boosting Metabolism

It’s been shown that if you work in colder temperatures or outside, you are shown to have more brown fats. A Nature Journal Scientific report found evidence that at lower temperatures our cells produce certain kinds of fats known as brown fats. The frosty weather then activates the brown fats, which in turn break down blood sugar and fat molecules to generate heat in order to maintain your body temperature. Additionally, the brown fats that are activated lead to various metabolic changes in the body. Brown fats are essentially mitochondria-dense white fat and as few as only 10 consecutive cryotherapy sessions can increase your mitochondria count by about 38%. A higher metabolism will help burn calories while resting to stay warm in cold temperatures, and will help reserve energy for a fight or flight situation.

Repeated exposure to colder temperatures boosts metabolism because your body is trying to warm itself. Revving up the metabolism is also how babies regulate their body temperature since they don’t have the muscles to shiver themselves warm yet. Over time, as your metabolism increases, your body will burn more calories at rest and during activity. When you combine all of this with the fresh feeling you receive right after cryotherapy, you will be inclined to exercise while already having lost fats.

2. Reduced inflammation

As we have mentioned in one of our previous articles regarding the Vagus Nerve, stimulating this nerve helps prevent inflammation through the presence of the tumor necrosis factor. This alerts the brain and draws out anti-inflammatory neurotransmitters that regulate the body’s immune response. A study found patients who received Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) sessions showed to have considerably lower Rheumatoid Arthritis levels when compared to patients who received only physical therapy. Cryotherapy reduces the inflammatory process by decreasing the macrophage infiltration and the accumulation of the inflammatory key markers. Hence, the world's top athletes and renown sports franchises resorting to cryotherapy as a key mode of recovery. As these benefits are accomplished by stimulating the Vagus Nerve, we delve deeper into the details in our dedicated article explaining how the Vagus Nerve is effected by Cryotherapy.

3. Preventing dementia

The most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, is one of the leading causes of disability and mortality in aging demographics. It has been found that vascular alteration, oxidative stress, and inflammatory responses contribute to the development of Alzheimer's Disease. These aspects of the disease have also been shown to be affected by Cryotherapy.

In studies of patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, the oxidative stress that occurs in the development of dementia has been shown to be lowered by cryotherapy. Because of the anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effect of cryostimulation as well as hormonal and lipid changes they may play a role in preventing pathophysiological processes leading to dementia.

In addition, during WBC, inflammatory cytokines are released. They cross the blood brain barrier which reduces chronic inflammation in the brain. Clinical trials involving patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis showed them to have a statistically significant increase in the total antioxidant status following 10 cryotherapy sessions (Miller 2010). Therefore, due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effect of low temperatures as well as the hormonal and lipid changes it causes, WBC may play a significant role in preventing or inhibiting processes leading to dementia.

4. Reducing anxiety and depression

A small study performed in 2008 divided patients with depressive and anxiety disorders. The study group in said experiment were treated with 15 routine visits to the cryotherapy chamber plus standard psychopharmacotherapy. After three weeks of testing, the groups then used a Hamilton depression rating scale (HDRS) and Hamilton’s anxiety rating scale (HARS) to measure their outcomes. Though a bigger sample size needs to be tested upon, the results based on this experiment suggest patients who used WBC had lower scores in the HDRS and HARS. Another aspect of getting our body exposed to such cold temperatures is that it causes our body to release endorphins and natural adrenaline. This gets our blood flowing throughout, which can be helpful to people experiencing anxiety and depression. Hence, that euphoric feeling after stepping out of a session.

Studies performed in Poland, treating WBC as an adjunct treatment of depressive and anxiety disorders, showed more improvement for the group exposed to WBC when compared to a group that didn’t get exposed to it. The endorphins produced, combined with the sleeping benefits which help create a natural sleep, strongly suggest that repetitive cryotherapy can impact our mental health immensely and positively. Following a session, people have experienced deep feelings of euphoria and an energy high lasting for hours.

5. Treating Migraine Headaches

Cold therapy for headaches goes back as far as 150 years. Migraines impact millions of people across the world. In a study done by University of Hawai’i the participant’s carotid arteries at the neck were targeted with cold therapy for relief from migraines. The findings of this study demonstrated the significant reduction of pain in participants with migraine headaches that were treated with cold therapy as compared to the control group. Stimulating the back of the neck during cryotherapy can help numb the nerves and can significantly reduce migraine pain. Cooling and numbing can help in constricting the blood vessels which then helps reduce the neurotransmission to the brain. A headache solution that has transcended from using ice with salt has now transformed into a precise and effective method using cryotherapy.

6. Younger-looking skin

Cryotherapy sessions boost collagen which helps the skin to reduce visible lines and wrinkles. Increased collagen also helps improve skin volume and resiliency while also reducing pore size and promoting smooth skin. The increase in collagen also takes part in recurring the visibility of cellulite and fatty deposits under the skin. WBC works by stimulating cell growth and cell renewal which in turn rejuvenates the whole body, resulting in younger looking skin and repaired skin that might previously have been damaged.

As the blood surges back from your core to your extremities once you step out of a session, the rejuvenated blood brings back nutrients, antioxidants, and oxygen to the entire body. This boost in circulation can help improve skin tone, reducing dark circles and promoting the growth of hair as well as fingernails.

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