Updated: Dec 1, 2021
Little like the scene in Captain America, a man walks into a chamber and comes back out a different person. Though similar, cryotherapy chambers will not turn you into a superhero at least not on your first session. We are going to dive a bit deeper into whole body cryotherapy and how the electric cryotherapy chamber works.
The thought and concept of whole body cryotherapy can no doubt be intimidating! Walking into a chamber that is set to -160 degrees for a few minutes…. Sounds a bit crazy. What is the point, and how does it work? In very simple terms, whole body cryotherapy is exposing your whole body to “cold” therapy. The goal of true whole body cryotherapy is to expose as much skin as possible to temperatures of -166F or below for a short period of time (2-3 minutes) to create a drop in the external skin temperature of 30-40 degrees. When this drop in skin temperature occurs, it triggers a unique beneficial process for the body which we will explain in a bit. This cold exposure takes place in a cryotherapy chamber, and more specifically for what we are referring to today, an electric cryotherapy chamber.
How it works
How this electric chamber works is actually a pretty straightforward process!
The chamber works similar to how a refrigeration system works. The chamber is cooled through the transfer of heat from the compressor, condenser, liquid separator and an evaporator.
A typical single stage refrigeration system works as the following. The compressor is considered the heart of the system which pumps (unique) refrigerant into the system to provide the cooling. The refrigerant leaves the compressor as a high pressure vapor which then is cycled through to the condenser. The condenser filters out all of the unwanted heat out of the refrigerant into the ambient air. The refrigerant then leaves the condenser cooled into the receiver which is a storage vessel for any excess refrigerant. The refrigerant then travels to the expansion valve and to the evaporators which then pulls heat out of your choice of container, typically a fridge. Building upon this same cycle and introducing exotic refrigerants coupled with advanced controls, CryoBuilt is able to achieve sub zero temperatures not found in nature.
Each time a person enters the chamber fresh air is introduced into the space. This air is rapidly cooled as heat that is inside the chamber is being removed. Similar to how a balloon would deflate if it is put inside of a freezer, the air inside of the chamber condenses and densifies. Since the air inside of the chamber is more dense this allows users to get a higher oxygen content and provides a higher concentration of breathable air for the user. Clients not only get the positives of Cryotherapy they also get the bonus of an Oxygen bar.
The Everest Chamber also provides options for four different Cryo Level settings. The four settings available are Beginner, Intermediate, Cryo Pro, and Cryo Extreme with each level increasing in wind chill.
CryoBuilt recommends users to be in the chamber for a maximum time of 3:30 seconds so with that in mind our chamber’s safety mechanisms reflect that behavior. Immediately after session time is up, the chamber’s safety timer will kick on. This safety timer will need to be pressed off in the app by the Chamber User or a Cryo Specialist once the person has stepped out of the chamber. The safety timer has a countdown of 1 minute and 30 seconds. If the safety timer button is not pressed off within 1 minute, an alarm will go off. In the case that the safety alarm “Chamber is Safe” button still has not been pressed off within the 1:30 seconds, as a safety measure the chamber will then completely shut off and ambient air will be pushed into the chamber to heat the chamber back up. The alarm will continue to sound off after the 1:30 seconds.
The Everest Cryotherapy Chambers come with unique personalizable settings. Through our advanced cooling controls users will be able to choose various cooling level settings as well as have a choice in which unique light pattern they want to be recovering their session in. The lights within the chamber also work as a countdown mechanism for the users inside to see when their session is up. The lights will transform colors parallel to what your chosen session time is. They will transform colors from the bottom up into a different color throughout your session time. One will know their session time is over once all of the led lights have changed color.
What happens during a cryotherapy session?
When you step into the electric cryotherapy chamber, your body undergoes a major transformation. The temperatures in the chamber is set to extreme lows, and being in there for a few minutes, like we mentioned earlier, will significantly reduce your whole body temperature by around 30-40 degrees. Once exposed to this extreme cold temperature, your body goes into a “fight or flight” mode causing blood to rush from our extremities to our core, as this is our body’s natural way of protecting our core organs from extreme cold. This creates a systemic response throughout the body that produces a myriad of benefits (see this article for more info on this).
Exposure to cold like this promotes increased blood flow which brings fresh, oxygenated blood full of white blood cells to areas of the body that need it. Whole body cryotherapy amplifies these positive effects and adds many more incredible benefits by activating the vagus nerve and causing vasoconstriction and vasodilation. The vagus nerve is responsible for the regulation of internal organ functions [NCBI]. The vagus nerve is activated by cold on the back of the neck and touches every major organ in the body.
Although it may sound a bit complicated, the process of how an eclectic cryotherapy chamber works is actually pretty simple and a very safe process! Our industry leading electric chambers here at CryoBuilt are built to provide the industry with a reliable product that warrants many wellness and recovery benefits. For more information on these chambers check out our products page!