Our bodies can accomplish amazing feats when forced to adapt. By triggering the well-known “fight or flight” response, cryotherapy treatments can help to awaken the internal doctor within each of us. The body’s natural ability to heal and restore itself is put into action.
Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) was first used in Japan around 1978 to treat inflammation associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis and on athletes as a modality for repair and recovery. After several decades of further study, Cryotherapy has been established as an effective adjunct treatment for reducing symptoms of pain and inflammation brought on by numerous chronic conditions. It has been shown that exposure to extreme cold improves recovery time for athletes, treats certain skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis and releases endorphins giving us a burst of energy and a reduction in pain.
Exposure to extreme cold (-200 to -240 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-3 minutes) causes several physiological responses at once. The skin’s cold receptors stimulate the sympathetic nervous system causing vasoconstriction (narrowing) of the blood vessels. Together with the brain’s “fight or flight” response during the cryotherapy treatment, the resulting reaction is that blood is sent to your core and vital organs as a safety precaution. This helps to maintain a normal core body temperature and forces the body to oxygenate your blood supply in order to quickly send blood to your core. All of the newly oxygenated blood pumping through your vital organs has a fantastic detoxifying effect on the body. This helps to clean and rejuvenate your vital organs while also absorbing valuable nutrients. Once you leave the cryo sauna and begin to warm up, vasodilation (opening) of the blood vessels begin to send the newly oxygenated and nutrient enriched blood back out to your extremities. Additionally, your body releases anti-inflammatory proteins and endorphins that help fight a myriad of chronic conditions and pain.