Major athletes and wellness experts have repeatedly spoken of the benefits of cryotherapy. But while everyone at least has the general experience/knowledge that an ice pack can be good for sore muscles or an ice bath/cold plunge in the sea can be refreshing after intense exercise, fewer understand the true benefits of cryotherapy, especially when it comes to treatments performed at a health optimization clinic like Expand Health. What exactly is cryotherapy, and are the effects really as beneficial as they say?
Cryotherapy involves exposing your body to very low temperatures for short periods of time (usually between one and three minutes). The treatment works by inducing several physiological effects:
Causes your muscles and skin cells to contract.
Releases endorphins and other hormones in response to intense cold.
Changes how hormones and oxygenated blood flow throughout the body.
Frequency and Personalization
Like any wellness regimen, the frequency of cryotherapy sessions should be tailored to individual needs and goals. Some may find occasional sessions sufficient, while others may benefit from a more regular schedule.
Preparing for a cryotherapy session involves a few simple steps:
Clothing: We will provide protective gear for extremities – you can wear a swimsuit
Movement: Keep moving slightly during the session to maintain blood flow
So, what does cryotherapy actually do aside from making you feel super cold?
Reduced Pain and Discomfort
- Numbs pain receptors and triggers the release of natural pain-relief hormones, reducing pain from conditions like arthritis, skin discomfort and even muscle soreness post-exercise.
- Enhances circulation of nutrient-rich blood post-session, aiding tissue recovery and healing.
- Offers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, beneficial for specific types of pain (such as in arthritis) through vasoconstriction.
Improved Mood and Energy
- Promotes the release of endorphins, noradrenaline, and adrenaline, which may improve mood and energy levels, particularly beneficial for mood disorders.
- Induces a natural endorphin release as a response to cold, akin to the feeling post-exercise, sex, and other pleasurable or physically beneficial activities..
- Can provide a mood and energy boost that lasts well beyond the cryotherapy session.
Increased Antioxidant Levels
- Boosts the body’s production of antioxidants, combating free radicals that can cause tissue damage and inflammation.
- May support overall health and reduce the risk of chronic health issues through regular sessions.
Therapy for Eczema and Acne
- Alleviates symptoms of skin conditions like eczema and atopic dermatitis, potentially due to increased antioxidants and reduced inflammation.
- May improve acne by balancing hormones and regulating oil production in the skin.
- Whole-body cryotherapy is most effective for comprehensive skin therapy.
Reduce Migraine Symptoms
- Causes blood vessel contraction and numbs nerves in the neck area, which can directly reduce migraine symptoms.
- May decrease the frequency of migraine attacks with regular sessions.
- Endorphin release during treatment could also alleviate stress-related migraine triggers.
Weight Loss and Management
- Complements a well-rounded weight management strategy by increasing the body’s metabolic rate, leading to higher calorie burn.
- The cold-induced metabolic boost can continue post-therapy, aiding in weight loss efforts.
- Could facilitate easier maintenance of a fitness regimen by reducing muscle pain and soreness.
Beyond the Ice Pack
Cryotherapy is more than just a temporary escape from discomfort—it’s a multifaceted treatment that can impact various aspects of health and wellbeing. At Expand Health, we’re committed to providing a safe, regulated, and professional cryotherapy experience that’s tailored to your individual needs.
Whether you’re seeking relief from chronic pain, looking to elevate your mood or aiming to enhance your skin’s health, cryotherapy presents a unique avenue worth exploring. Contact us today to learn more about how cryotherapy can be integrated into your wellness routine, and let’s embark on this cool journey together.