Cryotherapy is the local or general use of low temperatures in various forms of therapy. The term “cryotherapy” comes from the Greek cryo (κρυο) meaning cold, and therapy (θεραπεια) meaning cure. Cryotherapy has been used as early as the seventeenth century and is now used in whole body cryotherapy procedures for a variety of benefits.
The idea of Whole Body Cryotherapy was originally developed in Japan for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis by Dr. Toshima Yamaguchi in 1978. Since then, it has been researched and refined all across the world over the past two and a half decades. Sports, Health and Spa professionals in the U.S. have discovered the benefits of whole body cryotherapy and have quickly adapted this into a very effective therapy to provide for all types of individuals.
We use the world’s first portable Revo Cryo cryosauna model which use pressurized liquid nitrogen to lower your skin’s surface temperature from normal body temperature to 30°F in about 30 seconds or less and keeps it that way for 2-3 minutes. The skin reacts to the cold through a process called vasoconstriction, which pulls the blood from the extremities and brings it to the core to protect the vital organs and sends messages to the brain that stimulates the regulatory functions of the body. After the 2-3 minute process, new re-oxygenated blood, filled with new hormones, then initiates a detox process and scans all areas of the body that may not be working, back to their fullest potential.
No. Nitrogen is a non-toxic gas. The air that we breathe is made up of 16% Oxygen, 1% Hydrogen, 78% Nitrogen and 5% of other components. Well-trained cryotherapy operators will make sure that every session user, maintains consistent and even breathing, so that oxygen levels don’t dip beyond the norm.
The results and process the body goes through during a Whole Body Cryotherapy treatment is very different than the traditional Ice Bath that athletes are used to. During a three-minute, Whole Body Cryotherapy session, dry cold reaches only the top skin layers (about an eighth of an inch) and trigger receptors causing a vasoconstriction process to move the blood from the extremities to the core tricking the brain as though it was going through a hypothermic episode. The core maintains normal temperatures, and blood is reoxygenated and filled with new hormones, which is then flushed back inciting a healing process in areas that need it.
With an Ice Bath, fifteen minutes of cold water therapy initially causes the body to move blood to the extremities and results in a chilled lowering of the body’s core temperature, which doesn’t result in the same metabolic boost, or increased energy that people feel after a Whole Body Cryotherapy treatment.
Cryotherapy involves hyper-cooled air flowing over the skin surface so the process never freezes skin tissues, muscles or organs. The result is only a “feeling” of being cold. The body is being tricked into believing that this extreme cold is life threatening so it mobilizes fluids towards the core, keeping the vital organs protected and maintaining normal body temperatures.
Cryotherapy stimulates the body to release endorphins, the hormones that make us feel good and energetic. The buoyant effects from each session typically last for six to eight hours. Many clients report improvements in their sleep quality after cryotherapy as well as eliminate soreness and most pain issues in problem areas.
The following conditions are contraindications for Whole Body Cryotherapy:
Pregnancy, severe hypertension (BP > 180/100), hypothyroidism, acute or recent myocardial infarction (heart attack: need to be cleared for exercise), narrowing of valves, crescent-shaped aorta and mitral valve, unstable angina pectoris, arrhythmia, symptomatic cardiovascular disease, cardiac pacemaker, peripheral arterial occlusive disease, venous thrombosis, acute or recent cerebrovascular accident (stroke: must be cleared for exercise), uncontrolled seizures, Raynaud’s syndrome, fever, tumor disease, symptomatic lung disorders, bleeding disorders, severe anemia, infection, claustrophobia, cold allergy, acute kidney and urinary tract diseases, incontinence, age less than 12 years (parental consent required).
Whole Body Cryotherapy is very well tolerated and has minimal risks. Fluctuations in blood pressure during the procedure by up to 10 points systolically (reverses after the procedure as peripheral circulation returns to normal), allergic reaction to extreme cold (rare), claustrophobia, anxiety, activation of some viral conditions (cold sores, etc.) due to stimulation of the immune system. Protective clothing (socks, gloves, undergarments) must be dry in order to avoid frostbite.
Yes, an advantage of cryotherapy over ice therapy is that tissues and muscle are not frozen. Ten minutes of light exercise post cryotherapy will induce more rapid vasodilation of the vessels and capillaries, and extend the period of analgesia.
The most important element for effective compression is the massage pattern. NormaTec’s founder, Laura F. Jacobs, MD, PhD, a physician bioengineer, realized this fundamental principle when she developed and patented the Sequential Pulse Pneumatic Waveform. Unlike more simplistic compression patterns, NormaTec Pulse Technology is based on normal physiology, and it synergistically combines three distinctive massage techniques to speed the body’s normal recovery process: pulsing compression, gradients, and distal release. Through these mechanisms, the NormaTec Recovery System maximizes circulation throughout the body to help you train harder, recover faster, and perform better.
Ice is a vasoconstrictor; it constricts your vessels and decreases blood flow. While this is beneficial in the acute phase of an injury to reduce immediate inflammation, in the long run it actually impairs healing and recovery. On the other hand, the NormaTec Recovery System uses NormaTec Pulse Technology to increase circulation and blood flow.
A typical session usually runs for 30 to 60 minutes, although some clients use it longer than an hour. We suggest using it for at least 30 minutes.
Our NormaTec compression process feels like an evenly distributed massage or tight squeeze working its way up from the bottom to top of the sleeve. It is very relaxing and enjoyable and helps mobilize toxins and blood throughout the treatment area.
At CryoZoneRX, we have different attachments that work different areas of the body. We have devices that will work the arms, the hips and the legs.
We recommend not using Normatec if you have any open wounds, stitches or a rash on the area of the body that will be inside the compression sleeve. Also, it should not be used on the area of a broken bone or fracture.
Normatec is used for a number of reasons to help you recover quicker. It may be used to aid with areas of the body with poor circulation. It is also used to reduce inflammation caused from an injury or post-surgery. Normatec also helps to force out lactic acid in the muscle, allowing fresh blood to recirculate in the muscle. Or, you may simply use Normatec just to relax, enjoying the massage!