Cryotherapy is one of the hottest trends right now.
Not literally, of course, because cryotherapy essentially refers to any act of cold therapy. However, whole-body cryotherapy (WBC), which has quickly become the ‘king’ of cryotherapy, is a form of treatment that exposes the body to cold temperatures (around -150°C) for approximately three minutes.
Cryotherapy techniques have been used for decades to heal muscles, improve recovery, and limit swelling. But now, with the advancement of technology, elite athletes all over the globe are using whole-body cryotherapy to accelerate their recovery times, decrease muscle pain, and reduce inflammation.
“Cryotherapy helps me immensely. It allows me to perform at my highest level in the cage. There’s nothing that gets my body ready quite like cryotherapy.” – ONE Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee
But cryotherapy isn’t just for professional athletes. And it isn’t only just for athletes, or people who engage in an active lifestyle. Cryotherapy can be greatly beneficial to anyone with noticeable pains or muscle soreness. Sitting at a desk in an office for close to ten hours a day is difficult enough for the human body, and sometimes we need a way to recover.
How does cryotherapy work?
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The cryotherapy process can be broken down into three simple phases:
Essentially, the -150°C temperature that your body experiences through the cryotherapy process will stimulate your nervous systems in a way that affects blood vessels and tissues. This creates the requirement for blood to transfer from the extremities to the core of your body, where it is then cleansed of toxins and inflammatory properties.
Upon stepping out of the cryosauna, your body reacts to the sudden change in temperature by rushing the enriched blood through the body. This replenishment stimulates the activity of tissue repair and assists with muscle regeneration.
The recovery phase can last up to 48 hours after exiting the cryosauna. The increased level of norepinephrine will reduce inflammation in your body while other effects such as additional enzymes, nutrients, and red blood cells all act to increase energy, enhance recovery and reduce muscle pain and soreness.
Today, Evolve Daily brings you The 3 Benefits That Will Make You Wish You Tried Cryotherapy Earlier.
1) Reduce inflammation
One of the most noted benefits of cryotherapy use is the ability to reduce and limit inflammation.
Athletes who are training, whether for competitive or non-competitive reasons, are often exposed to inflammation as a result of muscle damage and swelling. Those who are most at risk either train frequently, or are not undertaking appropriate recovery methods.
While this benefit is commonly spoken of by world champion athletes, it is best to take this evidence from studies. One study “indicated that the WBC was effective in reducing the inflammatory process,” while another study claimed, “WBC exposure immediately following EIMD (exercise induced muscle damage) may be responsible for the decreased acute inflammatory response to muscle damage.”
The latter study also states that “in addition, repeated bouts of WBC may also further reduce the secondary inflammation occurring days after the damaging bout of exercise.” This hints at the understanding that repeated courses of cryotherapy have improved effects, rather than the diminishing returns that are sometimes experienced in other therapies.
So, why focus on reducing inflammation? Studies have shown that “inadequate or excessive inflammatory response may lead to improper cellular repair, tissue damage, and dysfunction.”
Start reducing your inflammation today by trying cryotherapy.
2) Relieve pain and heal your muscles
Just as cryotherapy is proven to reduce inflammation, it is also regarded for its ability to relieve pain and heal muscles.
Cryotherapy has been studied in many forms and ways since its widespread adoption. A study from 2007 shows that cryotherapy “reduces some indices of exercise-induced muscle damage.” Another study claimed that the “main finding was the sustained cold-induced stimulation of norepinephrine” which “might have a role in pain alleviation in whole-body cryotherapy.”
Do you have a lingering injury, specific pain, or general soreness? Cryotherapy could be the solution for an improved state in the short-term as well as helping you maintain a healthy body in the long-term.
Additionally, the ability to relieve pain and heal muscles appropriately leads us to the next reason you wish you tried cryotherapy sooner.
3) Accelerates recovery
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The ability to accelerate recovery is one of the primary motivations for people who currently undertake cryotherapy.
We all want our body to be at our very best. Yet, there is no quick and easy way to improving the potential of your body (instead, that takes hard work and dedication). However, cryotherapy is a fast way to recover and replenish your body so that you can return to your maximum state and this should be of equal importance.
From an athlete’s perspective, in order to grow and improve your skills and abilities, you need to train, study, and execute perfect practice. It is difficult to practice and improve your body if you are experiencing soreness or have not fully recovered from your last training session. Therefore, athletes should always be looking for ways to replenish their energy and recover their bodies so that they can return to their physical and mental best.
With a proven ability to reduce inflammation and evidence supporting the healing of muscles and pain reduction, these effects also reduce the potential of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This means you can recover faster and fuller.
Have you ever skipped a training day because of muscle soreness? If so, you should consider trying cryotherapy to ensure that you can train and improve as fast as possible.
Cryotherapy is being used by more than just athletes, however. If you have a physical occupation, or your body has not recovered from draining days sitting in a desk chair, cryotherapy can give you the boost that you need and uncap your maximum potential once again.
So, if you’re looking for the best way to boost your recovery and ignite your athletic performance, cryotherapy is your answer. Give it a try today!