Benefits of Full Body Cryotherapy
For many years professional athletes have used ice baths to aid with recovery. This is the most well known purported benefit of cold therapy. There are now quite a few studies examining the potential for Full body Cryotherapy to aid post exercise muscle recovery. And some evidence to say provides safer recovery than the use of ice baths.
One study found that Full body Cryotherapy (FBC) does help athletes to recover faster and recover better, potentially due to enhanced oxygenation of the muscles, greater work efficiency, and a reduction in cardiovascular strain. Another study found similar results, and also suggests that FBC offers superior benefits when compared with other methods such as far infrared.
Furthermore, FBC has been shown to help with overtraining - especially when training for events or championships. In addition to the above, regular sessions may also assist with further recovery through improved sleep quality, decreased levels of fatigue, and a definite increase in exercise capacity.
Athletes whether Professional or those who Gym or exercise to keep healthy are using Full Body Cryotherapy to recover from injuries, heavy work outs, whilst training for events and to assist in improving their Sports/Exercise performance.
The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of Cryotherapy can drastically improve joint disorders such as Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis.
The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of Cryotherapy can drastically improve joint disorders such as Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis. As discussed in the Sports and Exercise recovery section.
Together with inflammation, oxidative stress is a major factor in wear and tear on joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments etc, as well as the ageing of our bodies.
Oxidative stress relates to the imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in our bodies, which ultimately leads to tissue damage. It is a natural process, but we can gain some control over it and attempt to slow down the internal and external ageing process.
Studies have shown that Full body Cryotherapy can increase the presence of antioxidants, which helps to decrease oxidative stress. This was mirrored in a reduction of the key markers of oxidative stress. When coupled with exercise, treatments sessions can also amplify an increase in antioxidant levels, when compared to exercise alone.
Full body Cryotherapy offers some major benefits to reduce inflammation and thus give pain relief.
Inflammation is our bodies natural response that helps us to heal. It is a vital process when needed, however too much can pose a problem. Many of us in this modern world suffer from chronic inflammation, due to stress and lifestyle, and is at the core of almost all major diseases.
Regular Full body Cryotherapy sessions, can help reset our inflammatory response, and reduce existing inflammation. Studies have shown that treatments increase the presence of anti-inflammatory cytokines, as well as reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Exercise often causes temporary inflammation, and reductions in inflammation also link to the aforementioned recovery benefits of Full Body Cryotherapy. Potentially this is due to the reduction in tissue and core temperature reducing blood flow to areas of inflammation.
Reduced inflammation in turn assists with a reduction of pain - in acute or recent injuries as well as in Chronic, long standing pain conditions.
The extreme exposure to cold, causes to the body to ‘turn up’ its metabolic rate in order to produce heat. This effect lasts for 5-8 hours after the procedure, causing the body to ‘burn’ 500 – 800 Kcal over the hours following the procedure. There is a marked reduction in adipose tissue mass in studies - compared with Exercise alone
After repeated sessions, the increase in metabolic rate tends to last longer between treatments.
The outer skin is briefly ‘frozen’, activating the increased production of collagen in the deeper layers of the skin (similar to lasers treatments of the face, where very hot temperatures are used).
The skin regains elasticity and becomes smoother and even-toned, significantly improving conditions such as cellulite and skin aging. The Skin’s blood vessels and capillaries undergo severe vasoconstriction (to keep the core temperature from dropping), followed by vasodilation after the treatment. Toxins and other stored deposits are flushed out of the layers of the skin and blood perfusion (flow) is improved. These effects continue to improve after several treatments.
The anti-inflammatory properties of Cryotherapy are also used to treat chronic skin conditions such as Psoriasis and Dermatitis.
Treatment of Psoriasis - Pictures of Before, during and after treatments:
Due to the Anti-inflammatory, reduced oxidative stress effects and improved oxygenated blood flow during Full Body Cryotherapy - regular sessions assist in both the internal and external anti-ageing process.
Improved blood flow (circulation) that is oxygen rich thus can help with Cellulite. The effects of regular sessions on the body’s metabolism provides further benefit here.
The release of Endorphins - the feel good hormones, leaves one feeling ‘well’. When we promote a positive outlook within ourselves, we feel younger and more energised.
This goes hand in hand with Endorphin release and Stress reduction. There is ongoing research into the beneficial effects of FBC on Mood disorders, Anxiety and Stress release.
So far, there are positive results coming from studies completed so far to show that regular FBC sessions can assist in improving mood and anxiety, as well as providing stress release.
It is thought that with the physiological effects of Full body Cryotherapy, there is a significant release of Endorphins - similar to after a heavy workout session, which has beneficial effects in reducing Stress and Anxiety as well as improving Mood.
Patients frequently comment that immediately after a session, they feel more relaxed, focused and find the treatment exhilarating. They feel an immediate boost.
A reduction in inflammation and oxidative stress does play a role in optimising your body to fight disease and infection.
Full body Cryotherapy does provide specific benefits for the immune system. One study showed that regular Full Body Cryotherapy sessions increases the production of white blood cells, especially lymphocytes and monocytes. Coupled with the aforementioned benefits, this helps your immune system to strengthen.
It has been found that Full Body Cryotherapy can help improve the quality of our sleep. In turn this assists with all the benefits listed above. High quality sleep, as well as in sufficient amounts allows the body to heal and recover, it optimises our cognitive function, and helps maintain balance in our psychological state.
Studies support the use of whole body cryotherapy in helping to get a better night’s sleep, particularly after exercise. This may well be due to the fact that, as previously mentioned cryotherapy helps activate the autonomous nervous system, offers pain relief and aids with recovery in active individuals. So, when it’s time to sleep the body is better prepared to enter restful sleep with less chance of disturbances from pain and fatigue.
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