What is Whole Body Cryotherapy?
Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) involves immersing the body in a cold chamber, which emits vapors that reach extremely low temperatures ranging from -110℃ to -160 ℃ (around -160℉ to -220℉). This is usually done for an interval of 2 to 4 minutes. When in the cryogenic chamber, individuals are undressed with the exception of underwear, socks, and gloves to protect the extremities.
Mechanism of Action
The fundamental change in the body caused by whole body cryotherapy is the reduction of tissue temperature. The change in tissue temperature also causes a reduction in core body temperature. This sensory shock leads to an activation of the autonomic, or unconscious, nervous system. This is characterized by rising norepinephrine levels, increased blood pressure, and heart rate variability. When the body is exposed to extreme cooling, the blood vessels are constricted and reduce blood flow to the areas of inflammation. Once outside of the cryogenic chamber, the vessels expand, and an increased presence of anti-inflammatory proteins (IL-10) are found in the blood.
Benefits of Cryotherapy
– muscle recovery and healing
– increased metabolism, after a session of cryotherapy, it takes a lot of energy to reheat the body. During a three minute treatment, you burn approximately 500 to 800 calories. When the skin is cooled, it requires a lot of energy to reheat it to our regular body temperature.
– increased release in endorphins, and reduction in cortisol levels…makes you feel Happy!
– better sleep patterns, less fatigue, and increased exercise capacity
– reduces inflammation and exercise-induced inflammation
– reduced pain, and improved mobility, well-being, and functional impairment (more specifically helps with rheumatoid arthritis and other varieties of arthritis within the body).
– significant improvements in mobility assessments and disease activity
– an improvement in pain relief
– improvement in shoulder mobility, rotation, and functionality
– decreases most of the criteria indicating oxidative stress and increases the presence of antioxidants in the blood
– improved MS patients’ exercise ability and duration of activity
– increases white blood cell count
– reduces anxiety and depression, and increases well-being and quality of life
– improved quality of life for those suffering from Fibromyalgia
– reduced dermatitis and water loss from the skin, helps those who suffer from Eczema
– help those that suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome