22 Aug The Science Behind Cryotherapy Treatments
Cryotherapy also known as cold therapy, dates all the way back to the early BC’s, from Napoleon’s Soldiers and Horses utilising freezing cold streams in 1812 for recovery, to the first ever ice bath in the US being used in 1895.
Whole body cryotherapy in the simplest terms is the modernised version of an ice bath. It originated in Japan in 1978 and was originally intended to treat patients with multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis. However, researchers found that that there were many more benefits to cryotherapy than these alone.
It has been scientifically proven to help:
- Reduce muscle soreness
- Improve Insomnia
- Improve skin condition
- Relieve joint pain
- Boost immune system
The extreme low temperatures you expose your body to are what create the benefits of cryotherapy, the body responds with vasoconstriction and pushes all the blood towards your vital organs. As a result it makes the blood rich in oxygen and nutritionally dense, when you remove yourself from the cold the body has the opposite effect, warming back up it creates vasodilation. Vasodilation is where the blood vessels expand wider than normal, resupplying the body with much more oxygenated, nutritionally dense blood. One of the main reasons for injuries is a decrease in blood flow to the area, hence why cryotherapy will greatly benefit anyone with an injury or joint pain.
The way in which cryotherapy helps improve skin condition is by forcing the body to produce more collagen, the reason behind this is that when in the chamber your skin temperature will drop to 41 Fahrenheit, the body responds by trying to repair the outer layer of the skin even though there is no actual damage caused therefore tricking the body into producing more collagen, resulting in better skin with a firmer appearance.
In the case of chronic fatigue and insomnia, whole body cryotherapy has been proven to help due to the release of endorphins and melatonin. A similar response to working out, when leaving the chamber it causes a large release of the two hormones that have been proven to aid a regular, healthy sleep cycle.
With all the proven benefits it’s no wonder that Cryotherapy (or cold therapy treatment in general) has been around for such a long time. There is no doubt that it will continue to be utilised as a top recovery method for a long time to come.