Posts tagged cryotherapy
Latest News About Cryotherapy Benefits From the National Institutes of Health

By: Joy Stephenson- Laws, phLabs Founder

There have been quite a few studies this year that have reported benefits associated with cryotherapy treatments. Many Chiltonic clients have reported experiencing these benefits. Some have confided that they have made Chiltonic their ‘pain recovery home’ because the benefits have been significant. One client recently admitted weaning herself off opioids using cryotherapy. However, it is always good to actually see credible information from reputable sources reporting the results of various studies which independently confirm these benefits.

Here are a few studies in 2019 that we came across. If you find more, let us know in the comments section below because we always like to confirm our belief in this form of therapy.

  • In April 2019, the National Institutes of Health reported the results of a study confirming that whole body cryotherapy and physical exercise training was an effective therapy for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). They concluded that the “introduction of WBC into the standard physiotherapy protocol for patients with MS is fully justified.”

  • Also in April 2019, the National Institutes of Health reported that there was some evidence that cryotherapy may be effective in reducing pain following certain dental procedures.

  • In August 2019, the National Institutes of Health suggested that WBC had the potential to enhance the performance of athletes in competition. They concluded the following: “It appears that the physiological responses associated with acute and/or chronic exposure to WBC can elicit effects that could promote athletic performance when employed before competitive events. The potentiating effects of hormonal changes, reductions in body temperatures and perceived soreness and fatigue, all point to the potential of WBC as a warm-up activity.”

  • In March 2019, the National Institutes of Health reported that cryotherapy can reduce postoperative pain in patients who underwent gynecologic surgery.

These are all significant and objective observations which confirm the reports from many of the clients we speak to at Chiltonic. Share your experiences with cryotherapy treatments? Has it helped your pain any? Let us have a conversation.

Traveling Overseas for Cosmetic Enhancement? You May Want To Learn About Cryo T-Shock First!

By: Joy Stephenson-Laws, pH Labs Founder

Many people have surgeries performed while vacationing abroad.

“Patients who travel to another country to seek health care are referred to as medical tourists. The term arose because many Americans seek less expensive elective surgical, dental, or cosmetic procedures while vacationing abroad,” according to a study published in The American Journal of Medicine.

This study reports that in 2017, more than 1.4 million Americans sought health care in “a variety of countries around the world.”

Many of these Americans are not exactly getting health-related care per se. They are getting cosmetic procedures, including liposuction, tummy tucks, Brazillian butt lifts and more.

But while it may be cheaper to receive certain healthcare overseas, the “price” some people end up paying may not be worth it. 

“Patients traveling to developing countries for plastic surgery procedures may experience severe complications—requiring extensive and costly treatment after they return to the United States,” reports the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Some of these complications may include pain, surgical site infections and issues with wound healing. And, unfortunately, for some people it ends up costing them their lives.

Take, for example, the recent story of a mother and school teacher named Alicia Williams. She traveled to the Dominican Republic where she reportedly had multiple cosmetic procedures, including liposuction on her arm, a tummy tuck and a Brazillian butt lift.  

(The Dominican Republic has few restrictive rules on the number of surgeries you can get at once).

Williams was anemic. Basically, anemia is a blood disorder in which a person does not have enough red blood cells or their red blood cells do not function properly. There are different types of anemia, and the kind you have likely heard of is iron-deficiency anemia. A low level of iron in the blood is a major risk factor for developing blood clots.  

Reports say that Williams lost a lot of blood due to having multiple surgeries, and then she later died from blood clots. Williams was initially hospitalized after her surgeries, because she felt very weak from the procedures. She died only five days after her surgeries. She was just 45. 

Sadly, there are multiple stories such as the one about Alicia Williams with medical tourists getting cosmetic procedures abroad and losing their lives.

Just this past June, a man from New York died after getting liposuction in the Dominican Republic. Reportedly, he died of respiratory distress. 

And according to another news story from this past July, “...New York mother, 33-year-old Alexandra Medina, died on the operating table of a pulmonary embolism at a clinic in Santo Domingo after undergoing liposuction and tummy tuck surgery.” 

There was yet another incident back in 2018 where an American woman reportedly died after going to Mexico for breast implant replacement and a nose job. She passed from complications with anesthesia. 

It’s not only tragic, but frightening to see these stories. And you can do a simple Google search of “medical tourism” and find many more.  

Obviously, I don’t recommend medical tourism for anyone unless they work with an independent and qualified local medical professional. But individuals should also be aware of less invasive procedures available to improve their appearance.

For example, there are some instances where instead of liposuction, a tummy tuck or a face lift, utilization of Cryo T-Shock treatments may be helpful to improve appearance.

The Cryo T-Shock involves the use of a very innovative technology which identifies exactly where troublesome fat is located and delivers alternating “thermal shocks” of thermography (heat therapy) and cryotherapy (cold therapy). It is more frequently utilized for its ability to destroy fat cells and cellulite as well as sculpt the face and body. Cryotherapy hyper stimulates the skin and tissue which speeds up the cellular activities and immediately improves the appearance of the skin by tightening it. Cryotherapy also causes the blood vessels and capillaries to expand by up to 400%. This also contributes to improved skin appearance due to increased circulation and permeability of the skin.  

Many people compare Cryo T-Shock to Cool Sculpting, but they are very different procedures. Cool Scullpting is more expensive and usually only available for fat loss. Unlike Cryo T-Shock, Cool Sculpting is not available for skin tightening, facials, lymphatic drainage, pain relief or cellulite reduction. 

So How Does Cryo T-Shock Work?

Certain treatments, like the body contouring, usually last for about 30- 60 minutes and are done manually employing a massage technique. The session usually “begins with 2 minutes of heat and then a prolonged period of cold (22-26 minutes) and then back to heat for another 2-3 minutes.”

“The purpose of the treatment is to lower the temperature of the fat cells enough to cause what is known as the phenomenon of apoptosis. This phenomenon is triggered when the temperature of the fat tissue is between 12 and 17 C which causes these cells to die. The cells are then naturally passed through the body’s lymphatic system and excreted through sweat and urine,” according to Chiltonic, a cryotherapy clinic. 

Cryo T-shock treatments are reportedly safe, painless and effective. This treatment may jumpstart your weight loss efforts, reduce cellulite, improve circulation, tighten saggy skin and remove stubborn areas of fat.  

“It has also been proven to help with micro circulation and a significant increase in collagen due to the thermal shock that is caused by the hot and cold,” says Chilltonic.

Cryo T-Shock facials help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and promote collagen production in the skin. In my opinion, this facial is a better option over getting an invasive face lift that has a high risk of complications.

Treatments like the Cryo T-Shock produce more natural looking results. (We’ve all seen what can happen when someone has too many invasive cosmetic procedures). 

And remember, nothing can compensate for leading a healthy and active lifestyle. Along with considering T-Shock treatments, remember it is always good to eat healthily (as in a nutrient-rich diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables), be physically active and manage your stress levels in order to maintain your looks and health as you age. If you take these proactive steps, the better results you will see from Cryo T-Shock treatments. 

There are also contraindications.

Individuals with the following conditions should avoid Cryo T-shock treatment:

  • Kidney disease or if receiving dialysis

  • Pregnant women

  • Severe diabetes

  • Undergoing chemotherapy

Proactive Health Labs endorses these safe alternatives to healthily identify and remove fat and look our best. Visit us in Sherman Oaks and Encinitas to experience the Cryo T-shock. It is extremely important that we all take the time to identify safe available cosmetic procedures and avoid riskier ones, so we can be safe and enjoy our healthy lives!

A Combination of Hot and Cold Therapy May Be Just What You Need to Treat Pain

By: Joy Stephenson-Laws, pH Labs Founder

If you are breathing, chances are you have experienced some type of physical pain in your life whether it be due to injury or having some type of chronic health condition such as arthritis or fibromyalgia

Pain can be intense and really affects the quality of your life. Some even say it may be “better to die once and for all than to suffer pain for all one's life.”

Unfortunately, according to recent data, chronic pain affects 20 percent of Americans. More specifically, there are 50 million Americans with chronic pain and 20 million with high-impact pain

And despite “decades of research, chronic pain remains poorly understood and notoriously hard to control,” (WebMD).

Sometimes pain is managed with highly addictive drugs called opioids. Now opioids have contributed to a drug epidemic in America.

So clearly it’s important for us all to be proactive about pain management and explore credible  alternative therapies to alleviate pain.Two pain relieving therapies are cryotherapy and thermography. 

Cryotherapy (cold therapy)

You are probably very familiar with applying an ice pack on a rolled ankle to reduce swelling or maybe on an injured knee. This is a form of cold therapy. Cryotherapy,  sometimes referred to as cold therapy, has become a pretty popular treatment for pain these days.

(With certain  injuries, the general treatment routine usually falls under “R.I.C.E.,” rest, ice, compression, elevation). 

Many star athletes, including LeBron James and Rafael Nadal use cryotherapy (particularly whole body cryotherapy (WBC)) to speed up injury recovery, reduce inflammation, reduce muscle spasms and more.

Cold therapy promotes vasoconstriction or constriction of the blood vessels. When the blood vessels constrict, blood circulation is slowed which in turn reduces redness, swelling, spasms and pain. 

The cold temperature may also numb sharp pain. It can also reduce nerve activity, which may also provide some pain relief. Essentially, cold therapy may be  good for pain.

Thermography (heat therapy).

Unlike cold therapy, heat therapy increases the flow of blood and nutrients to various areas of the body. Heat is sometimes used to alleviate muscle stiffness and pain.  It is also reported to be great for chronic low back pain as well as chronic pain in general.

“There is more support to use heat for back pain, because muscle tightness tends to predominate,” according to Harvard Health.

Hot temperatures widen blood vessels, which usually promotes circulation. This increased circulation, in turn, will usually provide the nutrients the body needs to recover and reduce pain.

Heat therapy may involve applying a heating pad or maybe even going into a sauna. It may also involve taking a hot bath or using a steamed towel.

But did you know there is a combination therapy which utilizes both cold and hot therapy?

Many medical professionals suggest alternating between cold and heat therapy in order to best manage your pain.

For example, check out this very informative and helpful chart provided by the Cleveland Clinic. When you have a muscle strain, cold therapy may ease the inflammation and numb the pain. Heat therapy will usually ease the muscle stiffness after the inflammation resolves.

But heat and ice can be used together in an alternating pattern to create a “pumping” action in the circulatory system by restricting circulation to reduce swelling and then increasing circulation to a particular area. This alternation between heat and cold may result in an improved range of motion and expedited pain recovery. This type of therapy is typically used when an injury is at a week or longer maturity, and heat or ice alone has not worked.

There is even credible evidence that a combination of heat and cold therapy may be good for low back pain.

“Taken together, the findings of this study indicated that thermotherapy and cryotherapy caused low back pain to be relieved. Since these methods predictably have fewer side-effects and are economical and accessible, they could be used, alongside pharmacologic treatments, as supplementary ones for reducing pain in the patients with low back pain,” reports the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

All this information about hot and cold therapy for pain made be gain renewed appreciation for the Cryo T Shock machine as a pain relief device. 

The Cryo T Shock involves the use of a very innovative machine that delivers alternating “thermal shocks” of thermography(heat therapy) and cryotherapy(cold therapy). It is usually utilized for its ability to destroy fat cells and cellulite as well as body sculpting.  However, its ability to deliver cold and heat therapy together has made it an effective painkiller.

Precautions with cold and hot therapy?

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are thinking of utilizing cold and hot therapy:

  • Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures may cause muscle tension and increased muscle contraction.

  • Too much heat may promote more inflammation.

  • Stay hydrated. Prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures can dehydrate you.

  • If you are experiencing bruising and swelling, you will most likely use cold therapy.

  • Cold therapy should not be used on stiff muscles or joints or if you have poor circulation.

  • Both cold and hot therapy should also not be used on people who have sensory disorders without professional supervision. If the person cannot feel the cold or heat, this could be dangerous, causing burns or damage.

  • Heat therapy should not be used on people with diabetes, dermatitis, vascular diseases, deep vein thrombosis or multiple sclerosis (unless with medical supervision). If you are pregnant or have hypertension, also seek medical advice first.

  • Do not apply these therapies to open wounds

And don’t forget nutrition!

Another great way to manage pain is through good nutrition. Nutrients that may help keep pain away include magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, vitamin C, vitamin D and more. You can read more about this in greater detail here and check out Minerals - The Forgotten Nutrient

Finally, make sure to take routine nutrient tests to identify any nutrient imbalances or deficiencies you may have. Good nutrition may enhance the benefits of cold and heat therapy. If you are not nutritionally balanced, the more pain you are more likely to have and the harder it will be to recover from wounds and injuries. If you discover you are nutritionally imbalanced, a competent healthcare professional can work with you to make the necessary dietary changes and recommend quality supplements where appropriate.

Enjoy your healthy life!

Don’t Just Feel Good, Look Good Too!

By: Joy Stephenson-Laws, pH Labs Founder

Looks can be deceiving. You never want to judge the status of a person’s health by their appearance only. A woman with glowing skin who looks great in a two-piece swimsuit may not be healthy. She may have underlying health concerns such as digestive or cardiovascular issues. And another woman may appear to be a bit chubby but maintains a healthy weight without metabolic or other health issues.

Notwithstanding our desire to feel good, it is equally important for many of us to look good as well. Many of us desire fit bodies and, perhaps most of all, healthy-looking beautiful skin. Our skin, after all, is our bodies’ largest and fastest-growing organ. It is our body’s coat. So wouldn’t you want to have the best looking coat in town? I know I do!

But for many people over the age of 30, having great looking skin may be a challenge. The skin may start to sag and have wrinkles. Fat deposits may be unevenly distributed causing the skin to appear uneven. And this may all just be a natural part of aging. Usually, wrinkles and uneven and sagging skin from aging are not life-threatening health concerns. But it does not mean that we cannot be proactive about combatting the effects of our aging skin so that we look good while we enjoy our healthy lives.

We have already discussed how avoiding smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation (if you do drink), wearing sunscreen and protective sun gear, drinking plenty of water and eating a nutrient-rich diet with plenty of whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables are great ways to be proactive about delaying the aging of your skin.

But let’s explore some other proactive methods I recently became familiar with and from which I have obtained great results.

  • Cold Therapy

One form of cold therapy is Cryoskin. It is a non-invasive form of treatment which utilizes cold temperature to stimulate collagen production (we lose collagen as we age) and destroy fat cells (our bodies accumulate more fat as we age). Apparently, the cold temperature (which can be as cold as -8°), may prevent the formation of collagenase, an enzyme which plays a role in the breakdown of collagen.

Reportedly, cryoskin is a 34 minute treatment and is used for “slimming, cellulite reduction, and toning. It utilizes the science behind cryolipolysis. Cryolipolysis is used to destroy fat cells directly under the skin’s surface (subcutaneous fat cells) by freezing within the temperature range of +8 to -8 degrees C. The cold treatment causes apoptosis, or cell death, of subcutaneous fat tissues. The killed fat cells will drain through the lymphatic system and then flushed out through the kidneys and urine.”

According to a 2018 study in the Journal of Obesity, “local cooling of abdominal fatty tissue significantly reduced the measures of obesity, including waist circumference, body weight, BMI, and fat content.”

The primary observations were “that (i) repeat procedures at short timescales produce progressive losses of AT [adipose tissue], a finding inconsistent with “cryolipolysis” that is inferred to require weeks or longer between sequential treatments; (ii) blood profiling after the tissue cooling procedure gave no evidence of markers of inflammation or cell disruption; and (iii) calculated weight loss through thermogenesis alone was substantially consistent with estimates of heat extracted versus compensatory heat generation through enhanced tissue metabolism and thermogenesis.”

The study went on to conclude as follows:

“Our findings indicate that cold-induced thermogenesis (cryothermogenesis) rather than adipose tissue disruption is likely to underlie the observed reductions in measures of obesity following local tissue cooling.”

An earlier study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2015 also discussed the effect of focused cold therapy (FCT) on forehead wrinkles. This is basically a general term for a local application of low temperatures. The results showed that the subjects who received the treatment had at least a 1-point improvement in forehead line severity at 30 days after treatment, and 70% had at least a 2-point improvement. The procedure is non-invasive, non-toxic and did not appear to cause any adverse side effects.

There are also cryoskin facials, which are said to widen blood vessels and improve blood flow. Additional benefits of this facial may include increasing oxygen supply, boosting collagen production, reducing the look of wrinkles and pores and improving the skin’s elasticity (which we naturally lose with age).

Some celebrities, like Kim Kardashian, have shared their positive experiences with a good cryoskin facial. Whether you like Kim K or not, she does appear to have nice skin! My only experience with cryoskin facials have been positive as well. My face feels firmer and appears more sculpted. I also have no wrinkles.

  • Surgical body contouring

Clearly, it is a relief to know that we have non-invasive ways to make our skin look younger.  But for those who prefer surgery, there is surgical body contouring.

Now this is more invasive and requires anesthesia. It is usually recommended for people who have a lot of excess skin from dramatic weight loss. So it’s not necessarily an anti-aging method, however, having excess skin, whether you are younger or older, can make you look older than you actually are. For a full explanation of what it entails, watch this video here.

The good news is the recovery is only around two weeks, and the results are life-long if you lead a healthy lifestyle. Read here on how to recover faster after surgery.

So there are many things you can do to look good while you enjoy your healthy life. But, as always, consult a competent healthcare professional before you try surgical interventions. It’s not all about looks, but the truth is: when we look good, we feel good.

And we want you feeling your best while you enjoy your healthy life!

(You can recieve cryoskin and cryotherapy services here). 

Enjoy your healthy life!

LeBron James May Heat Up the Courts, But When He Recovers He Chills Out. Seriously!

By: Joy Stephenson-Laws, pH Labs Founder

LeBron James is one of the fittest male athletes in the world. He is also regarded by most people as the best or greatest basketball player of all time.

He has played in the NBA for about 15 consecutive seasons and is only one of a few players to reach 8 NBA finals and win 3 NBA championships. In January of 2018, at the age of 33, he surpassed Kobe Bryant, another remarkable player, to become the youngest player to accumulate 30,000 career points.

To put the accomplishments of LeBron in context, one has to first understand what playing basketball does to the body. Basketball is an extremely physical sport that involves jumping, shoving, running and sudden stops. Muscle related injuries as well as ankle and knee swelling, pain, sprains and strains are extremely common. In other words, inflammation is pretty common. So to maintain his competitive edge, LeBron spends about $1.5M per year to maintain his body. Yes, 1.5M! His professional success, afterall, depends on his healthy and fit body.

Some people say professional sports are a “young man’s game.” And there are reports which say that the average professional athlete’s career is over by age 33. LeBron James is 34. So in the world of basketball, he’s no spring chicken!

And one way LeBron maintains his competitive edge and accelerates muscle recovery is through the regular use of whole-body cryotherapy (also called WBC).

You may be familiar with athletes taking ice baths to reduce swelling and tissue breakdown and increase circulation for a more speedy recovery after a grueling workout, practice or game. Usually these ice baths last anywhere from 6-8 minutes. So I guess you could say whole-body cryotherapy, where the participant stands in a chamber filled with dry ice in sub-zero temperatures (usually below negative 200 degrees fahrenheit), is taking the concept of the ice bath to a whole other level!

Reportedly, whole-body cryotherapy “speeds up injury recovery, relieves pain and soreness, reduces lactic acid, helps inflammation, decreases spasms, releases endorphins and improves range of motion (since it loosens muscles that were tight or sore, which is a common issue for NBA players as they go through a rigorous 82-game season).”

And there are recent scientific reports by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which conclude that “ the majority of evidence supports effectiveness of WBC in relieving symptomatology of the whole set of inflammatory conditions that could affect an athlete.”

There are also many tennis players players who use cryotherapy to aid in their recovery process.

“Professional tennis players experienced an intensified inflammatory response after the completed tournament season, which may lead to overreaching. Applying whole-body cryostimulation in conjunction with moderate-intensity training was more effective for the recovery process than the training itself,” according to one report.

One source reports that the "treatment is replacing the ice bath therapy that the players were using after a match. '(Rafael) Nadal, (Novak) Djokovic, Feliciano Lopez and (Grigor) Dimitrov [all very famous tennis players] are the ones who like the therapy the most. Nadal comes every day.”(Nadal is currently ranked number 2 in men’s single tennis).

There is also a 2018 study which concluded that whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) treatment after exercise increased energy intake in athletes after “3 min of WBC treatment after high-intensity exercise.”

“From a practical viewpoint, the use of WBC is recommended as a novel post-exercise treatment because it has been shown to attenuate exercise-induced muscle damage and promote recovery of muscle function. Therefore, increased energy intake following WBC treatment may assist physical recovery in addition to the anti-inflammatory effect of the WBC.” (emphasis added).

Almost all of the available studies about cryotherapy “agree on general benefits induced by the treatment including improved pain, mood, and quality of life (QoL),” reports the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

(Note too that there are other studies which highlight the effectiveness of cryotherapy with  athletes).

Reportedly, Stephen Curry, Karl-Anthony Towns, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Harrison Barnes, Vince Carter, Ben Simmons, D’Angelo Russell, Tobias Harris, Stanley Johnson, Dahntay Jones and JaVale McGee (just to name a few) are also cryotherapy fans.

It’s been said that basketball player Shawn Marion sings at the top of his lungs while he’s in the cryo chamber, in order to distract himself from the extremely cold temperature!

And don’t forget The Dallas Mavericks. They partially attribute their 2011 NBA Championship win to cryotherapy despite having a roster of older players

The number of sessions are also important for WBC to be effective.  

“Twenty consecutive sessions should be a minimum for effectiveness evaluation; 30 sessions should be the optimum, because a complete hematological and immunological recovery after the initial response is possible,” according to the NIH.

Precautions with Cryotherapy?

It is important to watch out for frostbite, which reportedly happened to gold medal sprinter Justin Gatlin when he did cryotherapy. He made the mistake of going into the chamber with wet socks. Never go into the chamber with a sweaty body or wearing wet clothing.

If you are claustrophobic or have a pacemaker or any existing health issues such as a history of stroke, high blood pressure, seizures, infections or are pregnant, it is highly advised that you consult a competent healthcare professional before you try cryotherapy.

However, all these “undeniable risks for the users can be rendered negligible if all the procedures are conducted following precise rules under supervision of highly-skilled personnel. If these procedures are carefully followed, WBC is absolutely safe,” according to the NIH.

Clearly there is a significant amount of scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of cryotherapy as a recovery tool for athletes. And let’s face it, if it works for one of the world’s fittest athlete, it might be a good idea to be aware of and educate yourself about this procedure and determine whether it is something that you should consider as part of your routine to be proactive about your health.

Enjoy your healthy life!

Cryotherapy : All Hype or All Right?

By: Joy Stephenson-Laws, pH Labs Founder

From cryo-facials to cryosurgery, to whole body cryotherapy (WBC) sessions for pain and injury, the world of cryogenics and cryotechnology is a quickly expanding trend that has both medical professionals and athletic elites frozen at attention.  

There are different applications of cryotechnology in the medical field. The most common is cryotherapy, and is used to decrease swelling throughout the entire body, especially in those who overexert themselves athletically. A close second to that is cryosurgical procedures. This delivers a targeted cryo-blast of liquid nitrogen to burn off precancerous or cancerous tissue.

Existing on the outer rim of all this frozen fanfare is cryonics. The idea of cryonics, or cryostasis, was first introduced in 1947. Cryonics is the practice or technique of deep-freezing the bodies of people who have just died, in the hope that scientific advancements may allow them to be revived in the future. While the idea of cryonics may have been presented in the late 40s, the technology and science wasn’t there to bring it to fruition until decades later.  

Today, cryonics and cryopreservation still evoke a sense of sci-fi skepticism. But there are those who remain loyal to the pursuit of using cryotechnology as a means to halt the aging process and skew the universal laws of existence.

Cryotherapy, in a more primitive sense, has been around for centuries. “The ancient Egyptians, and later Hippocrates, were always aware of the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of cold. “

‘Cryo-’ means ‘cold’ and using a cold compress to treat injuries is still the go-to method for muscle tears, inflammation, surgical swelling, bumps and bruises. In fact, one of the first things people run for after a fall is an ice pack. Now take that same concept, but envelope the entire body in sub-zero temperatures (usually below negative 200 degrees farenheit) with the help of liquid nitrogen, and you’ve got whole body cryotherapy.

Whole body cryotherapy is usually performed in a special chamber - a cryogenic chamber.  This ensures that appropriate treatment conditions such as temperature and humidity are maintained. The patient must always have regular contact with the therapist while in the chamber. (In my case, I obtained my treatments from Chiltonic and my neck and head were completely  visible and above the chamber. As a result, I was able to have a continuous dialogue with the therapist). Some chambers may maintain visibility using glass doors and a speaker.

The treatment is reported to be extremely safe despite the very low temperatures. “The nitrogen being used to cool the single-person cryosauna is the same nitrogen that makes up the air we breathe (actually 78% of it). In order to protect the more temperature sensitive tissues such as hands and feet, patients wear dry socks, slippers, and gloves. . .During each session the body releases endorphins, which are hormones that make a person feel good and energetic.”

There is also no need to take a shower before or after treatment because the procedure is  completely dry and does not make the skin wet.

The theory behind cryotherapy is that freezing temperature experienced by your body sends signals to the brain which in turn triggers an emergency or survival mode. This causes the body to constrict the blood flow in the outer layers and send the blood supply to the innermost vital organs. While in this “emergency survival mode,”  all the body’s resources are activated. The body’s ability to self heal is enhanced because your blood being enriched with additional oxygen, hormones, enzymes and nutrients - all of which are needed to survive under the extreme emergency created by the cryotherapy. Once you leave the cold environment, the newly enriched and less-toxic blood is flushed back into the rest of the body.

Cryotherapy for Injury, Inflammation, Stress & Glam?

There is no dispute that cryotherapy is taking Hollywood and the rest of the country by storm. It has garnered a loyal fanbase as a futuristic way to wake up cells and reduce inflammation. As the list of pro athletes, actors and Instagram stars continue to join the cryo-bandwagon, the demand for all things ‘cryo’ grows.

According to Grand View Research, cryotherapy is expected to grow to a $5.6 billion global industry by 2024, up from $2.5 billion in 2016.

If you take the word of health and wellness spas that tout whole body cryotherapy as a way to tighten skin and minimize inflammation, it seems cryotherapy may have some more alluring takeaways such as the following:

  • Quick recovery from sports related injuries

  • Relief from chronic pain caused by ailments like rheumatoid arthritis

  • Improve and treat fibromyalgia

  • Improve overall performance in athletes

  • Weight loss

  • Improve stress, mood and reduce anxiety

Given these extraordinary claims and the snowballing of support, in 2016, the FDA pumped the brakes on this blizzardy craze. “If you decide to try WBC, know that the FDA has not cleared or approved any of these devices for medical treatment of any specific medical conditions.”

However, more recent studies and analysis since the 2016 FDA report provide some credible support for various health benefits of WBC.

And when you have a cryo-client list that includes Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, Kate Moss, Jessica Alba and basketball stars Kobe and Lebron, it is hard to stop the avalanche of laymen wanting to reap the supposed benefits.

Just like the temperature, the prices are plummeting too. In most major cities, cryotherapy sessions can be purchased in bundles of 3 for a cool $99, or try it once for a mere $45. With prices this low, and promises that range from weight loss to pain relief, it is easy to see why cryotherapy is all the rage right now.

So Does Whole Body Cryotherapy Actually Work?

That’s the billion dollar question. Does WBC really deliver what it claims? In short, yes. While a few  reports have found no significant evidence that whole body cryotherapy is beneficial in the long term there have been studies conducted more recently that have shown positive results.

There is evidence that WBC decreases inflammation in professional athletes when they are recovering from sports related injuries. One study reported results as recently as 2018 and found that whole body cryotherapy may help decrease oxidative stress in male patients who had inflammatory arthritis of the spine and large joints.

WBC may also increase the levels of norepinephrine which in turn balances the levels of cortisol levels in the body. This may have the effect of improving your energy and mood.

Additional controlled studies need to be carried out, and further knowledge needs to be accumulated to confidently claim that WBC is beneficial for the general public. Right now, if all cryotherapy procedures are supervised and performed by a trained professional, the risks are minimal. If whole body cryotherapy is administered under strict guidelines, it is absolutely safe for the majority of people.

As far as celebrity cryo-facials go, the claim that they increase collagen production and tighten sagging skin, is yet another promise that currently falls short of credible evidence. While patients have said they noticed increased energy levels and a feeling of euphoria after a session, according to   Dr. Aaron Farberg, that is purely anecdotal.

WBC Words of Warning  

There are some legitimate medical warnings that potential cryo-junkies should look out for. Because sudden bursts of sub-zero temperatures haven’t been closely studied, it could have adverse effects on patients with pre-existing conditions such as:

  • Unchecked high blood pressure

  • Heart and lung disease

  • Poor circulation - exposure to extreme cold can make this much worse

  • Allergies that are triggered by cold

  • Patients who have had bouts of neuropathy

Finally, you should note that unlike many European countries where cryotherapy treatments are covered by medical insurance policies, in the United States, whole body cryotherapy is considered “a non-medical wellness modality, and health insurances do not offer reimbursements for the service.”

Enjoy your healthy life!