Created in the 70’s in Japan, Cryotherapy, which means “cold therapy” is becoming more and more trendy every day since celebrities and athletes as Mandy Moore, LeBron James, and Daniel Craig are now promoting it on social media.
But what is this new trend that seems to impress everyone? Cryotherapy is a technique where your body (whole body or localized) get into a chamber with liquid nitrogen that turns into an extremely cold vapour for a few minutes. The chambers have sensors that monitor your body in real-time, and its normally done in a presence of a specialist that can control the environment.
The chamber exposes the body to temperatures around -93º for 2 to 4 minutes. As you might imagine, this can be unpleasant for most of the people, especially the ones that have a hard relationship with cold or that are not used to it.
But why are people willing to do this? Despite being a new technique and non-medical proved, the benefits of cryotherapy can be seen even after one session. When used regularly, the benefits can be:
1. Reduces migraine symptoms
Cryotherapy can cool and numb the nerves on the neck, reducing the pain.
2. Immune System Boost
The exposure to the extreme cold improves leptin levels, which has a connection to the immune function.
3. Numbs nerve irritation
Athletes use it mostly for treating injuries. The cold helps numb an irritated nerve. It can also be amazingly helpful with chronic pains.
4. Helps with weight management
The cold temperature makes your body spend more calories on warming up, so you can burn approximately 500 to 800 calories each session.
5. Helps with mood disorders and anxiety
The cold can release adrenaline, noradrenaline, and endorphins, that create positive hormonal responses, helping with mood disorders.
6. May help you with low-risk tumours
In this particular case, the treatment is called cryosurgery and its about surrounding the cancer cells with ice crystals, freezing them.
7. May help with dementia and Alzheimer
Cryotherapy can help with the inflammatory and oxidative stress responses that occur with these diseases.
8. Can help you with skin conditions
Some results prove that cryotherapy also helps with acne and dermatitis problems, once it improves the antioxidant levels in the blood, reducing the inflammation.
As you see, cryotherapy can have positive effects on both your physical and mental health. However, there can be side effects and as it causes a violent reaction to the body, it should be done by any person. People with diabetes or nerve conditions should not try it, for example. Pregnant women shouldn’t try this too, of course.
Before trying this, and see all the results on first hand, you should talk to your doctor and make sure it’s a safe option for you.