As far back as the 17th century, Cryotherapy has been used in the treatment of various aches, pains, ailments and medical conditions. Nowadays, it has skyrocketed into the public spotlight as the go-to secret weapon in the daily fight against stubborn body fight by freezing those all-too-common stubborn layers, while also helping to boost your metabolism and speeding up workout and exercise recovery in the process.
Cryotherapy’s uses don’t end there: this is far more than a simple fat-burner or body sculpting and contouring treatment. Far from it. In fact, Cryotherapy takes many forms, such as Cryosurgery where it’s used to remove nasty skin lesions, as well as a post-workout treatment that provides the cutting edge for elite athletes and regular gym goers alike.
Below we’re going to explore just where this cool, fat-burning treatment comes from, the numerous forms it takes, as well as the many other benefits it can provide you and your body.
Don’t think of Cryotherapy is just a single type of treatment. Instead, consider it as an all-inclusive umbrella term that covers a range of revolutionary treatments that effectively utilize the power of low, sub-zero temperatures to benefit your body. Whether it’s in the removal of skin lesions with Cryosurgery, boosting your metabolism with Whole Body Cryotherapy, or toning the body with Ice Pack Therapy, Cryotherapy’s list of uses is near endless.
You may have never attended a Cryotherapy sauna or undergone a cool, fat-burning treatment, but chances are you’ve seen Cryotherapy in action before. Whether at home, at the gym, or on the sports field where it takes the form of ice baths, ice packs, and even the humble packet of frozen vegetables you drag out of the freezer when you sprain an ankle or bruise a muscle.
Cryotherapy is also often used to treat a range of benign and malignant tissue damage and lesions – referred to as Cryosurgery – with the goal of decreasing cell growth and reproduction (cellular metabolism), increasing cellular survival, decreasing inflammation, lessening pain and spasms as well as promoting the constriction of blood vessels (vasoconstriction).
Cryotherapy Fact: Cryotherapy derives its name from the Greek word ‘Cryo’ – meaning cold – and ‘Therapy’ – meaning cure.
So how does Cryotherapy work? This depends on how it’s administered. This could be in the form of a cold sauna for Whole Body Cryotherapy, through to the direct, targeted application of cold to specific areas of the body via Cryotherapy slimming and contouring belts like the LipoBelt.
Generally speaking, Cryotherapy and its sub-zero temperatures invoke a fight or flight survival mode in the body, which forgoes thermoregulation, and shifts the body to focusing on activating a number of survival mechanisms centered around the body’s vital organs. In doing so, the body responds to this perceived threat to itself and its most vital organs by redirecting blood intended for the skin’s surface and extremities to its vital organs, helping to insulate them and maintain a healthy core temperature.
Much like the icing of an injured area to reduce swelling, bruising and to speed up recovery, Cryotherapy offers a number of benefits for you and your body, only on a much larger scale through the effective, targeted use of its freezing technology on the areas that need it them most.
Doctors past and present have a history of recommending cold therapy for its ability to boost the body’s Leptin levels, which has a proven connection to an improvement in immune function. The theory behind this is surprisingly simple: rapid exposure to extreme temperatures triggers the Hypothalamus to switch on anti-inflammatory processes within the body in a safe, effective way. By tricking the body into thinking it’s in ‘survival’ mode in this way, the regular immune processes within the body are increased.
Ask anyone who’s tried Cryotherapy and more often than not they’ll tell you they’re left with a tonne of energy after a treatment or session. It’s believed that this feeling of rejuvenation is connected to the release of Catecholamines – adrenaline and noradrenaline – as well as various other neuropeptides in reaction to the below-freezing temperatures that the body is exposed to.
If you’ve ever found yourself laughing after being splashed with cold water or jumping into a colder than expected pool, these chemicals are the reason why. They induce a sense of euphoria that when unexpected may cause you to jump, but when administered via Cryotherapy leaves you with a positive outlook and energy to burn.
Ice water immersion has been shown to raise an individual’s metabolic rate by as much as 300%, while other forms of Cryotherapy can offer similar success rates and results.
Much like ice packs, ice baths and the home remedy of frozen vegetables grabbed out of the freezer in a hurry, Cryotherapy can be used to effectively reduce inflammation and bruising as a result of injuries, exercise or recovering from liposuction and other surgical procedures.
In fact, cold therapy has a history of use within the medical profession to ease inflammatory conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and other chronic pain conditions. It’s in these scenarios where it also offers short, medium and long term relief from chronic pain.
Whole Body Cryotherapy sees individuals climbing into a specialized chamber that harnesses the power of liquid nitrogen and refrigerated cold air to rapidly cool the body with the aim of stimulating the sympathetic nervous system via the skin’s cold receptors.
Over the course of the 2 to 4 minute long treatment, the skin is exposed to extremely cold dry air that reaches temperatures as low as -200F to -250F (-100C), during which the sympathetic nervous system is activated by the skin’s cold receptors through a process that causes varying levels of vasoconstriction, followed by rapid vasodilation.
Today, whole body Cryotherapy is growing increasingly popular with athletes and chronic illness sufferers alike, finding its way into many commercial spas and athletic training facilities. Elite athletes like Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and Floyd Mayweather Jr. swear by the benefits of Whole Body Cryotherapy, and use it to alleviate symptoms such as delayed onset muscle soreness after workouts.
Whole Body Cryotherapy isn’t just a newfound celebrity fad. In fact, the first traces of this cool treatment can be traced back to the 1970’s, where it was first made popular throughout Japan as a treatment for rheumatic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis), as well as to reduce muscle pain and spasms, slow cell aging, speed up recovery times and improve general health.
Since then, extensive studies have been carried out into the benefits of Whole Body Cryotherapy, and its standing as an effective adjunct treatment for reducing the symptoms of various aches, pains and ailments. As well as in a professional medical capacity to treat patients with severe conditions such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. The results of these studies quickly saw it sweep Europe in the 1980’s, before finding its way to the USA and Australia over the last decade.
As you can see, the benefits of Cryotherapy didn’t stay dormant for long. It’s now an everyday treatment and management method for injuries, ailments and workout recovery, and it’s no longer limited to just celebrities. Everyday recreational athletes are starting to emulate these results with home based Cryotherapy treatments such as the LipoBelt.
Cryotherapy Fact: During a Whole Body Cryotherapy treatment, individuals generally wear minimal clothing to ensure maximum contact is made with the skin. Though items like gloves, woolen headbands and a nose and mouth mask – in addition to dry shoes and socks – are commonly worn to ensure the extremities are protected.
*Note: The LipoBelt is not intended to treat any medical condition or cure any diseases. It is not intended as a weight loss device, or to be used for purposes other than its indicated use, or as instructed by your physician or esthetician, or as required by your training program. Consult your physician for uses not indicated.
** Results vary: Results shown are without other body treatments. Average waist circumference change over four weeks in a test group of men and women was 1.38", and an average thigh circumference change of 0.77" in women only. Adding a healthy diet and exercise helps improve and maintain your results. An increase in sugar/carbohydrate consumption may potentially cause excess fat storage, and enlarge contoured areas and/or for cellulite to redevelop. LipoBelt is only effective on areas where it has been applied as directed. Results should not be expected on areas where LipoBelt has not been used. For fat loss on other body areas and/or to lose weight, diet and exercise is needed. Before starting any new diet or exercise program, it is advised that you consult your physician.