When some people first learn of cryotherapy, they immediately relate the therapy to a scene out of a science fiction novel. The process was first developed in Japan, 1978 and was initiated at that time to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and was then refined in Europe.
How the Process is Facilitated
The process, which makes use of a cryosauna, uses liquid nitrogen to reduce a client’s temperature to about 10 degrees Celsius, for a period of about three minutes. Liquid nitrogen introduces the coldness, although clients do not come into direct contact with the gas. Instead, the body is enveloped with extremely cold air. Then the liquid nitrogen is used to cool the body and reduce inflammation.
Vasoconstriction during Cryotherapy
During the cryotherapy treatment, thermoreceptors in the skin direct signals in the brain to transmit blood to the core of the body. This part of the therapy is known as vasoconstriction. In turn, toxins are removed from the peripheral tissues and the blood becomes enriched with nutrients, enzymes, and oxygen. The body responds by releasing “feel good” hormones called endorphins. Therefore, cryotherapy is not only good for a person’s physical health, it also makes it possible for a person to feel good mentally.
Vasodilation during Cryotherapy
As the body rewarms, the enriched blood flows through the body. This part of the therapy is known as vasodilation. For that reason, cryotherapy is not only used to reduce the inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis and other joint pain, it is also used to reduce chronic pain, repair muscles, and enhance a person’s sense of well-being.
Using a Cryotherapy Chamber
In some instances, the head is also used in the cryotherapy process. In this case, a chamber is used to facilitate a response. When a chamber is used, the client may wear headphones and even listen to music. Some of the benefits attributed to this type of therapy include reduced inflammation (as noted), more brain power and mental alertness, better collagen synthesis, and enhanced antioxidant health.
Whole body cryotherapy involves exposing the body to an extremely cold and unrelenting environment. This type of intense cooling can introduce a number of physiologic changes in the body. When these changes occur, the health benefits are enhanced as well.
Not only does the immune system increase its count of white blood cells, the circulatory system reacts too. In addition, the endocrine system releases its endorphins into the bloodstream. Not only that, the stress substance, cortisol, is reduced. Cortisol is a chemical that leads to obesity in people under stress. Therefore, cryotherapy can also help you keep your weight in check. When you review the benefits of this treatment, it is one therapy you simply cannot choose to ignore. Look at the advantages for yourself before scheduling a cryotherapy appointment.