Benefits of Cryotherapy
We’ve all seen it before. People getting in what look like rocket ships to get cryotherapy done. In the simplest form, this is getting into a big freezer. More primitive versions of this are getting into ice baths, which have been used for quite some time now.
Cryotherapy uses a chamber that can be better manipulated and reaches VERY low temperatures. Not only is it faster, but it’s a lot cooler than getting in a tub full of ice (less messy too).
Why do people even do this?
It is used as a recovery tool. Plain and simple.
Let’s look at the benefits:
One of the main benefits comes from the reduction in inflammation. Inflammation can build up in the body from many things, but injuries cause a ton. When we injure a muscle or tissue, the body may not regulate the inflammation well. Some inflammation is necessary at the beginning of the injury, however, if it continues to be inflamed it can never truly heal.
So, this is where cryotherapy can help out. It manually lowers the inflammation levels so that the tissue actually has a chance to heal itself.
The faster we can recover, the better we can get.
This applies for growing muscle mass as well. As you increase your recovery rate, you will recover from exercise at a more rapid rate. Thus, enhancing your ability to increase muscle mass. By no means will cryotherapy alone make you gain more muscle mass, but more so the combination of other factors such as training, diet, and sleep.
We’ve all experienced pain. It’s something that the entire world works tirelessly to avoid. Whether it’s from a disease, injury, or surgery. We have tons of pain medications on the market that people are straight up addicted to.
However, there are other ways to mitigate pain. Cryotherapy is one of those.
Cryotherapy does a good job of helping to lower your pain. It does so by lowering the muscle or nerve pain sensitivity. This can lead to a lower perception of pain. A lower level of pain may mean a difference in someone’s quality of life.
Now this reduction does not mean that the initial issue has been solved. If the injury is still there and not fixed, you have only put a band-aid over it. So, keep this in mind when using this as a way to decrease your pain levels. The root cause should still be worked on.
This is the process of the blood vessels getting smaller from the decrease in temperature. You may notice a lower level of blood flow when you are cold. This can be intensified with something such as cryotherapy.
Why is this beneficial?
It can help push blood where it needs to be. The blood flow may be lowered; however, it causes some pressure that can push things such as metabolites through the blood stream. The real benefit comes after you’ve gotten out of the cryo-chamber and increased your temperature. The blood vessels will expand again, and you’ll have some enriched blood flowing.
You can think of this as exercise for the blood vessels. It isn’t often that something creates this situation within the body.
The body needs these new and intense stimuli sometimes. It creates change within the homeostasis of the body and makes it work. We never want the body to get too comfortable.
Aside from the physical benefits, there are plenty of cognitive ones as well. If you’ve ever done any type of cold therapy, or taken a cold shower, you know that it doesn’t always feel great. During the process you kind of freak out. You can’t breathe, you’re almost in a blur for a second. However, afterwards you feel alert and almost run on a high.
This is due to the adrenaline and other hormones/by-products that get released from this stimulus. The feeling can be very euphoric and very many successful people use it to start their day on a high note.
Also, if you take the time to focus during this session it almost “hardens” you. If you can find focus during something as uncomfortable as this, then anything that is thrown your way is going to be cake. Wim “The Iceman” Hof is a leader of cold therapy. He has climbed mountains shirtless… The guy is crazy. However, he never gets sick. He is aging very slowly. He’s one of the happiest human beings on the earth. His secret? Cold therapy.
Scientists are baffled by this guy because they don’t understand. None of their research lines up, but this guy is onto something. The proof is in the pudding for him.
Cryotherapy could be something that is extremely beneficial for you. People can gain something is many different domains. If you take your health seriously, I would highly recommend.
If you have any nagging injuries that you want to focus on, then cryotherapy could be your answer.
It has benefits on your recovery, your pain tolerance, your blood vessel health, and even your cognition. Give it a try and see if cryotherapy is something you want to include in your routine.