Whole body cryotherapy: What is it and how does it work?

Whole Body Cryotherapy involves spending short periods of time in a cryosauna – a temperature-controlled cooling chamber with temperatures as low as -150°C – to achieve a variety of benefits for the body and its recovery.

Developed in Japan in the 1970s, Whole Body Cryotherapy has come to be used by professional and amateur athletes to decrease recovery time and improve performance, as well as being used by clients seeking recovery from musculoskeletal pain.

When we are exposed to ice cold temperatures, our bodies go into a fight-or-flight response, designed to keep us from freezing. As the cryosauna exposes your body to extremely cold temperatures, blood rushes to our vital organs to protect them for as long as possible – as this happens, our blood rushes through our cardiovascular system, where it’s cleansed of toxins and supplied with oxygen, enzymes and nutrients. This process is known as vasoconstriction.

When you then step out of the cryosauna and into warm air, that oxygenated, nutrient rich blood rushes right back out to your toxin-cleansed peripheral tissues. That process is called vasodilation. Whole Body Cryotherapy can help harness these natural responses and use them to the body’s benefit.

What are the benefits of a Whole Body Cryotherapy session?

Whole body cryotherapy provides a multitude of benefits for all different types of people and bodies:

  • Muscle recovery
  • Reduce joint and inflammation pain
  • Increase your metabolism
  • Boost endorphins
  • Soothe arthritic pain

What to expect at a cryosauna treatment with Cryoclinics

A cryosauna treatment only lasts a few minutes, and your appointment will be booked for a 15-minute slot. This gives you time to arrive at the clinic, prepare, complete the treatment, and then get ready for the outside world again – with increased energy and endorphins!

When you arrive at the clinic, one of our registered nurses will explain the treatment to you, and you’ll be given special clothing to be worn in the cryosauna chamber. When you enter the chamber, it will cool down rapidly. Temperatures reach -150°C, and while you’ll feel the cold, many of our clients also report feeling energised and euphoric while in the chamber.

Is Whole Body Cryotherapy for me?
Whether you are a professional athlete, weekend warrior, or generally seeking enhanced health and wellness, cryotherapy can help your body achieve its ultimate potential.

Is Whole Body Cryotherapy safe?
Yes. Because whole body cryotherapy uses cold air, the cooling agents never actually come into contact with your skin. The air is chilled using liquid nitrogen, and nitrogen makes up 78% of the air we breath. Because the temperature change to your body is only superficial, your internal body temperature remains constant throughout treatment. Your head is always kept outside of the low temperature area.

The cryosauna is equipped with a number of safety features. While the door closes, it never locks, so you are in full control of your environment. A trained operator is always present to ensure your maximum safety. In addition the room is equipped with oxygen sensors and proper ventilation systems to ensure optimal air quality. Our staff is fully trained to make sure you experience both ultimate healing and ultimate safety.

Is there anyone who should not use Whole Body Cryotherapy?
You should not undergo whole body cryotherapy if you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Have cold, fever, or seasonal infection (flu, sinusitis, etc.)
  • Have cold-induced asthma
  • Have an open wound or sore (including teeth abscesses)
  • Have severe hypertension
  • Have a heart or cardiovascular and respiratory disease (which may include heart disease, hyper- or hypotension, angina, heart failure ischemic heart disease or other rhythmic conditions)
  • Have acute respiratory disease
  • Have a pacemaker
  • Have seizures
  • Have bacterial and viral skin infections
  • Have acute kidney and urinary tract disease
  • Are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Heart attack which dates less then 6 months
  • Have severe anaemia

What if I’m claustrophobic?

Throughout the entire process, your head is kept outside of the sauna and is constantly exposed to normal, room temperature air. The door to the cryosauna closes but does not lock, so you are always in control. In addition a trained nurse is always present to ensure your maximum safety.

How do I prepare for a session?
No preparation is needed prior to arriving. Because dry air is used, there is no need to shower afterwards. It is common for patients to use the cryosauna during a lunch break from work as the process is quick, clean, and simple.

Can I work out before/after a session?
Yes. It’s common for athletes to utilise cryotherapy prior to workout in order to increase flexibility, range of motion, blood flow, and oxygen flow. Similarly, it’s common for athletes to participate in whole body cryotherapy after working out in order to expedite soft tissue healing. It is recommended that you shower prior to a session and avoid using any lotions or other topical products beforehand.

How will I feel after a Whole Body Cryotherapy session?
When the session is complete, your skin will return to its normal temperature within minutes. Immediately after you may feel a slight tingling sensation, but within minutes you will likely feel relaxed and muscular pain generally begins to subside immediately. Many patients report feeling invigorated with diminished pain symptoms immediately after the treatment. Additionally, many experience better sleep after a session, and the invigorating effects of a session are cumulative and long-lasting with additional treatments. Follow-up sessions are recommended for maximum results.

Have more questions? Contact us on 1300 CRYO 88 or info@cryoclinics.com.au

How is whole body cryotherapy different from an ice bath?

Faster

Less Pain

More Effective

Hygienic

Unlike ice baths, cryosauna treatments can be used both before and after a workout, and they require no recovery time. Two to three minutes in a cryosauna will see your skin exposed to a dry cold of -150 °C, a temperature that cannot be reached with an ice bath. The moment you exit, blood rushes back to your body from your core and warms your muscles almost immediately. You’re set for a quick return to your daily life – with a rush of endorphins and new-found energy to take with you!

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