Sitting in a cold tank almost naked in the name of health might sound a bit stupid. Right?
This trend is gaining a lot of popularity these days and is called “Cryotherapy”.
There are a lot of theories that staying in cold temperatures can have significant results in improving mental and physical health. But, is that true? What does science have to say about that? Well, the scientists and doctors are still working on understanding it completely.
In this article, we have tried to cover some of the possible benefits about Cryotherapy and the things you need to know before considering it.
WHAT IS CRYOTHERAPY?
Cryotherapy or Cryosurgery (in some cases), is a procedure that is done to destroy tissue of both bengin and malignant lesions by freezing and rethawing the process.
Liquid Nitrogen is commonly used freezing source for Cryotherapy.
WHAT ALL THINGS YOU NEED TO CONSIDER BEFORE OPTING FOR CRYOTHERAPY?
Cryotherapy sessions usually last for 3-5 minutes.
It is advisable for people who go for cryotherapy to consult a doctor before trying cryotherapy.
Some people might opt for a facial therapy while some might opt for targeting a specific area while some may even get Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC).
Some of the side effects of cryotherapy include numbness, redness, tingling and irritation on the skin. These are some temporary side effects of cryotherapy. If they don’t vanish in 24 hours, you might wanna see a doctor.
People with high blood pressure, acute or chronic kidney diseases, heart problems, pregnant women and kids should avoid it.
Also, make sure that your body is completely dry. There shouldn’t be a single droplet of water or sweat on your body.
BENEFITS OF CRYOTHERAPY
Pain Relief and Muscle Healing
Doctors have been recommending to apply ice packs on injured and painful muscles. It helps in increasing the blood flow and helps in quick healing.
Cryotherapy helps in reducing muscle pain, as well as muscle and joint disorders, like arthritis. It also promotes faster healing of athletic injuries as well.
In a study it was found that cryotherapy decreases levels of creatine kinase compared to passive recovery, suggesting cryotherapy may facilitate muscle fibre repair, enhancing recovery.
Though in a study, it was found that cold-water immersion was more effective than whole body cryotherapy for relieving muscles and pain.
Inflammation is a vital part of the immune system’s response to injury and infection.
It is the body’s way of signalling the immune system to heal and repair damaged tissue, as well as defend itself against foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria. Without inflammation as a physiological response, wounds will fester, and infections can become deadly.
But there are times when our body becomes overly reactive. There might be chances of your body getting chronic inflammation and this may be a symptom of cancer, diabetes, depression, arthritis or dementia.
Thus, reducing inflammation can help the human body by improving the overall health and also reducing the risk of various other diseases.
Reducing Depression and Anxiety
There have been researches that have proved that cryotherapy can be used to treat depression and anxiety.
When our bodies are exposed to severe cold, even for a few minutes, it sends a message to the endocrine system of the body that there might be a danger. This the classic “fight or flight” theory that causes body to release positive hormones and endrophines.
Endrophines are natural pain killers and mood lifters. Thus, people who have been suffering from depression and anxiety are often prescribed with endrophines.
Cryotherapy has been proved to be an effective source of weight loss. People who have been going for cryotherapy often say that it helps in burning around 500-800 calories per session. Now doesn’t that sound fascinating? Burning 500-800 calories in just three minutes!
Cryotherapy also helps in boosting metabolism. People also claim that after a point of time, they have stopped feeling cold as their bodies are now habitual to cold temperatures.
Treating Migraine Headaches
Treating migraine headaches by cold treatments is a very old and effective method. It is one of the most common self-care treatment that people have been using for over 150 years now.
There are several studies that have shown that targetted cryotherapy has been very effective to treat headaches caused by migraine.
But one thing that should be kept in mind is that it just used to reduce the pain and not treat it completely.
Improving Symptoms of Eczema
Eczema is a condition where patches of skin become inflamed, itchy, red, cracked, and rough. Blisters may sometimes occur.
A small study was conducted where people stopped using their eczema medications and ointments and took cryotherapy. A lot of them were very satisfied by it results while a few of them complained about having frostbites.
Cryotherapy uses extreme cold to destroy cancer cells. It’s also called cryosurgery or cryoablation. During cryotherapy treatment the doctor freezes the cancer cells to kill them
Cryotherapy has been a treatment for abnormal cells of the cervix and for basal cell skin cancer for some time. It works well for these conditions.
For cancers inside the body, a small probe is inserted next to or inside the tumour. This probe is called a cryoprobe. The cryoprobe is attached to a supply of liquid nitrogen controlled by the doctor.
Benefits for Skin
Cryo facials have been creating a rage in the beauty world lately.
It helps in improving atopic dermatatis symptoms, reducing acne, increasing the blood flow and tightening pores.