The concept of using ice or icy materials to treat certain ailments or obtain specific health benefits has been around for many years. According to literature, cryotherapy was used by Egyptians in 2500 BC to reduce pain and inflammation caused by injuries. In the 1800s, cryotherapy was used to treat neuralgia, headaches, and to freeze cervical and breast tumors. Nowadays, cryotherapy is used to treat a host of other ailments such as rheumatic diseases, inflammation, pain, and certain tumors.
The use of cryotherapy is no longer confined in a hospital setup. Various centers have been opened across the country where you can walk in and request whole body cryotherapy. Cryotherapy has been widely adopted by celebrities and people of all walks of life who hope that it will improve their health and enhance their youthful appearance.
Does cryotherapy offer any benefits?
How do you benefit from dipping yourself in the bitter cold for several minutes? Is it worth the risk and the money? If you search on the internet, you will find claims that cryotherapy can help to redirect blood flow to vital organs, reduce inflammation, heal various skin conditions, and boost metabolism and the immune system. Although the FDA has not approved these claims, experts believe certain types of cryotherapy such as whole-body cryotherapy can be used to reduce pain and inflammation caused by health conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, spondylitis, ankylosing, and injuries. There are different types of cryotherapy. They include:
Whole-body cryotherapy (WBC)
This technique involves the use of extremely low temperatures to achieve the desired health effects. The individual engaging in this treatment enters into a cryotherapy chamber where temperatures are kept at around -150 degree for a few minutes. Exposure to extreme temperatures triggers the brain to react by producing a fight-or-flight response. Whole body therapy is commonly used by athletes to improve recovery from injuries and by other people for skin revitalization.
It involves the use of freezing agents to target a specific internal body part. This is the technique used to target cancer cells in the body.
It involves the use of a local cryo-stimulating device (LCSD) to treat certain health conditions such as warts, skin disorders, and skin cancers.