Cryotherapy, often known as cold therapy or treatment. The common medical term used for this treatment is “Cryosurgery” or “Cryoablation”. Apart from this several professional bodybuilders prefer to recover muscle with Cryotherapy.
It is execute at extremely low temperature for destruction of any abnormal or unhealthy tissues. Cryotherapy helps to cure many skin complications too.
It can be done either in any one part or in the whole body which also called “Whole body cryotherapy” [WBC].
According to medical aspect, there are two primary ways for Cryotherapy:
In this process it uses liquid nitrogen for removing unwanted skin tags, mole, etc.
Cryolipolysis is a process of freezing of body fats cells and break them down to reabsorb in the body. Cryotherapy can be locally administered in several ways like through ice pack, ice massage, coolant sprays, ice bath etc.
History and Origin of Cryotherapy.
Lots of people often may think that, this treatment is novel. Wherefore, Cryotherapy” found in the era of 2500 B.C. where Egyptians used this process to relieve from the pain. On 400 B.C.
Hippocrates (Father of Medicine) conveyed about the benefits of cold exposure in the pain and swollen areas. Afterwards, in Napoleonic era ice was used as cooling technique for surgical practice and yet it also acts as anesthesia.
In 1845, Dr. James Arnott (Father of Modern Cryosurgery) witnessed local cold applications, which was helping them in curing from headaches to tumors. In 1851, Arnott launched one apparatus in Great Exhibition at London, however it was failed.
In 1899, Campbell White was the first person, who used a liquid gas as a chilling treatment for removing skin ailments. A gas flask was used with a liquid air sprayer having a temperature of -195°C. It was the first device for Cryosurgery.
In 1907 William A Pusey used snow of carbon dioxide for chilling at a temperature of -78.5°C for the treatment of maladies. Afterward, in 1950, “liquid nitrogen gas” was discovered for the treatment, that having a temperature of -196°C, and was used for clinical practice.
Herman V. Allington was the first person who used a cotton swab into liquid nitrogen for the treatment of various skin diseases.
In 1978, Dr. Yamauchi first discovered the term “whole body cryotherapy” where he freeze his patients especially for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis and thereby acquired a positive result.
In 1980, Nordic and Eastern European countries adopted this therapy specifically for the sports persons to speed up healing of the injury.
Afterward, in May 2000, an Olympic rehabilitation was opened in “Spala” (Poland) for the cryotherapy treatment that indeed helped the athletes to recover fast from the injuries.
In 2014, a company named Impact Cryotherapy specifically launched cryotherapy machines. However, it is the only company in the U.S that manufactured such machines.
Besides they bring up with new innovations with faster recovery process. Recently, in 2018 “Impact Cryotherapy” specifically launched a kind of machine that is Cryoshift Cryotherapy in addition with other therapies.
Mostly Used Countries.
The United States is the country who mostly use Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC). On the other hand, it is quiet popular in Europe, Southern California and New York especially for its several benefits.
Recently in India, few states like Delhi, Mumbai and other hospitals have set up cryotherapy machines specifically for the treatment of cancers and for healing up pain.
How Does Cryotherapy Work?
Cryotherapy uses a specific imaging guidance which has a needle-like object called Cryoprobe. With the help of liquid nitrogen or argon gas it creates the intense cold to become freeze which destroy the tissue includes cancer cells.
It is also used for the treatment of several skin disease and tumors in the liver, kidneys, bones, lungs and breasts.
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Types of Injuries.
Doctors recommend ice packs on the injury as it increase blood circulation, which promotes faster healing from the pain. Likewise, Cryotherapy is the similar process by which one can achieve faster recovery apart from ice bags from the several pains.
A study was conducted on 2000 which showed that Cryotherapy provide temporary relief from the pain such as “Rheumatoid Arthritis”. Cryotherapy especially with ice pack reduce the damage occurs from the intense workouts.
Similarly, a study on 2017 showed Cryotherapy gives relief from muscle pain as well as speeds up muscle recover process. Therefore, it is considered as very effective for muscle recovery.
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- Relief specifically from numb pain and injuries.
- Equally important for assisting weight loss by breaking fat cells.
- Reducing inflammation.
- Moreover, prevent dementia by reducing inflammation.
- Prevent cancer by terminating cancer cells.
- Rejuvenate mood and reduce anxiety and depression.
- Reduce eczema symptoms.
- Treat migraine headaches.
- Cryotherapy assist to recover muscle after heavy workout.
Does Cryotherapy Burn Calories?
Yes, cryotherapy burns alot of calories. It has been showed that cryotherapy can burn upto 500-800 calories which equivalent to 40-60 minutes of running at a 10 minutes mile pace.
How Much Does Cryotherapy Cost?
A single session naturally costs between $60 to $100. However, it is more depends upon the market. In different country you will find different rate.
Cryotherapy Side Effects.
Indeed it has several benefits but has also side effects. The most common side effects such as numbness, redness, tingling and irritations in the skin. However, these effects are temporary, but if not cured one should consult with the doctor.
If you are suffering from diabetes or nerve problems should avoid this therapy to prevent from further damage especially nerve damage.
Frequently Asked Questions.
1. How much safe is Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy might be a safe substitute treatment for many diseases, it can be unpleasant and particularly for those who have any kind of cold related issues.
2. How cold does Cryotherapy get?
Several Cryotherapy machines claim temperatures much lower than -1200 Celsius. However, those are in the market for the purpose of casual use that are not too much cold.
3. Does Cryotherapy really works on the body?
Cryotherapy is related to the idea of put an ice pack to a sore muscle or joint, however on a large quantity. As Ice packs certainly helpful for reducing inflammation and Cryotherapy also effective to recover muscle after workout. Although, there are no such scientific evidence have still proved that, entire body Cryotherapy have any effective work.
4. Does Cryotherapy actually burn calories?
It has been shown that you can burn between 500 and 800 calories with the help of one session of Cryotherapy. It is equivalent to running for 40 to 60 minutes.
5. Does Cryotherapy really helps in muscles recovery?
Several users claimed that Cryotherapy boost endorphins level, positive mood swings, reduce stress level, reduce inflammation and increase muscle recovery.
6. How often should I do Cryotherapy?
Generally once or twice in a week is recommended. However If you are recovering from a surgery or injury then you should increase the frequency level of 3 to 5 times a week. As Cryotherapy is more helpful to reduce inflammation due to the surgery.
7. Can Cryotherapy kill cancer cells?
Yes, all cells including cancer cells holds water. Cryotherapy use extreme cold temperature and freezes that cells. However, that water turns to ice balls. In this process Cryotherapy can kill cancer cells.
8. Is Cryotherapy painful?
Cryotherapy uses cold substance, generally liquid nitrogen to get that extreme cold temperature. It should always done in presence of a doctor or professional person. However, it is not painful but if you have any issue related to cold then you should avoid.
9. Does Cryotherapy works for my arthritis?
As Cryotherapy similar like ice therapy, it reduce inflammation and joint pain, it is somehow useful for “Rheumatoid Arthritis” (RA). It may be give you temporary relief, however it does not have long time benefits.
10. Does Cryotherapy really useful for fat loss?
According to the many users they claimed that Cryotherapy is useful to losing weight. As during this process you can burn lots of calories, somehow it assist fat loss.
11. When should I do Cryotherapy, before or after exercise?
You may do Cryotherapy before or after exercise. It gives you different impact on your body. Doing before exercise can boost your energy, endurance level and flexibility similarly doing it after exercise gives you faster rejuvenation and muscle recovery.
12. How much time does it takes for Cryotherapy to work?
Several research has proved that Cryotherapy provides long term results if you do it in regular basis. You can see the positive results after 10 sessions over 2 to 3 weeks. You can feel massive changes in your body and mood, because body releases endorphins hormones and boost up energy.
13. What age group can do Cryotherapy?
A minor with age group greater than 11 years old can try “Whole Body Cryotherapy”. However, they must have guardian consent during the entire treatment. In case, if you are suffering from hypertension, myocardial infraction or other kind of disease then you must avoid Cryotherapy.
Apart from muscle recover cryotherapy may help within a certain range of concerns like slowing down or reversing the age of the skin, weight loss, preventing from chronic diseases and others.
As it has several health benefit it become popular in several countries specifically among the sportsman and athletes. They prefer unique way to recover muscle with Cryotherapy in a vast way.
- Experienced in the field of nutrition, health, fitness, and more. She earned Master Degree from National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad and currently serving in the Eastern branch of ICMR. View author's certificates.