Could freezing yourself improve your health?

Cryotherapy has benefits that reach beyond just physical. While the treatment is effective against pain relief and muscle healing, there are also numerous internal health benefits.

Whole-body cryotherapy involves entering a chamber of sub-zero temperatures for just two to four minutes to stimulate the central nervous system, enhancing your circulation and releasing your body’s natural feel-good hormones.

Understandably, standing in freezing, dry air may not sound appealing after we just left the cold weather behind, but the incredible health benefits are worth it.

Pain relief and muscle healing

Cryotherapy not only promotes fast healing of athletic injuries, studies show it also helps with muscle pain and joint and muscle disorders, like arthritis. A study published on PubMed found that cryotherapy offered temporary relief from the pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. A 2017 study also supported the benefits of cryotherapy for relieving muscle pain and speeding up healing.

Weight loss

While cryotherapy alone will not cause weight loss, it could support the process. As cryotherapy helps relieve muscle pain, it could make it easier to get back into a fitness routine following an injury, indirectly facilitating weight loss.

Reduced inflammation

Inflammation is one way your immune system fights off infections, but it can sometimes become overly reactionary, leading to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is linked to multiple health problems, including cancer, diabetes, depression, dementia and arthritis. Cryotherapy reduces inflammation through the freezing air stimulating the nerves on your skin, triggering your central nervous system and, in turn, enhancing your circulation. Reducing inflammation improves your overall health and reduces the risks of some chronic ailments.

Preventing dementia

A 2012 paper published on PubMed stated there is a possibility of cryotherapy being able to reduce the inflammation and oxidative stress associated with dementia, mild cognitive impairments and other age-related forms of cognitive decline.

Reducing anxiety and depression

As cryotherapy reduces inflammation, studies show it could help mental health conditions linked to inflammation. A small 2008 study found that cryotherapy reduced symptoms by at least 50 percent in a third of participants with depression or anxiety. The symptoms may have been reduced by the physiological hormonal responses triggered by cryotherapy, which includes the release of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and endorphins.

Reducing anxiety and depression

This benefit is just skin deep, the reduction of eczema – a chronic inflammatory condition – symptoms. A small 2008 study of people with eczema had the participants replace eczema medications with cryotherapy. Many of the participants were able to see improvements in their eczema symptoms. Cryotherapy improves antioxidant levels in your blood while simultaneously reducing inflammation, which could improve eczema symptoms.

Visit your local club for more information regarding cryotherapy. Ice out your pain today.