What is cryotherapy and how does it work
Healing powers of ice were used by none other than the great «father of medicine», the famous Greek doctor Hippocrates, for treatment of various diseases. In modern day cryotherapy («cryo» in Greek means cold), liquid nitrogen is used in place of ice, and the temperature of liquid nitrogen is approximately minus 196°C
In the 1970s, Japanese professor Toshima Yamauchi first promoted the idea of using extremely low temperatures for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. He successfully treated patients using cold (cryo) procedures to such an extent that about 80% of seriously ill people were completely relieved from symptoms of the disease and pain.
The positive effects of cryotherapy could not be ignored. So, after making a report in 1979, when Professor Yamauchi told the world about his achievements at the Rheumatology Congress, and a few years later the first cryotherapeutic system for administering general cryotherapy was commissioned. In the clinic of Professor Reinhard Fricke, a cryotherapeutic module started functioning way back in 1984, and hundreds of patients could undergo the long-awaited treatment. Since then, millions of people around the world could experience the amazing revitalizing capabilities of cryotherapy.
Where does lie the magical power of «cryo»? Research scientists expounded the phenomenon about the impact of cryotherapy. It turns out to be that the cryotherapeutic procedure of cooling the patient’s body surface itself does not extend the curative effect, but the therapeutic and regenerative mechanisms, which it triggers, in the human body. It should be understood that during the treatment, the temperature of the mixture of nitrogen vapor and air surrounding the human body, reaches -150 to -180°C, whereas the skin temperature is brought down to the levels of + 5 to +12 °C. Upon exposure to cold stressful effect, the body stimulates the regenerative mechanisms, and fully activates the immune system. Anesthetics such as endorphins are released into the blood, and the activity of inflammatory mediators i.e. histamine and serotonin falls.
Cooling the body surface is characterized by reduced sensitivity of skin receptors, reduced conductivity of nerve fibers, and results in noticeable anesthetic effect.
The studied have shown that the most important result of cryogenic therapy is the development and training of immune system. To be precise, the improved immune system ensures progress in the treatment of many diseases. A combination of the main technological parameters of the procedure that includes the gas temperature, the cooling time and the area of skin that comes in contact with cryogenic gas, creates an environment, in which, the body independently identifies and eliminates the disorders that caused the disease.
That is to say, these are the causes, but not the symptoms that we often get away when using the conventional therapies. A person freely overcomes the illness and prevents the possibility of its recurrence forever.
Cold tempering triggers the impact of aftereffect, which is observed after a course of treatments. It manifests itself in a favorable change in biochemical indexes long after receiving tempering procedures, in some cases for several months and even for years.
If low temperatures exert influence on the human for a short time, he perceives them as a threat. As we all understand that these threats should be fought back, and hence there occurs a change in the environment, the human protective forces are mobilized and become ready to fight against them. At this time, the blood rushes to the very active muscles and the skin, tissue tropism improves significantly, increased production of protective antibodies, the nervous system is stimulated and there is a drastic fall in the pain threshold. In the course of regular visits to cryosauna, the metabolic rate improves, there occurs a huge and powerful emission of endorphins i.e. «the happy hormones». The effect of cryoprocedures is similar to the effect that we get by doing exercises i.e. elevated spirits, thanks to the production of endorphins, the body tone increases, metabolism is stimulated, the fight against cellulite and overweight is sustained, and the immunity improves.
Cryosauna procedure includes the following: The patient enters the cryosauna in lingerie and fur shoe covers and positions himself in such a way that his head lies above the level of walls. This prevents overcooling of the respiratory tract during the procedure. Thereafter, nitrogen steam mixed with air at temperatures up to -180°C is supplied to the operating zone of cryosauna (cryocabin). The procedure lasts for 1.5 minutes (at the beginning of the course) to 4 minutes (after 15 to 20 sessions).
During the procedure, the patient does not experience any discomforts unlike during tempering in ice water, as the nitrogen vapor possesses low thermal conductivity and does not overcool the body. After the procedure, the patient leaves the cryosauna, and after a short period of time, the system becomes ready for operation again.
In order to achieve extremely low temperatures, liquid nitrogen is used, which is stored in the Dewar vessels or specially-designed vessels under pressure.