Cryotherapy 101: whole-body and local application
In the broad sense, the term “cryotherapy” refers to the application of cold to any part of the human body with the purpose of relieving pain, boosting muscle recovery, and stimulating the immune response. The most conventional form of cryotherapy as we all know it is a good old bag of ice applied to a bruise or stretched ankle, or an bath tub full of ice-cold water.
Cryotherapy in its current form is a relatively new invention. First presented by a Japanese rheumatologist by the name of Toshima Yamaguchi in 1978, it quickly gained popularity among professional athletes, doctors, and fitness enthusiasts. What initially was supposed to treat inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis turned out to be an effective remedy for a number of conditions, from internal inflammations to skin diseases, such as various types of eczema.
Let’s now take a look at how cryotherapy works.
Types of cryotherapy
On the most basic level, cryotherapy can be local or whole-body. Local cryotherapy is administered using special equipment, such as Cryomed Cryofan, to the particular area of the patient’s skin. Local application helps apply just the right amount of cold for the right period of time according to the severity of the trauma being treated and other factors.
Whole-body cryotherapy is a more complex procedure that requires a cryochamber, a device large enough for a patient to be placed inside and subjected to temperatures as low as negative 170 degrees Celsius. During the procedure, the patient is only wearing underwear, protective slippers and gloves. This type of cryotherapy produces a much more serious effect on the patient, increasing the blood flow to internal organs, causing the blood to be enriched in oxygen and the necessary enzymes.
Cryotherapy chamber treatment is used universally by professional athletes coming from various sports, by fitness professionals, medical and rehab centers, as well as other institutions working with patients recovering from traumas or periods of high stress.
As mentioned above, cryotherapy treatment demonstrates remarkable efficiency not just in patient recovery, but also in the treatment of chronic diseases and conditions. The sudden temperature drop to sub-zero levels causes intensive muscle contractions and sends an alarm signal to the brain to reroute blood streams to internal organs to ensure their survival. At the same time, excess liquid is driven out of the sub-skin tissue to minimize swelling, pain factors, and inflammation.
This shock period is followed by the opposite process when the brain realizes that there is no immediate threat of hypothermia. Blood vessels are expanded and streams of oxygen-rich blood is infused into tissues, speeding up cell reproduction and reparation.
Cryotherapy provides another important benefit: deeper penetration into tissues without creating extreme discomfort. Traditional methods, such as a cold bath, offer experiences that are far beyond the comfort level, both in terms of sensations and the amount of time needed to achieve the necessary result. Finally, cryochambers let oxygen contact the patient’s skin throughout the procedure, while other methods don’t.
In a nutshell, cryotherapy chamber treatment offers a wealth of health benefits related to better blood circulation, faster cellular recovery, pain relief, and lowered stress levels. At the same time, cryotherapy side effects are minimal and bear no risks if the procedure is administered by a professional operator observing all standard measures of precaution.
Choosing what’s right for you
The choice of the right equipment depends solely on the type of procedures you are planning to offer and, of course, your budget. If you intend to treat minor injuries during or immediately after sport events, a local cryotherapy system will be your best option. If you run a large medical center and want to offer long-term, multi-session cryotherapy recovery programs, you will definitely need full-sized cryochambers like Cryomed One or Cryomed Pro. These models combine excellent performance, low nitrogen consumption, unparalleled ease of use, and state-of-the-art safety features to deliver the best cryotherapy experience for both users and operators.
If you are still at a loss over the type of cryogenic equipment you should use, don’t hesitate to contact us for a comprehensive consultation. We know our products, our business, and our customers, and will be able to advise on the best approach to launching your cryotherapy service based on your needs and goals.