For thousands of years, people have exposed their bodies to cold temperatures to reduce inflammation and pain and boost muscle recovery. The methods have varied over time, from ice baths to swimming to ice packs. Today, there’s also whole body cryotherapy. This treatment involves 2-3 minutes in a cryotherapy chamber, immersing your entire body except for your head. These days, whole body cryotherapy is often preferred to older methods like ice baths. Here are a few reasons why:
Ice baths can take as long as 15-20 minutes, which can be uncomfortable even while the cold temperatures work to alleviate your pain and swelling. If you want to reach the kind of cold temperatures that can truly be effective, you’ll have to stay in the ice bath for even longer, sometimes as long as half an hour. Meanwhile, 2-3 minutes in a cryotherapy chamber can reach temperatures as low as -148 degrees fahrenheit. This is a burst of cold that encompasses your body for a short time, charging the systems in your circulation that help to reduce inflammation and boost muscle recovery.
The goal of cryotherapy is to cool the skin with a dry cold. This cooling of the skin causes the blood vessels to constrict, which slows the flow of blood and lessens swelling and inflammation. Ice baths instead cool the muscles, leaving them stiff and immobile. Dry cold is lighter than wet cold and uses the cold to charge the rest of the circulation. You’ll feel more refreshed and rejuvenated coming out of a whole body cryotherapy chamber than you will from an ice bath.
It’s not just that whole body cryotherapy offers shorter treatments with colder temperatures. You can also get back to your normal routine as soon as you leave. You can enjoy a short cryotherapy session and then leave for the gym to start your workout for the day. With your muscles and inflammation soothed, you’ll have an easier time working out than you would have before. Not so when you use an ice bath. You’ll need at least 24 hours to recover before you can get back to working out. Because of this, you can use cryotherapy as a pre- or post-workout routine rather than simply a post workout routine like ice baths.
Extreme cold temperatures can be intimidating, but whole body cryotherapy treatments utilize safety precautions to make sure you receive the pain relief you need without any risk to your health. You’ll be given socks and gloves to protect your extremities and your head will be outside of the cryotherapy chamber. In some cases, you’ll also have a surgical mask and headband in order to make sure you’re thoroughly protected. Ice baths offer no such protection.
Interested in checking out a whole body cryotherapy treatment for your pain relief? CRYO 850 can help with our whole body cryotherapy chambers and short, effective, and safe treatments. Contact us today for more information or a free estimate.