What is Cryotherapy?

At Cryo Recovery, we're passionate about the benefits of cryotherapy and have seen it help many people recover from injury, surgery, acute and chronic pain. If you want to learn more about cryotherapy and how it can help you, scroll through this resource page, or click one of the buttons below to jump to a specific topic. Then click here to schedule your first cryotherapy session at Cryo Recovery in Houston.


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OVERVIEW OF CRYOTHERAPY

The Science of whole body Cryotherapy

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  1. The user stands on adjustable platform inside the octagonal-shaped chamber during treatment which ensures their head remains outside the chamber. A technician fills the Impact Cryotherapy chamber with nitrogen vapor, Which drops the temperature of the Cryo chamber to a range of (minus) -100C to -150C and temporarily lowers the temperature of the skin's top layer.  The extreme cold send electrical impulses to the brain's central nervous system indicating the body must prepare to survive.  This activates the bodies defense mechanisms and begins to flow blood through the core of the body.

  2. Vasoconstriction begins.  The brains central nervous system sends signals to the muscular and vascular system to constrict and contract this in turns transports the body's blood, nutrient and resources from the extremities to the core organs in the body. 

  3. Blood Detoxification and Enrichment begins.  Now that the body is has transported the blood to the core, the blood begins to be enriched with oxygen, collagen, erythrocytes and other beneficial nutrients during the hyper-production period.  During this time toxins are broken down and removed. 

  4. Vasodilation begins after you have exited the chamber.  During this time your body is transporting the new nutrient dense blood into your skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments and soft tissue. 

Where Cryotherapy Began

Since 1970s, Japan introduced Cryotherapy to help treat rheumatoid arthritis.  Since then, several clinical studies have been conducted in Europe, which have proven the whole body cryotherapy benefits for routine use. Learn more below.

IS IT SAFE?

Yes. The hazards are very minimal and have been assessed carefully. Protective gloves and socks are provided for the treatment.  During the treatment the technician is present with you at all times and a session can be stopped simply by pushing the door open. Also, we will take blood pressure before treatment to make sure you are healthy for treatment

What are the benefits?

Whole Body Cryotherapy allows your body to access & release valuable naturally-occurring biochemicals that are active in relieving pain, reducing inflammation, increasing metabolism, deoxidizing & ridding the body of detrimental toxins.

How Often?

Benefits can be obtained from one session, but to get the full benefit it is recommended to get 2-3 sessions per week or as needed per recovery goals.  

*Cryotherapy is not intended to be used for therapy or treatment of medical diseases or medical conditions.

 
 
 
 

Benefits of Cryotherapy

"It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver”
— Mahatma Gandhi

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CRYOTHERAPY BENEFITS 


SKIN AND BEAUTY

The ultra-cooled environment of the Whole Body Cryotherapy treatment activates receptors deep within the skin telling the body to increase production of collagen. This increase in collagen production will leave your skin smoother, firmer and tighter and can also diminish the appearance of cellulite and varicose & spider veins. After a regimen of treatments, clients notice a more evened and balanced skin tone, renewed skin elasticity and overall increased skin health & appearance.

  • INCREASED COLLAGEN PRODUCTION
  • REDUCTION OF SKIN BLEMISHES
  • REDUCTION OF CELLULITE, SPIDER & VARICOSE VEINS
  • INCREASED WEIGHT LOSS & CALORIC BURN
  • STRONGER, FULLER HAIR
  • STRONGER FINGERNAILS & TOENAILS
  • A MORE YOUTHFUL COMPLEXION

 

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Published medical studies have proven that Whole Body Cryotherpy can help to ease & alleviate chronic medical conditions such as Oseoarthritis, Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Auto-immune deficiencies & disorders, Psoriasis, Dermatitis, Osteoporosis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Osgood-schlatter’s Disease and several others. Studies on the effects of Whole Body Cryotherapy on psychological, mood and mental state have also been very positive; Whole Body Cryotherapy has been found to be a beneficial practice in treating mood disorders, affective disorders, anxiety and depression.

  • IMPROVED SLEEP
  • INCREASED ENERGY
  • PAIN RELIEF FROM CHRONIC MEDICAL CONDITIONS
  • ACCELERATED WEIGHT LOSS
  • INCREASED BLOOD CIRCULATION
  • RESETTING OF BODY’S IMMUNE PROCESSES
  • TREATMENT OF ANXIETY, DEPRESSION & MOOD DISORDERS
  • QUICKER RECOVERY FROM SURGERY
  • REDUCTION OF INFLAMMATION & SWELLING
Photo by monkeybusinessimages/iStock / Getty Images

ATHLETIC & SPORT

Due to the higher concentration of oxygen and bodily nutrients after a whole body cryotherapy treatment, the body’s muscles, ligaments and tendons will absorb and utilize the purified and ultra-concentrated environment to boost metabolic activity and recovery in the system. Not only will your muscles recover faster and more efficiently, but your body will also rid itself of the detrimental bi-products of intense muscle usage resulting in less pain, more range-of-motion, and recovery back to its most efficient state.

  • ATHLETIC AND SPORTS BENEFITS
  • INCREASED ABILITY & PERFORMANCE
  • QUICKER RECOVERY TIME
  • REDUCTION OF INFLAMMATION & MUSCLE SORENESS
  • RELIEVE TENDONITIS & SHIN SPLINTS
  • IMPROVED JOINT FUNCTION
  • INCREASED MUSCLE STAMINA
  • BOOSTED ENERGY
Photo by Ammentorp Photography/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Ammentorp Photography/iStock / Getty Images

Published Studies on the Benefits of Cryotherapy

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CRYOTHERAPY STUDIES AND RESEARCH


While cryotherapy is rather new in the United States, several studies have been published that show the benefits of Cryotherapy in many conditions.  The below covers the following conditions where studies have been proven.  

Spine Diseases Treated by Whole Body Cryotherapy .  Armand Cholewka, Zofia Drzazga, Aleksander Sieron´ and Agata Stanek

A single exposure to Whole Body Cryotherapy significantly decreases inflammation after strenuous exercise and may accelerate recovery and reduce exercise induced muscle damage.
Time-Course of Changes in Inflammatory Response after Whole-Body Cryotherapy Multi Exposures following Severe Exercise. Herve Pournot, Francois Bieuzen, Julien Louis, Jean-Robert Fillard, Etienne Barbiche, Christophe Hausswirth. Research Department, National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance (INSEP), Paris, France.

A single Whole Body Cryotherapy session before exercise seemed to have beneficial effect on the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory markers when compared with control.
The Effect of Submaximal Exercise Preceded by Single Whole-Body Cryotherapy on the Markers of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Blood of Volleyball Players. Celestyna Mila-Kierzenkowska, Alicja Jurecka, Alina Wozniak, Michal Szpinda, Beata Augustynska, and Bartosz Womiak. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity Volume 2013, Article ID 409567, Page 10.

Three Whole Body Cryotherapy sessions within 48 hours after damaging running exercises accelerate recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage to a greater extent than from passive modalities or far-infrared modalities.
Effects of Whole-Body Cryotherapy vs. Far-Infrared vs. Passive Modalities on Recovery from Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage in Highly Trained Runners. Christophe Hausswirth, Julien Louis, Francois Bieuzen, Herve Pournot, JeanFournier, Jean-Robert Filliard, Jeanick Brisswalter. Research Department, National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance (INSEP), Paris, France.

Whole Body Cryotherapy caused a decrease in pro-inflammatory (bad) interleukins (ILs) and rise in anti- inflammatory (good) ILs. By contrast, ice application has been shown to increase pro- inflammatory ILs by as much as 29% (8, ref in article). (Ref 49 in article). Norepinephrine responded positively to Whole Body Cryotherapy (3x/wk) and may play a role in pain relief effect. (Ref 60, in article).

Time-Course of Changes in Inflammatory Response after Whole-Body Cryotherapy Multi Exposures following Severe Exercise. Herve Poumot, Francois Bieuzen, Julien Louis, Jean-Robert Fillard, Etienne Barbiche, Christophe Hausswirth. National Institute of Sports, Expertise and Performance, Paris, France.

A study of rheumatoid arthritis patients reported the one variable that showed definite improvement with Whole Body Cryotherapy (vs local cold treatment) was pain. Patients report less pain following Whole Body Cryotherapy.
Effectiveness of different cryotherapies on pain and disease activity in active rheumatoid arthritis. A randomized single blinded controlled trial. H.E. Hiroven, M.K. Mikkelsson, H. Kautiaine, T.H. Pojolainen, M. Leirisalo-Repo. Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology 2006; 24:295-301.

 

Effects of whole body cryotherapy on multiple sclerosis patients was positive (and postulated to be) beneficial. The total antioxidative state is distinctly reduced in MS patients vs. healthy population. The Whole Body Cryotherapy proved beneficial in treatment of MS patients and better than exercise alone.
Effects of the whole-body cryotherapy on a total anti-oxidative status and activities of some antioxidative enzymes in blood of patients with multiple sclerosis – preliminary study. Elizabeth Miller, Malgorzata Mrowicka, Katarzyna Malinowska, Krystian Zolynski, and JozefKedziora. The Journal of Medical Investigation 2010; 57:168-173.

Whole Body Cryotherapy is used widely in many applications, especially degenerative and inflammatory joint diseases and fibromyalgia.
(Ref. 2 Sieron A, Cieslar G. The application of cold in medicine – cryosurgery and cryotherapy. Bielsko-Biala Poland:a-Meica Press; 2003 (in Polish)). Thermovision diagnostics in chosen spine disease treated by whole body cryotherapy. Armand Cholewka, Zofia Drzazga, Aleksander Sieron, and Agata Stanek. J Therm Anal Calorim 2010; 102:113-119.

Study of a small sample suggests positive effects on treatment of depressive and anxiety disorders. It is postulated/suspected that the pain relief associated with Whole Body Cryotherapy and that commonly accompany emotional disorders may be responsible for the perceived benefits.
Whole-body cryotherapy as adjunct treatment of depressive and anxiety disorders. Joanna Rymaszewka, David Ramsey and Sylwia Chladzinska-Kiejna. Department of Psychiatry, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland. Arch lmmunol. Ther. Exp., 2008; 56:63-68.

Cryotherapy and Arthritis

In a study conducted by Metzger D1, Zwingmann CProtz WJäckel WH in April of 2000, the crew tested the effects of cryotherapy on patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. The group found that after application of cryotherapy to individuals with moderate to severe RA, subjects reported a significant decrease in pain with one to three sessions.
 

Cryotherapy in the Media

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Professional Athletes Using Cryotherapy


Camille Leblanc-Bazinet

Camille Leblanc-Bazinet

Von Miller

Von Miller

Lebron James 

Lebron James 

Cryotherapy on TV


Dr. Oz

See October 8, 2015 episode


Nike- Oregon Project

See Runner's World episode


 

The Doctors Show

See The Doctors Show episode

Ice Bath vs Cryotherapy

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HOW DOES CRYOTHERAPY COMPARE TO AN ICE BATH?


Whole Body Cryotherapy is not a glorified ice bath

It is not a more expensive ice bath. It is not an ice bath at all. It doesn’t involve water submersion, it doesn’t involve cooling the soft tissue, it is not painful and miserable and hated by many. More broadly – an ice bath is pretty good at decreasing inflammation. But aside from decreasing inflammation temporarily and therefore relieving SOME pain in the muscles, the ice bath offers no other benefits. (It does offer TONS of issues though – not the least of which is staph infection, and hygienic issues). 

The healing of cryotherapy does not occur in those few minutes of the treatment. The 2-3 minutes of whole body cryotherapy are simply a stimulus.

First of all Whole Body Cryotherapy does not hurt like an ice bath. Cryo is not even uncomfortable for most folks. It may be for some (everyone’s cold tolerance is different) – but so is soreness, pain, inflammation, overweight, metabolic syndrome, arthritis and the slew of other reasons people seek help here. Remember, it’s only 2-3 minutes. And if you need a marker to identify just how uncomfortable it is or isn’t: everyone we have treated who has also sat in a vat of ice water will tell you it’s nowhere near as uncomfortable as that.

Whole body Cryotherapy doesn’t penetrate the skin’s surface more than 1/2mm into the skin. It just gets the skin’s cold receptors cold – sending a stimulus to the brain and causing some pretty wonderful reactions. One of those is the constriction of the peripheral arteries which sends blood directly to the core (gotta protect the important organs, the body decides). So body core temperature can be elevated, not decreased. While there, the blood picks up more nutrients, faster, than it normally would. The session stops and your body is reintroduced into room temperature environment, causing those constricted little blood passageways to dilate tremendously (this is why we see, sometimes, a temporary increase in blood pressure systolically). What happens next is the body’s amazing ability to heal itself. Systems check in the brain: what hurts, what’s not working, where is their inflammation, what needs repair? Check. Sending blood. This newly oxidized and nutrient packed blood is delivered where it’s needed most.

 

What to Expect

Planning your first cryotherapy treatment at Cryo Recovery

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Your Whole Body Cryotherapy Session


Houston Cryotherapy consultation at Cryo Recovery

Consultation

Technician will listen to your needs and select the best option for your recovery.  If Cryotherapy is selected the technician will ensure you are healthy enough to undergo treatment with no heart, respiratory or other health conditions that may put you at risk.

Houston whole body cryotherapy at Cryo Recovery

PREPARATION

Next, The client will begin ultimate privacy to change from cloths to underwear.  The client will then place a robe, wool socks and gloves to protect extremities from the extreme cold then enter the Cryosauna.  The Cryosauna door will be closed and then client will take off their robe and hand to the technician. 

Houston, TX Cryotherapy at Cryo Recovery

CRYOTHERAPY RECOVERY

After your session you can relax in one of our massage chairs up to 20 minutes using our NormaTec compression therapy. The Normatec compression can go on your hip, legs or arms and use compressed air to massage your limbs, mobilize fluid, and speed recovery with patented NormaTec Pulse Massage Pattern.  This complete recovery session will leave you filling relaxed and energized to take on your day!


Ready to give cryotherapy a try?