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.