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Cryotherapy Might Be the Best Way to Recover from Joint Pain

The other day while eavesdropping on a training session at the gym, I heard a statuesque trainer tell his client he recently started cryotherapy to help with his recovery. Since I was between sets—checking all of my social media pages and taking selfies—I took the time to Google this procedure. My knees had been bugging me recently, and I was desperate for any kind of relief.

The images that filled my screen showed people with their heads sticking out of machines resembling tanning beds except standing up and surrounded by fog. I came across testimonials from pro athletes like LeBron James and rave reviews from people with sculpted bodies who probably have never tasted Taco Bell’s nacho fries.

It turns out that one of the hottest fitness trends is making your body think you’re dying. That's how cold it gets in those chambers. Allegedly it's good for you.

In a nutshell, cryotherapy is a procedure that involves standing upright in a cryochamber with temperatures ranging from -184 F to -256 F. The extreme cold stimulates the skin’s temperate receptors to activate the nervous, immune, and endocrine systems. Basically, all the participating systems in your fight or flight response activate like Captain Planet characters. Any pain or inflammation is reduced. Your mood ring turns from a filthy brown to a sunny orange. And all of that happens in less than 3 minutes.

Any longer and, well, you saw Titanic, right?

I needed to see if it was worth the hype, so I paid a visit to a center recommended by a friend—Kryo X—in midtown Manhattan. Apparently one of the Real Housewives went there, and it’s a block from my apartment, so why not.

After being greeted by a friendly technician, hearing about their pro hockey player clients, and getting all of my safety questions answered—it’s very safe unless you’re pregnant, have unmanaged hypertension, deep vein thrombosis, acute or recent myocardial infarction, uncontrolled seizures, fever, Raynaud’s syndrome, cold allergy, acute kidney and urinary tract diseases, open wounds or ulcers, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or are being treated for cancer—I began my first of three treatments.

I stripped down to my boxer briefs, wiped away any moisture on my body to avoid frostbite, and put on the tube socks, mittens, earmuffs, face mask, and Ugg-like boots the center provided. Then I stepped into the cryochamber. It was kind of like walking into a very bright walk-in freezer…initially. For my first go-round, the technician took it easy on me and set the temperature to -215 F. And for three minutes he made small talk with me to take my mind of my body shaking uncontrollably. You know when Andre 3000 chants, “What’s cooler than being cool? Ice cold!” He should really update that last line to “Doing cryotherapy!”

Source: Dawson, Lamar. “Cryotherapy Might Be the Best Way to Recover from Joint Pain.” GQ, GQ, 16 June 2018, www.gq.com/story/cryotherapy-is-great-for-joint-pain.

WHY CRYOTHERAPY IS GREAT FOR YOU IN THE WINTER MONTHS

3 Big Reasons Cryotherapy Is Good for You During Winter

Brrr…it’s getting pretty cold out there!

If you’re a cryotherapy user, you probably think that this time of year is a good one to put the brakes on your cryotherapy sessions, but the opposite is actually true: Cryotherapy throughout the winter months can actually be one of the most effective times of the year to make sure you’re keeping up with your sessions — or even get started with cryotherapy for the first time. 

From boosting your energy to helping you ward off the seasonal colds that are always prevalent during the winter, here are the top three reasons you should double down on your cryotherapy sessions from October to March. 

1. Cryotherapy can be a way to fight seasonal depression.

With the shorter, colder days right about now, it’s easy to fall into the clutches of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).  While some people are convinced that there is a connection between the darker days and the disorder, Dr. David Kerr, an associate professor of psychology at Oregan State University, says the research is inconclusive.

Instead, Kerr’s extensive research states that there is a link between our modern lifestyles evolving faster than our genetic makeup and suggests that the reason you feel tired all winter has to do with the fact that your body is genetically wired to save energy during these colder, darker months. For those of you who spend most of your days in the office, this is great news, because you don’t need sunshine to feel better. Instead, you need something that shocks your body into an energy-burning mode. 

One of the biggest fixes for shocking your body into Energizer bunny efficiency? Getting your endorphins going with an energy boost — which is one of the top reported reasons users do cryotherapy. Outside of potentially helping with inflammation relief, athletic recovery, and pain relief, a session in a cryosauna could also incredibly beneficial for boosting the generate of endorphins. And with more endorphins, you can kiss those winter blues away! 

2. Cold therapy can also help ward off winter colds.

The past few flu seasons have been particularly harsh, and this year is not shaping up to be any different. While it may seem counterintuitive to drop into a tank of freezing temperatures to improve your health — a cryosauna is nothing like rolling around in the snow or walking around outside without the proper clothes. 

As a beneficial addition to any healthy lifestyle, cryotherapy may actually help users stay on track with immune-boosting habits during flu season by helping fight chronic aches and lower overall stress. In addition to the reported feelings of energy, cryotherapy has also been reported to provide pain relief, which has a positive effect on the body’s stress levels. And when a body is more at ease, the body’s ability to fight off illness and disease increases. Sounds like a win-win situation, right? 

3. Worried about keeping up with your holiday wellness goals? Cryo can be an easy way to stay in control.

It’s hard to stay on track with your health goals in the winter — we get it. With Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas in swift succession one right after the other, it can be difficult to maintain a firm handle on your wellness goals. Add on top of that the endless parties and shopping lists that pile up around this time each year, and you’ve got a perfect storm for not keeping up with your healthy habits. 

Requiring less than five minutes per session, cryotherapy is one habit that is easy to keep track of. Just commit to three minutes a few times a week, and you can enjoy a range of benefits that promote natural healing and wellness across the board. 

Source: 3 Big Reasons Cryotherapy Is Good For You During The Winter, Retrieved from: https://impactcryo.com/reasons-cryotherapy-is-good-for-you-during-winter/