Recovery is an important piece of Optimizing one's health. Whether cold, heat or compression therapies, our specialists will educate and guide you on why these modalities can help you enhance athletic performance, recover after a workout or stay mentally and physically on your "A" game.
What is Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC)?
Originally invented in Japan in 1978 by Dr. Yamauchi for treating inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis, Cryotherapy has been used for years by European healthcare facilities because of its effects on immune, endocrine and musculoskeletal systems. Today, whole body Cryotherapy is internationally recognized as an important restorative treatment for the body and mind.
How often should I do cryotherapy?
Everyone's response to Cryotherapy is different, so it depends on how your body reacts. This is where our integrated approach makes a difference. Our healthcare professionals will help you determine optimal frequency given your body’s need. Just as a doctor will tell you it can take 6-8 weeks to recover from an injury or surgery, it depends on how your body responds. If you’re doing Cryotherapy because you have pain in certain areas it may take 4-6 sessions to see signs of change, while others can experience relief after a single session. If your goal is overall health & wellness, you may find that a regular routine works best for you. As with any new regime, consistency is key and better results will be achieved with regular use.
Why should I do Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy has a host of benefits. If you are either i) suffering from an injury or recovering from a surgical procedure ii) an athlete looking to enhance performance and alleviate sore muscles or iii) looking for ways to improve your general health & wellness through improved sleep, reduced stress and increased metabolism, Cryotherapy could be beneficial for you.
How does Cryotherapy work?
Cryotherapy is a quick, noninvasive process that exposes your body, or parts of your body, to extreme cold of up to -260°F through the use of liquid nitrogen. CryoChambers are used for whole body Cryotherapy and are aimed at reducing your overall skin temperature to between 40°F and 50°F, while maintaining a healthy core temperature. This sudden drop in temperature signals the brain to go into "fight or flight" mode sending blood flow from your extremities back to your vital organs which may be why you feel a pins and needles sensation in your extremities. When you exit the chamber again and begin warming up, your blood is pumped vigorously back around the body, creating a flushing effect. This overall enhanced circulation accelerates the body’s natural healing process by increasing the oxygen and nutrient supply into the bloodstream, thereby helping to reduce inflammation, relieve pain and alleviate sore muscles. Cryotherapy can also trigger the autonomic nervous system to release the hormones norepinephrine and endorphins. These hormones can have an effect on your body to improve mood, arousal, improve sleep, balance stress loads on the body, and improve metabolism.
What is the difference between Icing and Local Cryotherapy?
Ice packs are a form of local cryotherapy. However, nitrogen-based Cryotherapy units allow you to more effectively cover the entire service area around an injury, reaching areas that typically are not easily accessible. For example, in a shoulder injury, local Cryotherapy would allow you to treat the entire joint area. Cryotherapy also allows you to better control the temperature during the entire icing period.
Should I do cryotherapy before or after a work out?
Well that depends on a few things. First, what is the goal of using whole body cryotherapy? Recent studies show that if you are performing a strength training session with the goal of increasing muscle hypertrophy it is best not to use WBC for at least one hour following your strength workout. The first hour following an intense strength workout the body typically produces its own anti-inflammatory response and using WBC actually may inhibit that response. If WBC is to be used after a strenuous strength workout, it should be more than an hour after the strength workout once your body has gone through its normal process. An exception to this rule would apply to endurance athletes or athletes who are training daily with heavy loads or intensities to a level where the body’s normal anti-inflammatory reaction can’t keep up. This is when WBC can be beneficial to supplementing the body’s natural anti-inflammatory process and help in the repair/recovery process. Secondly, if cryotherapy is being used as a supplemental treatment to a physical therapy or training session to enhance blood flow to the muscle or joint, it is recommended that WBC be used before the exercise session. Lastly, one must remember that people can perspire up to 10-15 minutes after a workout is done. Any level of perspiration puts you at risk for a skin irritation or cold burn due to cooling of wet skin. Therefore, we recommend that if WBC is to be used following a workout that one showers and waits until they have stopped perspiring.
Can anyone do cryotherapy?
Most people can tolerate and enjoy the benefits of cryotherapy. However, you should NOT use whole body cryotherapy if you have any of the following conditions: pregnancy, hypothyroidism, narrowing of valves, crescent-shaped aorta and mitral valve, chronic disease of the respiratory system, severe hypertension (blood pressure >180/100 mm/Hg), acute or recent myocardial infarction (heart attack- need to be cleared for exercise), unstable angina pectoris, arrhythmia, symptomatic cardiovascular disease, cardiac pacemaker, acute or recent cerebrovascular disease (stroke- must be cleared for exercise), peripheral arterial occlusive disease, uncontrolled seizures, fever, symptomatic lung disorders, asthma, venous thrombosis, bleeding disorders, severe anemia, infection, claustrophobia, Raynaud’s Syndrome or intolerance to cold, age less than 18 years (parental consent to session needed), acute kidney and urinary tract diseases or incontinence.
What happens during a session?
1. Check-in: As a first-time client, you are asked to provide us with your medical history and sign a waiver. 2. Change into Wrap / Robe: You may leave your undergarments on (no jewelry or metal ie. Underwire bra). Socks / Slippers / Gloves are to be worn and provided at the time of the session. 3. Get into Cryochamber: Once you’re in the Cryochamber, you’ll remove your robe / wrap and the session will begin. Your head will remain outside of the chamber. 4. During the session: You’ll stand in our Cryochamber for up to 3 minutes while the body is enveloped by hyper-cooled air at temperatures up to -260°F. During that time you’ll be in complete contact with your cryotech who will guide you through the session. 5. After the session: You will put your robe/wrap on prior to exiting the cryochamber. You will then exit the Cryochamber. Your body will then gradually warmup. Occasionally, an active warm up on the bike or elliptical may be appropriate.