WHAT IS WHOLE BODY CRYOTHERAPY?
Whole Body Cryotherapy is the exposure of a person’s skin to temperatures of -130°C to -170°C(-238° F to -274°F) for a short period of time (1:30 to 3:00 minutes for therapeutic effectiveness). At these extreme temperatures, the body activates several adaptive mechanisms with the following potential effects on the:
The outer skin is briefly ‘frozen’, activating increased production of collagen in deeper layers of the skin (similar to laser treatments of the face, where very high temperatures are used). The skin regains elasticity becoming smooth and even-toned, improving conditions such as cellulite and skin aging. Hence, the popularity of cryotherapy facials. The anti-inflammatory properties of cryotherapy are also used to treat chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis and dermatitis.
– Endocrine System
Exposure to extreme cold causes the body to increase its metabolic rate in order to produce heat. This effect lasts for 5-8 hours post-cryotherapy, causing the body to ‘burn’ 500-800 Kcal over the hours following treatment. If whole body cryotherapy iscontinued, the increase in metabolic rate tends to last longer between treatments. Another ‘survival reaction’ to the extreme temperature is the release of endorphins (hormones) that have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Cryotherapy has been studied for the successful treatment of medication resistant depressive disorders.
Patients furthermore experience a noticeable increase in libido, lending to the use of cryotherapy for ED and other sexual disorders.
– Musculoskeletal System
The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of cryotherapy may improve joint pain related to rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Athletes are using whole body cryotherapy pre-activity for improved athletic performance and post-activity for muscle/injury recovery.
– Immune System
Cryotherapy may boost immunity and decreases stress levels.
HOW DOES WHOLE BODY CRYOTHERAPY WORK?
The cryosauna uses cryogenic nitrogen vapor to lower skin surface temperature by 30-50 degrees in under 3 minutes. The skin reacts to the cold and sends messages to the brain. This acts as a stimulant to the regulatory functions of the body.
IS WHOLE BODY CRYOTHERAPY SAFE?
Yes! Nitrogen is a non-toxic natural gas. The nitrogen we use to cool the cryosauna is the same nitrogen in the air we breathe (78%). In the cryosauna, patients breathe room-air. Problems only arise if a patient steps into the cryosauna with wet skin or clothing. At Ottawa Cryotherapy, we provide dry socks, slippers, gloves and robes. Men must wear dry work-out shorts or underwear and women, dry sports bra and shorts, bathing suit, or nothing at all (women only).
HOW DO I FEEL AFTER WHOLE BODY CRYOTHERAPY?
During each session the body releases endorphins ie. hormones that make you feel good and energetic. The therapeutic effects from each session will last at least 6-8 hours, but like many therapies, continuity of care will yield a more lasting result. We recommend a month of consistent cryosauna sessions and then maintenance as needed. Consistent use of the cryosauna can prolong the benefits for extended periods of time. Patients commonly experience immediate pain relief.
DO I EXERCISE BEFORE OR AFTER WHOLE BODY CRYOTHERAPY?
Yes! It is safe either way. If you exercise before the cryosauna, you will experience faster recovery and reduced inflammation. If you exercise after the cryosauna, you will experience a higher pain tolerance.
IS WHOLE BODY CRYOTHERAPY THE SAME AS AN ICE BATH?
No! Whole body cryotherapy is an advanced form of ice therapy but not the same. Ice baths can last up to 20 minutes, are painful and damaging to the skin. In the cryosauna, the skin is never penetrated, yet the body responds on a deeper level. Whole body cryotherapy is short in duration, less than 3 minutes, and results in faster recovery hence better performance.
WILL I BE ABLE TO STAND THE COLD?
There is no actual freezing, only the feeling of being cold. Whole body cryotherapy is simply very cold air flowing over the surface of the skin. The air is completely dry and safe with the protective gloves, socks and slippers we provide.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN VISITING OTTAWA CRYOTHERAPY?
You will be pleased! Our facility will be inviting and relaxing! After being greeted, a physical readiness questionnaire needs to be completed prior to your cryotherapy session. You will then be given socks, slippers and gloves, and shown to a changing room. Once your protective clothing is on, you will be escorted to the cryosauna. Conversation makes the 3 minute treatment duration unnoticeable, thereafter step outside the cryosauna and feel the endorphin rush! *Cryotherapy treatments are supervised at all times Cryotherapy may be covered as a therapeutic modality under some insurance plans. You can see our in-house chiropractor Dr. Ryan Benedict to be assessed.