Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Cryotherapy?
The word “Cryotherapy” stems from the Greek words “Cryo” or cold, and “Therapy” or cure. Modern Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) began in Japan in 1978 by Dr Yamaguchi. He used short duration freezing treatments of the skins surface to treat pain in his rheumatoid arthritis patients. He discovered that rapidly decreasing the temperature of the outer layer of skin led to an immediate of release of endorphins.
These endorphins significantly reduced the patient’s sensitivity to pain. Upon further study, he and his associates concluded that this rapid short term freezing of the skins surface to lower than 32 degrees F is more beneficial to the whole body than the gradual cooling of an ice bath where the lowest possible temperature is 41 degrees F; and since the cooling process affects no more than 5% of the body (i.e. the parts that safely endure the variations of temperature), the treatment is comfortably endured.
How Does Cryotherapy Work?
The Whole Body Cryotherapy experience involves lowering the body's surface temperature from approximately 90.5 degrees F to lower than 32 degrees F for a period of 2-3 minutes. This is achieved by the use of a Nitrogen gas that gently surrounds the body in temperatures between -256 to -310 degrees F.
During this process, thermo-receptors in the skin send signals to the brain to release endorphins and beneficial biochemicals. The body is tricked into producing a fight or flight response, sending the blood to the core to maintain core body temperature for survival; and in the process, supercharging the blood with anti-inflammatory proteins, muscular enzymes and higher levels of oxygen. The vessels and capillaries undergo a period of severe vasoconstriction followed by severe vasodilation. This causes toxins in the body to be broken down and carried away through these vessels.
The body activates all of its natural healing abilities and releases endorphins for further protection. As a result, Whole Body Cryotherapy is very effective for athletic recovery and muscle repair, reduction of chronic pain and inflammation, and skin health improvement through increased collagen production.
Are There Any Conditions That Prevent Me From Using Whole Body Cryotherapy?
The following conditions are contraindications to using Whole Body Cryotherapy:
What Do I Wear for Treatment?
To get the most benefit out of your Whole Body Cryotherapy treatment, it is crucial that you obtain maximum skin exposure. Therefore, we recommend guys get down to only their briefs; females may do the same, or wear a 2 piece swimsuit. In addition, we require that you wear a pair of provided wool socks and neoprene slippers. This is to ensure that the feet are protected and stay dry.
Staff members will instruct you on what to do, you will be provided a robe and the technician will leave the room while you change. Once you are down to the required dress and secured in your robe, the technician will re-enter the room to complete your treatment.
Isn’t it Dangerous to Breath in Nitrogen?
No, Nitrogen is a non-toxic gas. In fact, Nitrogen accounts for more than 78% of the air we breathe. However, like any other gas, excessive inhalation causes hypoxia, or lack of oxygen to the brain, which can cause dizziness or fainting. Therefore, our Cryotherapy Chamber has an oxygen meter present allowing the technician to constantly monitor the levels to ensure safety. If in the extremely rare instance you become lightheaded or dizzy, let the technician know and he/she will immediately stop the treatment. After about 10 seconds of deep breaths, your brain will receive the oxygen it needs and you will be back to normal with absolutely no harm done!
Is the Treatment Uncomfortable?
At upwards of -280 F, many would think it would hurt or be uncomfortable. Surprisingly, the vast majority of individuals are surprised to feel how tolerable Whole Body Cryotherapy is, given such extreme temperatures. Unlike ice baths, Whole Body Cryotherapy is a 'dry' treatment that only affects the outermost layer of skin, without penetrating deeper tissues. Core temperature is maintained during exposure.
What do I have to do after treatment?
We highly recommend that once your treatment is complete, that you STRETCH! Take 3-5 minutes and really focus on opening up your joints to allow the fresh, oxygenated blood to circulate more freely and eliminate any toxins or inflammation that may still be lingering! Aside from this, there are no precautionary recommendations, post session. Cryotherapy is a very energy costly treatment; caloric expenditure, as measured by indirect calorimetry, is markedly increased due to heat production. With this, active individuals (especially athletes) may require additional calories to replenish fuel stores.