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The term cryotherapy derived from the Greek words ‘kryos’, meaning ‘icy cold’, and ‘therapeía’, meaning ‘healing’. The term was first used in the early twentieth century to denote any medical therapy that involves exposing all or part of the body to low temperatures. Cryotherapy encompasses a wide range of treatments, but the use of freezing temperatures is the common thread that is used in all of them. Cryotherapy can be applied to the entire body as well as topically such as cryofacials.
Whole body cryotherapy, which involves exposing the body to air cooled to below -100°C for a brief length of time in a dedicated chamber or cabin, has lately become popular as an anti-aging method and for inducing natural healing processes. Cryotherapy works by delivering a brief temperature shock that lasts between two and five minutes. Physiologically, the process causes the human brain to assume that it is in a fight-or-flight situation. As a result, the metabolism become boosted as it works harder to regulate body temperature, and circulation improves, delivering oxygen-rich blood throughout the body, along with enzymes and hormones. The body recovers to its normal temperature within minutes following cryotherapy, and many patients report reduced musculoskeletal pain symptoms nearly immediately upon recovery. Many people also experience a sense of energization, which becomes cumulative and long-lasting after consecutive sessions. As the body temperature drops, one can notice a combination of higher metabolism and greater caloric burn. This metabolic boost can last 3 to 5 days, and with only a few sessions, it might become permanent.
Whole-body cryotherapy has been claimed to be useful in the treatment of conditions such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis. Proponents of cryotherapy believe it has applications far beyond musculoskeletal recovery and rehabilitation. Cryotherapy is performed in a cryotherapy chamber that is thermally insulated and chilled by a both an electric cooling system and liquid nitrogen. In an antechamber participants can change and prepare for treatment. Studies have shown that cryotherapy helps the body relax and thus improves sleep, and that it can be effective in the short-term treatment of both anxiety and depression.
Cryotherapy facials using a cryotherapy wand are becoming increasingly popular. Cryofacials, according to proponents, may narrow pores, freeze off dead skin cells, renew skin through collagen production, and decrease redness. The skin is flooded with healthy new blood cells after a cryotherapy treatment, which may provide oxygen and nutrients for a full and healthy glow. Cryotherapy helps to renew the skin by boosting collagen formation that results in a healthier, smoother skin tone, which helps your skin glow and appear younger. Without surgery, this therapy will help minimize cellulite and tighten any slack skin. Hair and fingernails have also been shown to grow faster with cryotherapy. Localized cryotherapy has also been shown to be useful in treating alopecia and avoiding undesired hair loss caused by chemotherapy. One study discovered that localized cryotherapy helped chronic migraine sufferers alleviate their headaches.
Cryo Face Rollers and similar devices can be used for effective topical cryotherapy for the face, eyes, neck as well as for muscle relaxation. It has been shown to be effective for reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
Cryotherapy treatments are quick and need no recovery time. Fit and healthy people may also use cryotherapy as an anti-aging strategy, to recover more quickly after workouts and rejuvenate the entire body.
Cold therapy ice machines and ice gel packs can be used to provide cryotherapy on larger areas, such as muscles, to speed up post-workout recovery as well as anti-aging.
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