Cold therapy using ice baths and ice packs has been practiced by athletes for decades to soothe sore muscles and joints and treat injuries. In fact, icing is considered a first-line treatment for soft tissue injuries.
It should come as no surprise, then, that whole body cryotherapy (WBC) is gaining popularity among athletes, bodybuilders and dancers as an effective recovery therapy for tired sore muscles and aching joints.
First developed in Japan in the 1970s, WBC harnesses liquid nitrogen vapor as a cooling agent, superseding the cooling effect of traditional cold therapy. WBC gradually made its way from Japan to Europe, and in recent years the therapy has become available in the US as a mainstream treatment that can be accessed by anyone.
How Cryotherapy Differs From Icing
Ice packs and ice baths are effective traditional treatments for reducing inflammation and numbing pain. However, ice melts quickly, and soaking in an ice bath is an extremely uncomfortable experience that makes even the most seasoned athlete cringe.
Cryotherapy takes place in a cryosauna, an enclosed chamber that surrounds the athlete’s body, leaving the head and neck exposed. Once the chamber is closed, bursts of liquid nitrogen vapor are released into the chamber, dropping temperatures to as low and -270º F. The cold environment causes blood, fluids and cellular waste to be shunted away from your body’s surface and into your core, to warm and protect your vital organs from freezing. From there, toxins, excess fluids and waste products are sent to your lymph and kidneys to be eliminated from your body.
During WBC, your body goes into survival mode, and your red blood cells take on maximum loads of oxygen and nutrients. At the end of your session, as your body warms, enriched blood returns to your superficial tissues, bringing with it life-giving oxygen and nutrients to promote healing and generate new cell growth.
Unlike an ice bath which can last for up to 20 uncomfortable minutes, a WBC session lasts only three minutes, and discomfort is minimal. You will leave the chamber feeling refreshed and energized, with a pleasant buzz of endorphins to make you feel amazing.
Benefits of Cryotherapy for Exercise Recovery
Any athlete or bodybuilder knows that recovery is an important part of training that cannot be ignored if you want to perform at your peak. Training with sore tired muscles can lead to reduced performance and set you up for injury.
Cryotherapy promotes exercise recovery in several significant ways:
- Immediately numbs pain and reduces inflammation
- Accelerates removal of cellular waste from muscles
- Stimulates new cell generation and collagen production
- Reduces or eliminates delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
- Helps balance hormone levels
- Reduces joint inflammation and improves range of motion
With all the benefits of WBC, there is no wonder that cryosaunas are becoming standard equipment in training facilities for Olympians, NFL players, and other elite athletes.
WBC in NYC
Whether you are an athlete, bodybuilder, dancer or fitness enthusiast in New York, recovery from intense physical activity is nearby at Advanced Cryo NYC in historic SoHo. In addition to WBC, we offer localized cryotherapy to treat injuries, soothe achy joints and promote post-surgical healing. Visit Advanced Cryo NYC today, and put your overworked muscles on the road to recovery with WBC.