The basic principle of cold therapy or cryotherapy is simple and well known. Applying a cold compress or cold gel to control swelling and soothe aching muscles is something most people have done. In the Nordics many swear by the revitalizing effect of ice swimming.
Modern whole-body cryotherapy and localized cryotherapy also expose our skin and the underlying tissue cold temperatures, but the temperatures used are extremely low and the real target is at the cellular level. Our bodies’ physiological and hormonal reactions to this stimulus are at the core of the restorative, rejuvenating and relaxing effects of cryotherapy.
When used in a
cryotherapy is an easy and painless way to push the body to activate its own healing processes.
Dr. Timo Kylmälä, Phd. Adjunct Professor and Medical Director of the CTN Group, explains why whole body cryotherapy in a CTN CryoºCabin with innovative Vortex™ technology is both effective and comfortable.
“The Vortex system has been designed to provide optimal therapeutic effect with minimal discomfort. Moving (rotating) gas inside the Vortex™ cryo cabin makes more unheated air available to conduct heat away from the skin’s surface. The more even the distribution of the super cooled gas mixture is, the less discomfort we experience.
The efficiency of the treatment is dependent on the exposure to extreme cold temperatures at cellular level. The larger number of cells exposed to low temperatures the better. More receptors exposed means more “SOS” signals to our brain, signalling our body to produce the maximum output of life supporting enzymes and hormones.”
Read the full article here.
Acta universitatis ouluensis, D medica 1006 (2009)
The general aim of this thesis was to study the thermal, circulatory, and neuromuscular responses of WBC (−110 °C), primarily to ensure the safety of WBC during short- or long-term use. The study subjects were all healthy and not under medication. It is important to note that cryotherapy is not suitable for persons with cold-sensitive diseases e.g. cardiovascular diseases, Reynayd’s phenomenon or cold induced urticaria, as the cold may exacerbate or complicate their symptoms.
Journal of thermal biology, Elsevier (2014)
Borut Fonda, Massimo De Nardi, Nejc Sarabon
Recommended exposure for cryo-chamber is 150 s, but no empirically based recommendations are available for a cryo-cabin. The aim of this study was to examine thermal and cardio-vascular responses after 90, 120, 150 and 180 s of WBC in a cryo-cabin. The hypothesis was that skin temperature would be significantly lower after longer exposures. Twelve male participants (age 23.9 ± 4.2 years) completed four WBC of different durations (90, 120, 150 and 180 s) in a cryo-cabin. Thermal response, heart rate and blood pressure were measured prior, immediately after, 5 min after and 30 min after the session.
Christophe Hausswirth, Julien Louis, François Bieuzen, Hervé Pournot, Jean Fournier, Jean-Robert Filliard, Jeanick Brisswalter
PLoS ONE 6(12): e27749 (2011)
Enhanced recovery following physical activity and exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) has become a priority for athletes. Consequently, a number of post-exercise recovery strategies are used, often without scientific evidence of their benefits. Within this framework, the purpose of this study was to test the efficacy of whole body cryotherapy (WBC), far infrared (FIR) or passive (PAS) modalities in hastening muscular recovery within the 48 hours after a simulated trail running race. In 3 non-adjoining weeks, 9 well-trained runners performed 3 repetitions of a simulated trail run on a motorized treadmill, designed to induce muscle damage. Immediately (post), post 24 h, and post 48 h after exercise, all participants tested three different recovery modalities (WBC, FIR, PAS) in a random order over the three separate weeks. Markers of muscle damage (maximal isometric muscle strength, plasma creatine kinase [CK] activity and perceived sensations [i.e. pain, tiredness, well-being]) were recorded before, immediately after (post), post 1 h, post 24 h, and post 48 h after exercise.