Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Top 4 Benefits of Cryotherapy 54/84


My first cryotherpay session was actually years ago in Indianapolis, Indiana at Cryotherapy Indy with my friend Skyler. I was a pretty competitive CrossFit athlete at the time and was working hard towards my goal of snatching 300 pounds. We had used it that day as a means of recovery to get a good satch session in later. When we were done I felt great, the swelling in my hip had gone completely and my legs felt fresher than they had in a long time. Although I didn't hit my snatch goal that day, it did open my eyes to the benefits Cryo can provide.

I just did my second session ever a couple hours ago at Fox Valley Cryotherapy in Appleton, Wisconsin which is conveniently located almost literally right next door to Xperience Fitness where I work. For the past few months I have been dealing with a string of small but annoying volleyball related injuries from my knee, to my shoulder, to my back, my foot, and recently my hamstring. It seems like as soon  as one gets better something new just shows up. I've been going over different recovery options in my head and Cryo seems to be one that I always forget about. I decided to give it a consistent try and see how my body fares after a few go's. I'll get back to you guys with the results in a couple of weeks.

Cryoherapy is basically the process of getting in a chamber (called a Cryosauna) and using liquid nitrogen to cool the body's skin temperature down to 30 to 50 degrees F while cooling the chamber down to -100 to -274 degrees F. Basically it makes the chamber really damn cold and you get cold because of it. I know those temperatures sound extreme but I've found it to be much, much more enjoyable than an icebath, which is did often through high school and college. Although and ice bath temperature is much lower, it feels 100x colder than Cryo does.

This whole thing sounds totally crazy right? There has to be some pretty gnarly benefits to subject yourself to it on the regular. Well it turns out there are, and it can be some pretty good stuff. Here are some potential benefits that my readers can relate to.

- Decreased inflammation and healing time

Because Cryo is so cold, your bodies thermorecpetors freak and and start shuttling all of your blood to your internal organs to keep them warm. This removes any blood or fluid that has been building up  in muscles or joints (inflammation). Once there, the blood cells get loaded up with oxygen and nutrients that your body loves. When you start to warm back up, your body reopens your blood vessels and allows that new blood to come in, bringing the oxygen and nutrients with it. This will decrease the amount of time it can take to recover from injury and your joints can feel a ton better.

- Temporary metabolism increase

In my college anatomy class, we learned that shivering actually burns more calories per minute than any other activity, which makes a lot of sense here. When you do Cryo your skin and core temperature get super low. This means that your body is going to need to use a bunch of energy to heat itself back up over a decently long period of time. This has been reported to results in the burning of around 500-800 calories per session with an even longer after burn to reheat.

NOTE: Please don't be dumb and rely on cryotherpay to lose fat. Although it can have a small effect, there are still no shortcuts and you have to put the work in.

Decreased chronic pain

Cryo has been shown to have benefits for people with chronic pain and fibromyalgia for up to a few hours per treatment. This could lead to a longer benefit over long term use but there has been no research to support this yet. This is a result of the same reasons from point 1.

Like I said, I'll get back to you guys in  a few weeks once a get more sessions under my belt but I have high hopes for how this is going to help. I would definitely recommend this to you guys assuming you're not on the relatively long list of contraindications which you should check out first.


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