When you think of improving your health, the image of sitting in a cold tank isn’t exactly what comes to mind, doesn’t it? Cryotherapy is a new healthcare trend that is becoming increasingly popular nowadays. People claim that exposure to extreme cold temperatures can have a positive impact on one’s mental and physical well-being and even extend their lifespan. So, what exactly is cryotherapy and what can you expect from cryotherapy in California?
Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, is the use of extreme cold temperatures for medical therapy. However, there isn’t a lot of research on this treatment as it is a fairly new trend. Thus, doctors do not yet have an idea of what the potential risks and benefits this treatment presents.
In this article, we will be discussing some of the potential benefits one can get from cryotherapy in California, as well as other important information you need to know if you’re considering it.
- It’s a treatment that uses freezing or near-freezing temperatures
- Because it’s a fairly new treatment, doctors have yet to discover and prove potential benefits.
- It can be a safe alternative and preventive treatment for certain illnesses.
- this kind of treatment can be uncomfortable, especially for people who are not used to cold temperatures.
Types of Cryotherapy Treatments You Can Get
Cryotherapy treatments come in many different forms, the most popular of which involves sitting in a cryotherapy booth for a maximum of 5 minutes. Anything beyond 5 minutes is unsafe and can be fatal.
There are also cryotherapy facial treatments, wherein cold temperature is applied to the face only. There are also cryotherapy wands that target specific areas, such as painful joints.
When people hear the word cryotherapy, they usually think of whole-body cryotherapy. This is a non-medical treatment that is offered in spas or medical spas.
But doctors use cryotherapy as well. For example, cryotherapy can be used to freeze off cancerous cells or warts.
Although cryotherapy treatments are usually unpleasant to begin with, they eventually get better with each session, because the body is able to adjust to the low temperature.
This is a generally safe treatment procedure, but if you’re considering it, consult with your doctor first. Anyone except for pregnant women, children, those with high blood pressure and heart conditions, is welcome to try cryotherapy treatments.
Patients are advised against falling asleep during cryotherapy treatments. They should time each session to make sure they do not go beyond five minutes—the recommended time frame.
Benefits of Cryotherapy in California
Although there isn’t a lot of research confirming the purported benefits of cryotherapy, preliminary studies have suggested that it may offer the following benefits:
Muscle Pain Relief and Healing
Cryotherapy can help relieve muscle and joint pain, and even muscle disorders such as arthritis. It also helps heal athletic injuries faster.
The same way that doctors recommend using ice packs on sore or injured muscles, cryotherapy does the same as well. It increases blood circulation and promotes healing and pain relief.
According to a study published in 2000, cryotherapy provided temporary pain relief for rheumatoid arthritis. The research also discovered that cryotherapy using ice packs can reduce the dangerous effects of intense workouts. Those who have tried cryotherapy reported less pain.
Helps with Weight Loss
Cryotherapy alone is not enough to trigger weight loss, but it could help you get there. This is based upon the theory that when the body is forced in cold temperatures, it works harder to stay warm, thus burning calories as a result.
Some people claim that exposure to cryotherapy even for a few minutes can increase one’s metabolism all day. They even claim that people don’t feel cold anymore because their metabolism has adapted and increased after frequent exposure to cold temperatures.
However, a 2016 study refuted this claim, saying they found no significant changes in body composition even after 10 cryotherapy sessions.
Helps Reduce Inflammation
One of the ways our body and immune system fights off infection is by inflammation. In some cases, our immune system gets overly reactive, resulting to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is often linked to health problems such as arthritis, cancer, depression, dementia, and diabetes.
Cryotherapy can reduce inflammation, which in turn could improve one’s overall health and protect them from several chronic ailments.
Cryotherapy not only reduces inflammation, but also reduces the risk of developing dementia.
A 2012 study suggested the possibility of cryotherapy reducing inflammation and oxidative stress linked to age-related forms of cognitive issues such as dementia and cognitive impairment.
Cancer Treatment and Prevention
Since whole-body cryotherapy reduces inflammation, it also has the potential to lower the risk of developing cancer.
There is currently no study proving that cryotherapy can treat cancer once the disease has developed. But medical cryotherapy is already a recognized and well-established form of treatment for some types of cancers.
Doctors can use cryotherapy to freeze cancer cells off the skin or cervix, and sometimes to remove other types of cancers.
Helps Reduce Anxiety and Depression
Research on how cryotherapy can reduce inflammation also suggests that it can be used for treating mental health conditions related to inflammation, such as depression and anxiety.
A study in 2008 found that one third of people suffering from depression or anxiety reported reduced symptoms by at least 50% after going through cryotherapy treatment.
Improves Symptoms of Eczema
Chronic inflammatory skin conditions like eczema can leave itchy patches of dry skin in your body. A small study in 2008 where in patients with eczema were told to stop using eczema medications and undergo cryotherapy. Most of the participants reported improvements in their eczema symptoms, although others complained of frostbite on some parts of their skin.
Treatment of Migraine and Headaches
Targeted cryotherapy that focus mostly on the neck can help prevent migraine and headaches. In a 2013 study, researchers had participants suffering from migraines undergo targeted cryotherapy. The treatment successfully reduced the pain but did not completely eliminate it.
Based on what we have discussed so far, cryotherapy in California may help patients with a number of health concerns ranging from reversing aging to weight loss, to chronic disease prevention.
However, until further research backs up these claims, we cannot accurately determine how cryotherapy can be effective as a treatment option.
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