The term cryotherapy refers to any therapy that utilizes cold (cryo). However, at Optimize U, we use true whole-body cryotherapy, in which the client steps into a freezing cold Cryo Sauna which lowers the skin’s surface temperature rapidly enough to stimulate regulatory functions of the body, similar to an ice bath but much more comfortable.
Not only has this type of cryotherapy been around for several decades, but other types of cryotherapy, such as ice baths, are some of the longest standing types of recovery modalities in the world.
Modern cryotherapy as we know it today was first used in Japan in 1978 during a study on rheumatoid arthritis. Since that time the technology has been further developed in Europe and the United States. Cryotherapy first gained its popularity with football players throughout Europe, followed by non-athletes, then came to America and became popular with our athletes (most NBA & NFL teams now have their own Cryo Saunas in-house). As we follow in the same footsteps as Europe, more and more people begin to discover the wonderful benefits of this treatment.
During cryotherapy, you will step into our Cryo Sauna, which maintains a temperature of between -120F to -190F, which will cause the skin temperature (not the core temperature) to drop rapidly.
This rapid vascular constriction sends all of the blood in your peripheral arteries to your core & vital organs. Your session will last between 3 to 5 minutes (although if you become uncomfortable at any time you can simply push the door open). Once your session is finished and your body begins to regain its normal temperature, your blood vessels will dilate (known as vasodilation) and pull oxygen-enriched blood into your muscles, joints, and areas that may not otherwise receive good circulation. This hormetic response also triggers the release of several chemicals that do a host of other great things for the human body.
Check out the amazing Dr. Rhonda Patrick and the research she has done on cryotherapy. Click here
The following conditions are contraindications to whole-body cryotherapy:
As with any therapy, please consult your physician prior to undergoing treatment.
Hate the cold? No need to psyche yourself up.
The most common response we get from first timers is: “Oh. That’s it?”. Although the cold air inside the Cryo Sauna can reach temperatures as low as -190F degrees, this air can only penetrate the skin about 1/2 mm deep. This means that while your skin feels cold, your core temperature is not dropping, but instead is actually rising to try to keep your vital organs warm, pulling blood from your peripheral arteries. But everyone tolerates cold differently, so your experience will be unique to you! Your technician will guide you through your session and you can stop at any point that you feel uncomfortable. Remember, unlike most cold-exposure therapies, cryotherapy is typically only 180-360 seconds. Most clients find that by the time they have listened to their favorite song they are finished!
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