Lifestyle

What are the benefits of cryotherapy?

by Nyaeb • 17 May 2018

Sitting in a cold tank might seem an odd path to health. But the trend, which goes by the name of cryotherapy, is becoming increasingly popular.

People, including self-described "Iceman" Wim Hof, claim that extreme cold can improve mental and physical health and even prolong life. So what does the science say?

Research on cryotherapy is as new as is the trend for the treatment. So doctors do not fully understand all the potential benefits and risks of the process.

In this article, we look at some of the possible benefits to be had from cryotherapy healing, as well as other facts a person may need to know before they consider it.

                                   Photo: 111harleystreet

Fast facts on cryotherapy:

Cryotherapy is any treatment that involves the use of freezing or near-freezing temperatures.

Because cryotherapy is new, some potential benefits are not yet proven.

Cryotherapy might be a safe alternative treatment and preventative for many ailments.

Cryotherapy can be unpleasant, particularly for people who are unaccustomed to the cold.

Safety and what to expect

The most popular form of cryotherapy involves sitting in a cryotherapy booth for 3–5 minutes.

Some people undergo cryotherapy facials, which apply cold to the face only. Others use a cryotherapy wand to target specific areas, such as a painful joint.

Most people use the term cryotherapy to refer to whole-body cryotherapy.

This is non-medical treatment in a spa or similar setting.

Doctors, however, also use cryotherapy. For instance, freezing temperatures can be used to freeze off warts or cancerous cells.

Though unpleasant to begin with, cryotherapy tends to get better with each treatment, as the body adjusts to the low temperature.

It is generally safe, but it is essential to talk to a doctor before trying cryotherapy.

Pregnant women, children, people with severe high blood pressure, and people with heart conditions should not try cryotherapy.

By Zawn Villines

   



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