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Should I Try Cryotherapy in the New Year?

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Should I Try Cryotherapy in the New Year?

As the new year is already flying by, many may still find themselves contemplating health resolutions and setting goals for 2024.

In the field of wellness, cryotherapy has emerged as an intriguing option, combining ancient principles with modern applications. Let’s explore the multifaceted advantages of whole-body cryotherapy, and how the unusual treatment aligns with new habits for the new year.

What is Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy is essentially exposing the body to extreme cold. This practice of using cold applications for therapeutic purposes has been around since the 19th century. There are two common uses for it: freezing off abnormal tissue, and for whole-body pain. 

Cryotherapy is employed as a medical treatment to freeze off warts and other abnormal tissues. In this context, a more localized approach is taken compared to whole-body cryotherapy. Liquid nitrogen, an extremely cold substance, is typically applied directly to the targeted area using a specialized applicator, freezing the tissue. As the treated area thaws, the damaged tissue eventually comes off, allowing for the regrowth of healthy skin. 

Whole-body cryotherapy, however, involves the entire body entering a cryotherapy chamber, where temperatures plummet to negative 200-300 degrees Fahrenheit. This approach levels up traditional ice baths, harnessing the power of cold air for therapeutic effects. This may make it an appealing addition to your new year wellness tips.

Benefits of Whole Body Cryotherapy

  • Helps muscles recover after exercise - Cryotherapy is a valuable tool for muscle recovery post-exercise. 
      • Accelerates muscle recovery by reducing inflammation and expelling toxins.
      • Redirects blood flow, promoting oxygen and nutrient delivery to tissues.
  • Helps manage pain and inflammation - Considering how to prepare for the new year, in terms of pain management and overall well-being, cryotherapy offers a non-invasive solution. Athletes, arthritis sufferers, and individuals recovering from injuries may find this approach conducive to their resolutions, providing a reset for the new year by addressing chronic pain conditions and inflammation.
  • Improves sleep quality - This aligns with more realistic resolutions, as better sleep is a very tangible and achievable goal for the year ahead. 
      • Activates the parasympathetic nervous system, aiding in relaxation.
      • Studies suggest a positive impact on sleep patterns and quality.
  • Aids weight loss - Cryotherapy offers a unique avenue in the new year challenge to achieve their weight loss
  • Stimulates metabolism as the body works to warm itself up.
    • Increases calorie burn, contributing to weight loss efforts.

The Cryotherapy Experience

You’re likely wondering what it’s like to get cryotherapy treatment. It’s understandable if it sounds scary or dangerous - most people go to great lengths to avoid extreme low temperatures. It’s important to note that these sessions are conducted with strict safety measures and professional supervision in place. Always consult with a healthcare professional before trying cryotherapy, especially if you have underlying medical conditions. 

Before the session begins, you'll likely be provided with appropriate attire, typically consisting of gloves, socks, and specialized footwear to protect extremities from the extreme cold.

Clad in this protective gear, you enter the chamber as temperatures plummet to negative 200-300 degrees Fahrenheit. The initial shock of extreme cold is dry and short-lived, with the session lasting no more than 3.5 minutes. As your body adjusts to the cold, you may feel sensations like tingling or numbness, and the natural response involves peripheral vasoconstriction. Despite the intense cold, many report a release of endorphins, contributing to a sense of euphoria. Exiting the chamber, your body gradually warms up, potentially leaving you with a feeling of invigoration and reduced muscle soreness. 

Conclusion

As you explore new things to try this year, cryotherapy presents itself as a novel and holistic wellness practice. From ancient roots to modern applications, cryotherapy aligns with the spirit of new year new habits, providing diverse benefits. Whether addressing muscle recovery, pain management, improved sleep, or weight loss, cryotherapy can be a valuable addition to one's new year plan. Start the new year right with a whole body reset by incorporating innovative wellness practices like cryotherapy.