If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we have to slow down and start thinking about what we’re doing to our bodies, whether that’s managing pain relief, taking a step back from everyday life and reducing stress or making sure we get enough sleep.
Along with this, the pandemic has no doubt had an impact on everyone’s physical and mental health, so, we’ve pulled together 5 ways whole-body cryotherapy can help post-lockdown.
In 2017, it was estimated that approximately 16 million adults in the UK suffer from insomnia or patterns of sleep disturbance. Now, it’s believed that number is even greater due to stress and anxiety associated with covid related worries. A survey conducted by the Mental Health Foundation concluded that almost 50% of adults within the UK feel that their lack of sleep is having a negative effect on their mental health and everyday life.
Whole-body cryotherapy can help in two ways:
- Whole-body cryotherapy can increase the dopamine levels in the body, resulting in an increase in the depth, duration, and quality of sleep. This can have only positive effects on the body’s recovery and an individual’s psychological well being and can be particularly effective in times of overstimulation or high anxiety.
- Whole-body cryotherapy can also help to reduce the actual causes of sleep-related issues. See below for more information.
Many current reports state that we’re on the cusp of a mental health crisis. Cryotherapy has long been used in many countries to help treat anxiety and depression. – Poland, Australia and the USA to name a few. Whole-body cryotherapy releases a flood of endorphins into the body promoting a long-standing state of relaxation. A 2008 study found that participants reported reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression by as much as 50% after undergoing whole body cryotherapy. In using cryotherapy to help manage mental health issues sufferers can be, simultaneously, addressing issues of sleep deprivation whilst also helping to keep the immune system in optimum condition.
The Immune System
Whole-body cryotherapy can help to give the immune system a vital boost. Studies have demonstrated that one of the ways in which cryotherapy impacts on the immune system is by increasing the white blood cell count, boosting the body’s ability to fight off infection. The extreme cold also promotes the elevation of cytokines which help to heal damaged cells whilst, additionally, the release of large doses of endorphins reduces cortisol levels, thereby strengthening the immune system. Helping individuals to feel healthier and fight off illness in these times is, clearly, more important than ever and whole body cryotherapy definitely has a role to play.
Sadly, due to the pandemic, access to traditional medical treatments is less accessible and, yet, possibly, needed more than ever. In response, there’s been an increase in research into alternative methods of treating health problems where pain is a symptom.
Cryotherapy delivers much-needed pain relief to patients by decreasing inflammation, improving antioxidants, and increasing beta-endorphins. The cold is a natural pain suppressant and many patients have taken part in published studies that highlight the benefits of a series of whole-body cryotherapy treatments. Patients report a positive and significant impact on the reduction of the sensation of pain, with the additional benefit of an increase in function and range of movement in areas that had previously been painful.
Working out from home without the proper training equipment, trainer or recovery methods has resulted in many suffering physical injuries. Introducing whole body cryotherapy as a recovery method can help with the aftermath of this by reducing inflammation and reducing the muscular damage caused by stressing the muscle fibres.
Cryotherapy is widely used in athletics and training to help to relieve and remedy the intense pain and effects of an injury and the overexertion of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The anti-inflammatory, restorative and rehabilitative effects of cryotherapy have been shown to have highly positive effects as a recovery method.
Continuing cryotherapy as an active and post-recovery method can also help individuals to continue to meet their fitness goals and stay in peak condition.
To find out more about the effects of cryotherapy check out the pages on our website here