Cryo means extreme cold while therapy means a treatment aimed at relieving or healing a disorder. Therefore, Cryotherapy involves exposing the body to low temperatures averaging -222F for at least three minutes to facilitate faster recovery and healing after a workout.
Exposing the body to extreme temperatures causes the skin sensors to signal the brain to send more blood the body’s core. Toxins are eliminated as the blood rushes through to the core. Blood is also enriched with more oxygen and nutrients in the process. After leaving the cryotherapy chamber, blood is forced to rush back through the body which accelerates the recovery process.
Three things happen during cryotherapy; one, there is the release of endorphins, two, there is increased production of collagen, and lastly, there is an acceleration of the metabolic rate. The simultaneous occurrence of the three processes shortens the recovery process. The endorphins also help the body in handling excess pain and inflammation. The other benefits of this type of therapy include improved skin smoothness and elasticity plus an increased amount of calories burned by the body.
Cryotherapy for Athletes and other Elite Sports
Cryotherapy has helped many athletes to get to the top of the leaderboard. The cryotherapy for elite sports helps in injury recovery and healing. For example, earlier this year, Fulham became the first elite sports club to tailor cryotherapy after learning about its effectiveness in injury recovery. Football players who underwent cryotherapy took less amount of time than expected to return to training and physical fitness. Other English Premier League teams such as Leicester City and Arsenal FC have also embraced cryotherapy.
Is Cryotherapy safe?
Every cryotherapy session administered by a trained technician is considered safe. During the treatment, the clients’ head remains outside the chamber. The hands are covered with insulated gloves while the feet are covered with booties to reduce the risk of being exposed to the extreme conditions. A single cryotherapy session can’t last for more than three minutes which allows the client to feel the benefits. The body is fully protected from exposure to the dangerous temperatures.
Cryotherapy for elite sports is widely regarded as a natural performance enhancer for athletes which help in speeding up recovery allowing faster repair of any damaged muscle tissue hence reducing the pain and giving room for more frequent training sessions. Sometimes, the process can be administered in such a way that it targets specific areas suffering from an injury. The therapy aims to reduce the pain and provide a physical therapy without any form of muscle manipulation.
Although it may vary from one individual to another, the immediate results of cryotherapy include improved recovery time, pain relief and reduced inflammation. The therapy can benefit injured athletes who want to heal faster or competitive athletes who are looking for ways of improving their performance.