Discover the benefits of cryotherapy
The Benefits of Cryotherapy may seem exhaustive, or unbelievable, being as varied as they are: Skin Care & Beauty, Medical Recovery, Athletic Performance, Anxiety & Depression, Weight Loss, cold exposure is in vogue among health conscious people. And rightly so; simple practices that can enhance nervous system health, decrease inflammation and promote longevity are rare.
On this page we aim to breakdown the Benefits of Cryotherapy, and how such Benefits work, in the simplest, most concise way possible, we hope you enjoy!
You Should Also Check out The Science of Cryotherapy
Exposure to cold temperatures raises adiponectin, a protein that helps prevent inflammation.
Cryotherapy causes the release of Norepinephrine, a powerful anti-inflammatory
Cryotherapy Causes Vasoconstriction, the pulling of the blood from your extremities to your core, reducing inflammation and bruises through-out the body
Cold exposure can lower pro-inflammatory TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-8.
It also causes an increase in Gludathione, inflammation can deplete glutathione (GSH), which in turn contributes to the persistence of an inflammatory state.
Research shows that reductions in GSH lead to increased levels of pro-inflammatory mediators and inflammatory potential.
Aids Weight Loss
Norepinephrine uncouples proteins, particularly UCP1, within the mitochondrial membrane, leading your body to think you have no energy, and ramp up Mitochondria production, 10 consecutive sessions can increase Brown fat by as much as 38%
Brown Fat can essentially turn calories from food into heat.
Indeed, studies show that cold exposure increases Brown Fat activity which leads to increased calorie expenditure. Researchers concluded that frequent cold exposures might be an acceptable and economical way to address the current obesity epidemic, and could serve as a main means of weight loss
In fact, a lack of Brown Fat has been linked with obesity.
Cold exposure increase shivering which is a contraction of muscles, and also burns calories.
One study exposed one group of mice to cold temperatures and the other to normal temperatures. The cold-exposed mice ate far more calories but weighed less. This goes against the prevailing view that increased calorie consumption shortens lifespan.
Exposure to cold temperatures leads to increased levels of adiponectin by as much as 70%, a protein that increases fat burning. Low levels of which are associated with obesity.
In one study, subjects who were exposed to cold stress had an 80% increase in their metabolism over “warm” levels.
Cryotherapy also aids in stress management, and aids sleep, both shown to significantly impact weight loss.
and of course as most know – Your body burns 500-800 calories over a 75-90 minute period warming your body back up after a Cryotherapy Session.
A study found that flies lived twice as long when kept at 21°C than 27°C.
Similarly, research on worms found that a 5°C drop in temperature increased lifespan by 75%.
Fish also seem to live longer at lower temperatures. For example, one study showed that 6 °C drop in temperature increased average fish lifespan by 75 %.
In 1986, one researcher immersed his lab rats in shallow, cool water for four hours per day. The rats burned so many extra calories that they ate 50% more than control rats. The cold-exposed rats weighed less than the control rats and lived 10% longer. This goes against the prevailing view that increased calorie consumption shortens lifespan.
Another study lowered the core temperature of mice by 0.3 °C (males) and 0.34 °C (females), resulting in an increase in average lifespan of 12 and 20 %respectively.
Increased longevity via cold-exposure could be due to hormesis. Hormesis refers to the paradoxical adaptation that makes animals stronger and more efficient if they are exposed to environmental stresses.
Other researchers prefer the ‘rate of living hypothesis’. This theory suggests that lower temperature promotes longevity by slowing down the rate of reaction of various metabolic processes. This means fewer by-products of metabolism, such as reactive oxygen species (ROS).
Alternatively, increased longevity from cold exposure may be due to a modulation of genes, such as TRPA-1 and DAF-16.
Prolongs Youthful Skin
Cryotherapy causes the release of Norephrine to double, triple, and even quintuple, this is signifigant becase this hormone inhibits collagenase – which breaks down protein in skin, bones, and muscle
-in addition to this it also causes vasoconstriction-the restricting of your blood to your core-and periodically sends this blood back out
-Skin aging is mostly a problem of poor ciculation.
Cryotherapy helps blood flow to tiny capillaries that lie near the surface of the skin and provide it with the nutrients needed to keep it elastic and taut
Better circulation improves the function of fibrillates, the cells which produce collagen 0 the main structural protein of the skin
May Heal Injuries and Speed Recovery
The physiological effects of cold therapy include reductions in blood flow, swelling, inflammation, muscle spasm, and metabolic demand.
There is some evidence that ice plus exercise is effective at increasing healing speeds after an ankle sprain or surgery.
Cold exposure has a positive effect on muscular enzymes linked with muscle damage (e.g. creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase).
One meta-study looked at 360 people who either rested or submerged themselves in cold water after resistance training, cycling or running. 24-minute cold water baths (50-59 F) prevented sore muscles after exercises.
Aids Memory & Cognitive Functions (Focus, Will, Depression, Etc)
Norepinephrine is released in double, triple, or even quintuple the amount normal in the body during each Cryotherapy Session
Norepinephrine helps learning, enhances the formation and retrieval of memory, and can mitigate damage from concussions, as well as help in healing
Norepinephrine helps you “feel good” low amounts are associated with depression
It also Focus attention, promotes alertness, and vigilance, & helps reduce stress and promote goal oriented activities
Improves Sleep Quality & Energy Levels
Natural daily temperature fluctuations are an important regulator of sleep cycles.
A Dutch study found that by cooling core body temperatures, participants achieved double the restorative, slow wave sleep.
Your liver and pancreases start making more glucose and your muscles simultaneously increase their uptake of glucose.
Strengthens the Immune System
Studies have shown that cold exposure increases natural killer cell count and activity.
Cold exposure also increases levels of white blood cells and circulating IL-6.
One study looked at the effects of 6 weeks of cold water immersion (14C for 1hr) on the immune system. Participants had increased levels of IL-6, CD3, CD4, CD8, activated T and B lymphocytes, suggesting a more active immune system.
Engaging in exercise before cold exposure enhances the immune stimulating effects of cold therapy.
Increased immune system function could be due to increased levels of adrenaline from cold exposure.
May Increase Bone Health
Some researchers have suggested that age-related decline in bone health is attributable to a loss in brown fat (discussed above). Thus, it stands to reason that regular cold exposure could be an important tool for maintaining bone health as we age.
Norepinephrine is a powerful pain reliever, and is injected into the spines of patients in pain, each Cryotherapy session doubles, triples, or even quintuples the amount of norepinephrine in your body and brain
Blasts of cold significantly improve the quality of life for patients suffering from phantom limb pain.
Cold therapy provides more pain relief than popular, alternative interventions.
Cold application alone may be effective in reducing pain associated with migraine attacks.
Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Exposure to cold temperatures can increase levels of adiponectin. One study found adiponectin levels increase by 70% after cold exposure. This is important as adiponectin is a protein involved in blood glucose regulation, with low levels found in insulin resistance .
In rat studies, cold exposure increases glucose uptake in the peripheral tissues – (by enhancing glucose oxidation via insulin-independent pathways). Thus, cold exposure may be beneficial during a fast, as fasting can cause peripheral insulin resistance.
Cold exposure can enhance the body’s response to insulin, allowing glucose to be cleared from the blood quicker. A cold bath is one of the quickest found to lower blood glucose and increase insulin sensitivity.
Enhances Detox Pathways
One study found that people who regularly swim in ice cold water had relatively high levels of reduced glutathione, an antioxidant that’s vital for detoxing.
Cryotherapy can enhance antioxidant status, allowing the body to deal with free radicals more effectively.
Lymphatic system is a network of Vessels that help take away waste, bacteria, and microbes, but have no pump, and can only be moved by muscle contractions, such as those during vasoconstriction and shivering
Strengthens the Nervous System
The increase in fat burning during cold exposure is modulated by the sympathetic nervous system. Cold temperatures act like a mild workout for the nervous system, which adapts and strengthens.
The system responds to cold therapy by increasing Blood Pressure, Heart Rate, and constricting blood vessels, responses that strengthen with each cold exposure.
Eventually this process can stabilize blood pressure, improve circulation, and balence the sleep/wake cycle
Wim Hoff (“the ice man”) has been instrumental in showing the world that, through specific training techniques using cold exposure and breathwork, a person is able to control their autonomic nervous system. Before this research was done on Wim, the autonomic nervous system was largely thought to be beyond conscious control.
Enjoying Reading About The Benefits of Cryotherapy?
if you’re looking for additional Resources Check out Health.US News on how it’s helped veterens and why you should try Cryotherapy
As well as our Exhaustive list of Documented Research
IceHouse Cryotherapy was started by three elite tennis players. All three struggled with injuries, and started using cryotherapy in order to relieve daily inflammation from rugged training routines. After retiring from the sport, they opened IceHouse Cryotherapy in order to offer this cutting edge treatment to people in Kirkland, Bellevue, Redmond and Seattle Area.