THE SCIENCE OF CRYOTHERAPY
The Science of Cryotherapy is more simple and to the point than you might expect, and While the Documentation and Use of Cryochambers is relatively new, the Study of Cold Therapy has been around since the 1800’s and we have a strong understanding of it’s importance and use.
STEP 1: CLIENT ENTERS CRYOSAUNA
As you enter the cryosauna, the ultra cooled nitrogen gas triggers thermoreceptors in the dermis which send electrical impulses to the brain and central nervous system indicating the extreme external environment. This activates a system wide innate response as the brain prepares to mount a defense mechanism against the cold environment.
STEP 2: VASOCONSTRICTION
The brain and central nervous system send signals to the muscular and vascular systems to contract and constrict which quickly transports the body’s blood, nutrients and resources from its periphery to the vital organs in the body’s core.
STEP 3: BLOOD DETOXIFICATION & ENRICHMENT
To provide the vital organs with the most nutrient and resource-rich environment possible, the body enters a hyper-production period and blood is enriched with erythrocytes, oxygen, collagen and other essential nutrients. Detrimental biproducts and toxins in the blood are also broken down and removed.
STEP 4: VASODILATION
After the client exits the cryosauna, thermoreceptors in the dermis detect the return to normal environment which triggers vasodilation and the return of enriched blood to the body’s periphery. As the blood returns, the excess of nutrients is absorbed by the body’s peripheral systems (muscles, tendons, ligaments, soft tissue, skin, etc).
Check out supporting Research and Articles on our Cryotherapy Research Page
CRYOTHERAPY ON THE PHYSIOLOGICAL LEVEL
Like any field in modern medicine, we can begin to understand the Science of Cryotherapy by taking a look at the physiological level. When the body is inside the cryotherapy chamber, the temperature inside this environment can range from -200 degrees F to -274 degrees F. During this session which lasts between 1 to 3 minutes the human body is exposed to extremely cold nitrogen gas and the skin’s surface is rapidly cooled to approximatly 32 degrees F. When the skin’s outer surface reaches freezing for a span as short as 10 seconds, sub-cutaneal temperature receptors located in the dermis are activated sending impulses to the brain that the body is in danger of failing. The brain activates the its innate immune response to the critically cold temperatures by sending signals to the motor neurons in the muscles which in turn contract and constrict in order to send blood to the body’s core and vital organs.
Because the body’s core must always maintain a constant 98.6 degrees F for the organs, tissues and cells to properly function, the slightest change in core temperature can be fatal. This is the reason that, upon receiving signaling from temperature receptors in the skin triggered by the hyper-cooled nitrogen gas within the cryotherapy chamber, the central nervous system must send clear warning to the rest of the body that maintaining the body’s core temperature will be impossible without sending the blood supply from the body’s peripheral to the vital organs at the core. This results in a series of vasoconstriction and vasodilation to quickly get blood to the vital organs, which will show a physcial increase in arterial blood pressure of approximately 10 points.
Check out the Benefits of Cryotherapy page to get a more accurate of idea of how it can help you
While the body prepares to send its peripheral blood supply to the core, another process is also happening simultaneously. The enrichment of blood with oxygen, enzymes and essential nutrients for the purpose of supplying the vital organs with enough energy and nutrients to return to standard state also occurs. As the internal organs are surrounded by the ultra-enriched blood, all crucial bodily processes are accelerated — damaged and improperly functioning cells are replaced with healthy new cells, the lymphatic system breaks down toxins and removes the detrimental byproducts from the blood and collagen production is accelerated.
After stepping outside of the cryochamber, the body begins to warm back up to its standard temperature. The vasoconstriction caused by the body’s response to the ultra-cooled environment is quickly transitioned into vasodilation, releasing the previously withheld enriched blood supply back out into the body’s peripheral systems. As the enriched blood reaches the peripheral points of the body, these systems are effected just as the internal organs were, absorbing the influx of enzymes and nutrients in their own replacement and renewal processes.
It is the rejuvenation of the body at the cellular level beginning at the body’s core then moving outwards to the periphery that makes this process so renewing and invigorating.
CRYOTHERAPY MECHANISM & PATHWAY
RECEPTION & CNS SIGNALING
Temperature receptors in the dermis of the skin are activated by sub-zero temperatures of Nitrogen gas during the cryotherapy treatment, sending electrical impulses to brain and central nervous system detecting the dangerous external environment. The brain will then begin to quickly mount a system-wide response to the potentially dangerous external environment.
In response to the impulses from thermo-receptors in the skin, the brain quickly sends system-wide response signals telling the body that, in order to keep the vital organs safe in the hyper-cooled environment, arteries must constrict, blood must be supplied with extra oxygen & nutrients and sent from the body’s periphery to the vital organs in the body’s core.
After exiting the cool environment inside the cryosauna, the body’s surface begins to return to normal temperature and cutaneal temperature receptors signal to the brain that blood vessels may dilate and move back toward the surface of the skin and ultra-oxygenated & ultra-nutritious blood may be transported from the vital organs in the body’s core back out to the limbs and peripheral systems.
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.