What is Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy is essentially the process of using cold temperatures for their health benefits. This form of therapy has been used in different ways since the 1700s to decrease pain and muscle spasms, improve recovery, slow cell aging and improve health.
Athletes have been soaking in cold tubs and ice baths for decades, but recent innovation now allows for whole body cryotherapy (WBC) in a specialized chamber using liquid nitrogen and is the form most often referred to in modern references to Cryotherapy.
This type of cold therapy was invented in the 1970s in Japan, and has only come to the US and other countries in the last decade. It has gained widespread popularity with athletes and those with certain chronic illnesses (as well as housewives who don’t like ice baths *ahem*).
As you might imagine, this therapy has its share of claims to its benefits, as well as its fair share of skeptics and risks. So what is the real story? I decided to get down to -240ºF and investigate.
Benefits of Cryotherapy
Articles about WBC claim that it can help with everything from minor inflammation to autoimmune disease and everything in between. It is important to note that Cryotherapy itself has been used in some form by the medical community for hundreds of years and is well documented.