Why Pro Athletes and Models Can’t Get Enough of Cryotherapy

Model Gigi Hadid calls it her beauty “secret weapon.” In fact, she used it to prep for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Even actor Daniel Craig reportedly used it to get in shape for Skyfall. Both are devotees of whole body cryotherapy, the use of extreme cold to promote wellness and recovery of the body.

Developed in Japan in 1978 for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, whole body cryotherapy has been proven to help accelerate recovery from an injury, to provide a strengthened immune system, to improve blood circulation, to foster better sleep and to reduce stress. Other benefits include weight loss, detoxification, cellulite reduction and improved skin health and appearance.

Even professional athletes, like NBA superstar LeBron James and soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, have discovered whole body cryotherapy as the best treatment to decrease recovery time and increase athletic performance.

cristiano-ronaldo-jugglingImage via twitter.com

WHAT IS CRYOTHERAPY AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

During intense physical activities, the body’s joints and muscles are overused, causing fatigue of the joints and tearing of muscle tissues. The body then works to repair itself, and its repair system usually manifests itself as pain and inflammation.

Inflammation occurs when cells involved in this repair process travel to the injury site and release enzymes that work to repair damaged tissues. This inflammation process is normal and necessary to build stronger joints and muscles, but it can limit the performance of athletes, especially if it persists for a long time.

Cryotherapy exposes the body to a controlled temperature that ranges from minus 166 to minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit for three minutes.

150423211230-lebron-james-dunk-gm-3-vs-celtics-042315.1200x672Image via rugbynba.blogspot.com

FIGHT OR FLIGHT REACTION

These temperatures activate the body’s fight-or-flight reaction, causing blood vessels to constrict, which then reduces blood flow and alleviates pain, swelling and inflammation.

After the brief treatment – three minutes as opposed to the usual 20 minutes or more in an ice tub — the body immediately reheats and blood vessels widen. The body then flushes the muscles with oxygenated blood, speeding up the healing process.

Cryotherapy temporarily numbs the nerve endings that report pain to the brain while it induces the release of “feel good” endorphins that enable athletes to train at a higher level. Many cryotherapy devotees report that it helps them experience less stress and to sleep better at night.

Cryotherapy is a safe and effective way of minimizing the pain associated with inflammation and of allowing intense physical activity to continue when the body is in repair mode. Athletes report that this treatment allows them to train harder and better and to return to their activity more quickly after an injury.

CSTVJuKUAAA_L2e.jpg-large

CELLULAR RENEWAL

As your body responds to WBC, it works to flush toxins from your body. This process results in cellular renewal and better blood circulation.

In fact, targeted cryotherapy to the face, also known as a cryofacial, trigger an increased collagen production, causing smoother and tighter skin and a more even skin tone. Regular treatments can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. As a result, skin has a younger and healthier appearance.

This amazing benefit is the reason many celebrities, like Jennifer Anniston and Jessica Alba, use cryotherapy on a regular basis and before a red carpet event.

In addition to helping the skin maintain a youthful appearance, the anti-inflammatory benefits of cryotherapy makes it useful in treating the inflammatory symptoms of certain skin diseases, including eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.

gigi-hadid-guess-12Image via elementsofstyleblog.com

800 CALORIES BURNED IN A SINGLE THREE-MINUTE SESSION

Cryotherapy also boosts the body’s metabolism, which can stimulate weight loss. A three-minute whole body cryotherapy session can burn as much as 800 calories!

Since whole body cryotherapy uses a dry cold that does not freeze tissues and muscles like a cold bath can, the body recovers quickly and can return to normal activity. This aspect of cryotherapy makes it especially helpful for athletes whose schedules require more than one workout/training session per day.

Most importantly, athletes report that it helps them to sharpen their competitive edge.

NOT ALL CRYOTHERAPY UNITS ARE CREATED EQUAL

NYCPT’s wellness center is the only local facility to offer the U.S.-made Impact Cyro. Unlike other cryotherapy units, the Impact Cyro attains colder temperatures and promotes the equal distribution of cold temperatures throughout the body. Pro athletes who have tried both units reportedly always prefer the Impact Cryo.

Benefits of cryotherapy:

  • decreased muscle soreness, pain and inflammation
  • weight loss
  • firmer and tigher skin
  • increased energy and performance
  • increased ability for more intense training and performance
  • less fatigue
  • improved lymph draining and blood circulation
  • enhanced muscle strength and joint function
  • improved sleep quality