Questions & Answers on faster Athletic Recovery with Cryotherapy
Why do your muscles heal faster with Whole Body Cryotherapy? Why is it Cryotherapy healthier than an ice bath?
Cryotherapy systems are not ice baths – nor is it an expensive ice bath because there is no submersion in water. However, your body is submerged in a different kind of gaseous mixture that enables sub-zero temperatures (which is colder than the coldest water – since water will freeze at anything below zero degrees – except in the North Pole!) In an ice bath, you are submerged in very cold water causing your heart to pump more blood away from your lungs and you are left with sore muscles and less oxygenated blood.
Comparing an ice bath and what it does for the body to Cryo is like comparing the rest and recovery your body gets from 10 minutes of sleep versus a full 8 hours of sleep (please see Cryotherapy: Get an Epic Night of Sleep). Cryo is only 2-3 minutes while an ice bath exceeds 20. However, the healing of cryotherapy does not occur in those few minutes of the treatment. Those 2-3 minutes spent in cryotherapy are simply a precursor for the actual retained benefits that last after the cryo session. And for people who are new to cryotherapy – everyone we have treated at Cold Play will tell you Cryotherapy is a walk in the park versus an ice bath!
What is Cryotherapy – what is the coolness that I am surrounded by during a session?
Dry, cold nitrogen gas – which is perfectly harmless and doesn’t penetrate the skin’s surface more than 1/2mm into the skin, which is unlike an ice bath. Thermoreceptors that are sensors on your skin fire when your session begins and sends signals to your brain that the temperature is dropping at a significant rate. This triggers an immune response.
What is the healing rate with Cryotherapy versus another cold therapy?
Cryotherapy will increase blood flow to all major organs, and it will enhance microcirculation due to the immediate constriction of blood vessels during the session. Cells need oxygen to heal, which is one reason to maintain blood flow in the injured area. Ice baths or ice alone won’t increase blood flow to the injured area. However, Cold Play Cryo systems with active compression will. This unique active compression will decrease swelling immediately, without the burning effect of ice.
How will microcirculation speed up my recovery time?
Microcirculation does everything – and they look similar to rivers on a map of the United States. The U.S. needs water to reach from the oceans and turn into rivers that meet the people. Similarly, your body needs adequate blood flow dispersed through your veins. Your veins may be poorly developed, and blood may have trouble reaching these tiny microvessels. With Cryotherapy, you reach those far places in your microvessels which help build a strong immune system. Also, cryotherapy even decreases edema which are excess fluids found in injured areas. Edema can slow down the healing process. Cryotherapy reduces edema by slowing down the metabolism of cells and reducing their need for oxygen.
By slowing down the metabolic rate of the cell, you reduce the amount that the secondary tissue generates. This allows your body to apply more energy to other important parts of the healing process.
How do you control the temperature during a Cryotherapy session?
Cold Play Cryo systems use controlled temperature systems that are handled by a trained technical specialist, so you know exactly what you temperature you are in during the entire session.
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This article is inspired by the questions of many professional athletes at our Cold Play Cryo center in Greenwich, Connecticut. You are in charge of your health. If you have a question that is not on the list or our blog, please contact our support center at [email protected].