Are you looking for a natural way to relieve stress or pain? Do you already know about the therapeutic-magical power of cryotherapy? No? Then dive into the exciting world of cold therapy and get smart about the methodology behind the thermo effect. Freeze fit – here’s how it works and why it’s worth it!
The cold as a miracle cure
Cryotherapy or cold therapy is an ancient healing method that is often used to treat chronic pain. The healing effect of cold was already recognized in ancient times and antiquity. Thus, it is not surprising that the cold application in the specialty bears the name cryotherapy – the Greek word “kryo” is in fact translated as cold.
Then, in the 1980s, whole-body cryotherapy developed as its own form of therapy when Japanese physician Dr. Toshima Yamauchi developed the world’s first cold chamber. This therapeutic method involves the use and targeting of freezing temperatures to treat a variety of health problems. Extreme cold temperatures are used, mostly around -110° Celsius. These cold temperatures affect the body in many ways: They relieve discomfort, reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system and improve the skin, as well as the function of muscles and joints and general well-being. The cold also stimulates the formation of new blood cells and thus improves oxygen transport in the body. Even a short exposure to extreme cold for 30 seconds to three minutes is sufficient.
Different ways of application
In cryotherapy, application techniques range from freezing the affected area or applying liquid nitrogen directly to the skin surface, to immersion in extremely cold baths, to cold chambers.
The medical megatrend
In recent years, whole-body cryotherapy has gained a lot of popularity and, thanks to innovative technologies, has become a popular treatment option in the medical, sports and beauty fields.
In medicine today, cold is used to relieve rheumatic inflammation, skin diseases, migraine and depression, among other things. Top athletes use the joint-gentle therapy for regeneration and performance enhancement.
This is how the initial visit goes
Before entering the body-sized refrigerator, patients are given detailed information and prepared accordingly for their visit to the cold chamber. A comprehensive medical history is taken. Body size, gender and medical conditions are also queried. This is how the duration of the cold application is determined. Before the session, it is also important that the skin and hair are dry and free of any products. Now it can go with swimwear, gloves, shoes and protection for nose and ears in the fight against the sub-zero temperatures. But half so wild! Just breathe calmly and not too deeply – this relaxes the body.
To achieve the optimal effect of the treatment, patients can do the following before and after cryotherapy:
- Drink enough water before and after each session
- keep warm
- Avoid stress and overexertion
- Avoid alcohol and nicotine
- Do exercises to deepen the subsequent effect
The advantages of subzero temperatures
There are many advantages of cryotherapy.
- the application runs quickly
- it can relieve both acute and chronic complaints
- it can help relieve muscle spasms, strengthen the immune system and regenerate itself
- it has a meditative effect
However, there are also risks. If you use cryotherapy in places where it is not appropriate or if you use it incorrectly, skin irritation can occur.
The Wim Hof Method
The well-known extreme sportsman Wim Hof has developed his very own method on the subject. It combines cold, breathing and mind in a way that has outstanding effects on health and performance. The effects of his method have also been confirmed by numerous scientific studies. Self-therapy was also successful, as Hof writes in his book, The Power in the Cold: “I learned to control my body. I raised my inner defenses to stratospheric levels, stopped sick, and crossed all boundaries.”
Sounds promising. All it takes – as is so often the case when it comes to health – is a great deal of overcoming.
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