Who developed this technology?
Whole body cryotherapy was originally developed in Japan in 1978 for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, and the benefits have been studied and refined in Europe since that time.
When was whole body cryotherapy developed?
Whole body cryotherapy has been used in Europe and Japan for more than three decades. Multiple research studies have been published in medical journals about the effects of whole body cryotherapy, and in many European countries the treatments are covered by medical insurance policies. In the United States, whole body cryotherapy is considered a non-medical wellness modality, and health insurances do not offer reimbursements for the service.
How does it work?
The Cryosauna uses gasiform nitrogen to lower the client’s skin surface temperature by 30-50 degrees Fahrenheit over a period of two-three minutes. The Cryochamber is cooled using liquid nitrogen but clients are not in direct contact with the gas. The skin reacts to the cold and sends messages to the brain that acts as a stimulant to the regulatory functions of the body. It produces the scanning of all areas that may not be working to their fullest potential. The skin exposure to the extreme temperatures also triggers the release of anti-inflammatory molecules and endorphins.
Is it safe?
Yes. Single person direct injection Cryosaunas and multi-person Walk-in Cryochambers have been used for the past 30+ years without any severe adverse reaction ever recorded. Problems have only arisen if a client steps into the machine with wet clothing, especially wet socks, as water will freeze immediately at these temperatures. The nitrogen being used to cool the single-person cryosauna is the same nitrogen that makes up the air we breathe (actually 78% of it). In either type of chamber, the client breathes room-air. In the single person chamber, the operator raises the platform the client stands on up so that the head is above the heavier nitrogen vapors. Here, the client breathes normal room-air. In a recent safety evaluation, we have used a pulse oximeter to record blood oxygen saturation in more than 30 clients using the single person chamber and found no drop in blood oxygen saturation throughout the treatment. For added safety, chambers are also equipped with an oxygen monitor at the level of the mouth, which will shut off the nitrogen supply should the oxygen concentration drop by 0.5%. In order to protect the more temperature sensitive tissues such as hands and feet, clients wear dry socks, slippers, and gloves, which we provide. In the walk-in chambers, clients also have to wear a face-mask (to protect the nose and prevent the inhalation of cold air), as well as earmuffs or a hat covering the ears.
Is it comfortable?
Before entering the Cryosauna, clients are required to dress in protective clothing composed of cotton socks, cotton underwear (for men), and gloves. If you are using the walk-in chamber, you will also be provided with a cotton band to cover your ears and a disposable mask to cover your mouth. A session is of short duration (2-3 minutes), and the cold is ‘dry’, so it is very tolerable. Towards the end of the session, you may get a ‘pins and needles’ sensation, which disappears immediately after the treatment.
How do I feel after the treatment?
During each session the body releases endorphins, which are hormones that make you feel good and energetic. The mood-enhancing effects from each session can last for days.
How many treatments should I do?
Depending on the condition of treatment, you should initially take 5 – 10 treatments in close succession (separated by 1-2 days — e.g. 3x/week) to maximize your results. After that you can take fewer treatment spaced further apart to maintain and improve on your results (e.g. once every week or two weeks).
Can I catch a cold because of this procedure?
No. The immediate cold impact of the cryosession will raise the internal body temperature for a short period of time. The stimulation of the immune system can help decrease the severity and frequency of future colds.
I am claustrophobic. May I use WBC?
Yes, you may. The Cryosauna door is held by a magnet and never locked. You may step out at any time. The Cryosauna is open to the top and your head is raised above the level of the upper rim of the cabin. The doors of the Walk-in Cryochamber are also never locked and clients may enter and exit at their own discretion. Clients who suffer from claustrophobia report that they are comfortable in both devices.
Do I have to take a shower before or after?
No, you don’t. This procedure is absolutely dry and does not make your skin wet.
Who should not use whole body cryotherapy?
The following conditions are contraindications to whole body cryotherapy: Pregnancy, severe Hypertension (BP> 160/100), acute or recent myocardial infarction, unstable angina pectoris, arrhythmia, symptomatic cardiovascular disease, cardiac pacemaker, peripheral arterial occlusive disease, venous thrombosis, acute or recent cerebrovascular accident, uncontrolled seizures, Raynaud’s Syndrome, fever, tumor disease, symptomatic lung disorders, bleeding disorders, severe anemia, infection, claustrophobia, cold allergy, age less than 18 years (parental consent to treatment needed), acute kidney and urinary tract diseases.
What are the risks of whole body cryotherapy?
Whole body Cryothherapy is very well tolerated and has minimal risks: Fluctuations in blood pressure during the procedure by up to 10 points systolically (this effect reverses after the end of the procedure, as peripheral circulation returns to normal), allergic reaction to extreme cold (rare), claustrophobia, redness, and skin burns (only if exposed to low temperatures longer than recommended).