Utilizing cryotherapy as a recovery tool has been around as long as any of us can remember. Using ice packs or cold tubs has been an easily accessible tool for athletes, injury treatment and post-surgical patients. How can we take this concept, optimize it, and one step further, make it convenient for the consumer? Introducing clients to Resilience Code’s newest tool: the cryosauna. What benefits does standing in a -240° F chamber for 3 minutes possibly have for someone? Let’s break this down and address different use cases, why they work, and how this can benefit the consumer.
First and foremost, being in a cold tempered chamber at that extreme of a temperature is going to force your body into a flight or fight response. Our bodies read the chamber as a dangerous environment, even though we ourselves know we are completely safe, maybe just shivering a bit. A hormonal response will take place releasing epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, due to the sympathetic response to the treatment. While in the chamber a circulatory shift will occur. The body will pool more blood towards the core of the body as a protective mechanism, which will allow for a large concentration of blood to become more oxygenated. When the treatment is completed, normal circulation will occur, forcing large amounts of oxygenated blood to the arms and legs which is always beneficial for recovery purposes.
A large reason for using a cryosauna is to help decrease the inflammatory response. In an article by Pournot et al., the effects of using whole body cryotherapy were discussed on endurance-based athletes. Their findings showed that the utilization of WBC within one-hour post exercise was able to restrict the inflammatory response from taking place via vasoconstriction (2011). How they were able to justify this theory was by analyzing blood markers for up regulation of inflammation: cytokines; and the down regulation of inflammation: IL-1b and C-Reactive Protein (Pournot, 2011). There was also analysis towards the influence of norepinephrine release during WBC to help decrease the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness via vasoconstriction (Pournot, 2011). This study was able to produce validity towards the effectiveness of utilizing WBC three times a week for a sustained amount of time to maintain the production of norepinephrine to aid in vasoconstriction, preventing waste from muscular stress to become stagnant in the tissue.
Lastly a common use case for WBC is to receive the metabolic benefits that take place during and post treatment. While in the cryosauna and enduring the fight or flight response, our body is trying to figure out why all the sudden we have been placed into an arctic tundra in very minimal clothing. The perks of this are our metabolism is increased rapidly so we receive a large caloric burn. In addition to this, sleep quality can be improved due to our bodies ability to shut down more efficiently due to the extra “work” we put in during treatment.
Enduring the coldest three minutes of your life has some pretty incredible benefits for our bodies and for overall recovery and wellbeing. At Resilience Code we strive for optimal health and overall functionality of the body; let the cryosauna be part of that process.
Cryosauna coming soon to Resilience Code!
Pournot, H., Bieuzen, F., Louis, J., Mounier, R., Fillard, J., Barbiche, E., & Hausswirth, C. (2011). Correction: Time-Course of Changes in Inflammatory Response after Whole-Body Cryotherapy Multi Exposures following Severe Exercise. PLoS ONE, 6(11). doi:10.1371/annotation/0adb3312-7d2b-459c-97f7-a09cfecf5881