Updated: May 18
It might seem odd to sit in a freezing cold tank in the name of health and healing, but cold therapy, or cryotherapy, can actually be very good for your body. Cooling your body down from time to time can have some interesting health benefits. In this article, you can learn all about the top benefits of cryotherapy and why you might want to give it a try.
What is Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy literally means “cold therapy.” It is a technique where part or all of your body is exposed to extremely cold temperatures for a short period of time.
During the treatment, you may sit with your body inside of a cryotherapy chamber. Cryotherapy can also be applied in localized areas through things like ice baths, ice packs, and other cooling methods.
Informal versions of cryotherapy might involve taking a cold shower or bath to get the same cooling, freezing effect on the body.
The effects of Cryotherapy in the body
So why would you ever want to get into an icy chamber or a freezing cold shower? It turns out that extreme cold can actually cause beneficial effects in the body.
Since the Stone Age, the human body has adapted to various extreme conditions such as starvation and freezing temperatures. And while long-term freezing can be harmful to the body, a little bit of cold from time to time can actually be very beneficial to the body.
10 benefits of Cryotherapy
When our bodies are exposed to cold temperatures, a lot of internal changes occur that positively affect our health and wellbeing. Here are some of the benefits of cryotherapy that you may want to know about:
Decreases muscle soreness and repairs muscle damage. As mentioned above, certain things get activated in the body in cold temperatures, many of which are related to rebuilding and repairing muscle. This allows cryotherapy to help out with muscle soreness and injury.
Boosts immune activity. Cryotherapy may increase immune system function and help you to fight off sickness and infection.
Lowers inflammation. Exposure to cold can turn off and on genes, including those related to inflammation. So aside from the physical effects of the cold on your blood vessels, cryotherapy also helps reduce inflammation on a genetic level.
Increases mood. Have you ever tried getting into a cold shower? If so, you know that you’ll experience the exhilaration and a boost in the mood very quickly.
It helps you sleep. The benefits of cryotherapy in your body may be able to help promote a better night’s sleep.
Improves metabolism. Cryotherapy promotes mitochondria production, which can help you to boost your metabolism.
Increases the antioxidant network. Another thing that happens in the body is that antioxidant levels can increase. Antioxidants help to protect your body from damage.
Reduces oxidative stress. When antioxidant activity increases, your body is able to reduce the effects of oxidative stress. That is important for staying healthy and avoiding health concerns.
Improves herniated discs. If you are dealing with herniated discs, then cryotherapy might be worth looking into for supporting your healing.
It decreases pain and spasms. Due to all of its healing effects in the body, cryotherapy can be useful for supporting pain and muscle spasms.
The bottom line
Have you ever tried cryotherapy? This ice-cold technique is all about putting your body into cold temperatures for a short period of time to promote healing effects.
Our bodies thrive under small amounts of short-term stress, because certain genes, enzymes, and proteins can be activated that support our health when we encounter small stressors. And freezing cold temperatures are one factor that can induce these beneficial effects.
Cryotherapy may have various benefits in the body, including:
Decreasing muscle soreness and repairing the damage.
Improving the immune system function.
Promoting good sleep.
Reducing oxidative stress.
Supporting herniated discs.
Lowering pain and reducing spasms.
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