Whole Body Cryotherapy for Athletes: The Ultimate Solution to Recover from Injury and Improving Your Performance
As a professional athlete, you know, you have to win those competitions because it’s one of your resolution this season. And probably, you might be wondering how to be in that great shape for games as a rugby player or have that perfect training for that ultramarathon as a long-distance runner.
What if someone told you there could be an answer that is very practical? And your muscular endurance and resistance to fatigue can be enhanced?
Well, worry not as I have the best solution just for you.
So, lets focus on this magical trick.
It’s simply Cryotherapy.
You might be wondering What Cryotherapy is?
Well in simple terms it is referred to as cold therapy. Here, extremely cold temperatures are used in various ways from using cold Whole-Body Cryotherapy Recovery Chambers to ice baths or ice pack application.
Cryotherapy has been in use for the longest time, the beneficial effects of cold as a therapeutic agent enable its application either by cold water baths or taken orally. In Japan cryotherapy took shape in the early 1970s where it was used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
In order to understand the full context, let us get inside the whole body cryotherapy process and how cryotherapy recovery chambers work?
These whole body cryotherapy machines are filled with dry mist from cold vapor obtained from liquid nitrogen. The humidity and temperatures are strictly controlled. Nitrogen being a natural gas poses no risks and therefore it's very safe for use in these special chambers. This gas brings the temperatures down upto -270 degree degrees Celsius.
The whole cryotherapy process may not sound like the most relaxing thing in the world but should be a must try for you as a professional athlete in search for the betterment of your career!
What do whole body cryo recovery chambers for athletes entail?
Well, just like the name suggests, whole-body cryo machines for athletes are meant to benefit the whole body when subjected to extremely cold temperatures.
In the cryotherapy recovery chambers for athletes, one is required to strip down to underwear, a pair of gloves, socks, a headband to cover the face and the ears and a surgical mask that prevent direct inhalation of humid air. The next step is to get in these extremely cold cryotherapy recovery chambers for 2-3 minutes in order to reap the maximum benefits.
Removing of sweat before entry into the medical cryotherapy equipment is highly recommended to avoid risks associated with necrosis.
If you are new to this whole thing, just ensure there is presence of a skilled personnel to control all the procedures.
Once you are out of the cryo machine, the vessels undergo vaso-dilation and blood contains more anti-inflammatory proteins.
Does this sound scary? Perhaps you have not tried it out yet but be assured the process is safe and worth giving it your time.
Explaining the Whole-Body Cryo Machines
These machines combine both scientific and technological approach to provide solution to issues of pain, inflammation caused by vigorous training and exercise as well as delayed muscle recovery or fatigue.
The low temperatures in the cryotherapy recover chamber causes a reduction in skin temperatures triggering sending of physiological responses to the brain where temperatures are registered. At this point, maintenance of core temperature is rendered impossible if normal circulation of blood is obtained. Under the skin are receptors that then direct the nervous system to initiate vaso-constriction.
This process in turn reduces blood flow to the damaged tissues effectively preventing inflammation or simply the bruising or swelling around the injured area.
In addition, the body also receives hormones from the endocrine system while blood is enriched with nutrients, oxygen and enzymes that ensures the body's well-being.
Because you now have full knowledge on how whole body cryo machines work, lets focus on the Benefits Associated with Whole Body Cryotherapy.
Below are a few but the list is endless.
Pain relief and muscle recovery
Many athletes and fitness lovers have opted for cryotherapy after training and exercise as a way to aid fast recovery from any kind of sports injuries. A study has revealed that antioxidant balance and reduced inflammation are the key factors in pain reduction.
Reduction of inflammation
Once you have been subjected to Whole Body Cryotherapy anti-inflammatory proteins increases in the blood while the pro-inflammatory cytokine causing inflammation are reduced.
Boost of immunity
Whole body cryotherapy increases monocytes and lymphocytes (white blood cells) count in the body responsible for fighting against micro-organisms causing diseases.
Depression and Anxiety Treatment
In a recent study, one-third of participants who underwent a whole body cryotherapy reported reduced depression and anxiety symptoms, a clear indication cryotherapy helps to stabilize the mind.
Evolution of Medical Cryotherapy Equipment
Use of cryotherapy in medicine started way back in mid 1800s, doctors made use of cold packs containing of salt and crushed ice solution.
Modern Cryotherapy application took shape in the 1960s and it has been proved that combination of physical exercise and cold is beneficial for quality clinical treatment outcome.
This approach has improved dermatological practices sometimes referred to as cryosurgery to get rid of some basal cancerous cells in the skin and also the removal of warts. In addition, cryotherapy reduces skin redness and shrinks the pores leaving you with a glowing healthy skin.
In 2000s, research based on the application of cryotherapy expanded significantly and scientists were able to explore the possibility of arthritis pain treatment using this mechanism.
Cryotherapy medical equipment having the ability to reduce inflammation can be used as a preventive treatment measure for cognitive decline and dementia.
In sports medicine, cryotherapy has been applied as a physical treatment aimed at enhancing recovery from injuries as well as to counteract inflammation, muscle spasms, pain and swelling.
Cryotherapy medical equipment innovated and used widely in sports medicine enhances performance and form of any athlete in preparation phase or even during training of high intensity to limit overuse.
As a professional athlete, consider cryotherapy to help improve your performance and you will definitely be surprised by the outcome that will aid in achieving your goals.
Gill, N., Beaven, C. and Cook, C. (2006). Effectiveness of post-match recovery strategies in rugby players. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 40: 260-3.
Hausswirth, C., Louis, J., Bieuzen, F., et al. (2011). Effects of whole-body cryotherapy vs. far-infrared vs. passive modalities on recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage in highly-trained runners. PloS ONE. 6(12): e27749. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0027749
Purnot, H., Biuezan, F., Louis, J. et al. (2011). Time-course changes in inflammatory response after whole-body cryotherapy multi exposures following severe exercise. PloS ONE. 6(7): e22748. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022748