● What is the origin of Whole Body Cryotherapy?
WBC was originally developed in Japan to treat pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. It has been researched and refined in Europe over the past two decades. Sports, Health and Spa professionals in the U.S. use WBC for muscle recovery, inflammation reduction, pain management and skin care.
● Is Whole Body Cryotherapy a proven treatment for recovery and health?
Yes, WBC has been used in Europe and Asia for almost thirty years. There are numerous clinical studies and many are listed in the Research tab. Professional athletes in the NBA, MLB, NHL and NFL have made WBC an important part of their recovery treatment programs.
● How does Whole Body Cryotherapy work?
The client steps into the cryosauna which uses gasiform nitrogen to rapidly lower the skin surface temperature to about 32°F. The cryosauna temperature ranges between -238°F to -274°F for the two to three minutes of treatment. The brain reacts to the skin sensors by stimulating the regulatory functions of the body and releasing anti-inflammatory proteins and endorphins into the bloodstream.
● How does Cryotherapy compare to an Ice Bath?
WBC treatments result is a very different response from the body. Three minutes of extreme, dry cold reaches only the top skin layers and cold receptors causing the brain to restrict blood flow to an internal cycle. WBC causes the body to release anti-inflammatory proteins and endorphins resulting in super-charged blood. In an ice bath, fifteen minutes of cold water initially causes the body to move blood to the extremities and results in a chilled lowering of the body's core temperature. Ice baths do no supercharge the blood.
● Is Nitrogen gas dangerous?
No, nitrogen is a friendly, non-toxic gas. Nitrogen composes 78% of the air that we breathe. The other components are 16% Oxygen, 1% Hydrogen and 5% other gases. Nitrogen is as common and safe as Oxygen.
● What do I wear in the Cryosauna?
We provide you with dry socks and slip-on sandals for your feet. We also provide light cotton gloves for your hands. Men should have a dry undergarment; not required for women. All jewelry, watches, chains, bracelets and earrings are removed. The idea is to expose as much skin surface as possible so that the body's reaction is optimized.
● Is Whole Body Cryotherapy comfortable?
Yes. WBC involves dry, hyper-cooled air flowing over the skin surface; so the process never freezes skin tissues, muscles or organs. The result is only a "feeling" of being cold. The body is being tricked into believing that this extreme cold is life threatening. Cryotherapy is a dry cold with no moisture and tolerable even to those who consider themselves cold intolerant. Towards the end of the treatment, you may get a "pins and needles" sensation which will disappate after the treatment.
● What if I am often cold or get cold easily?
Since the cold from WBC only penetrates the surface of the skin, you will only experience a slight chill. Cryotherapy improves circulation throughout the body and stimulates production of brown fat, so your future ability to tolerate cold should improve.
● How do I feel after a session?
WBC stimulates the body to release endorphins, the hormones that make us feel alert and energetic. The buoyant effects from each session typically last for six to eight hours. Many clients report improvements in their sleep quality after cryotherapy.
● Can I catch a cold from Whole Body Cryotherapy?
No. The immediate cold impact of the cryotherapy 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, can I use Whole Body Cryotherapy?
Yes. Your entire head remains exposed to the room and above the Cryosauna. The door cannot lock and the staff member is there through the entire process until the session has ended.
● Do I have to take a shower before or after a session?
Showering is not necessary before or after cryotherapy. The entire procedure is dry and does not make your skin wet. Many clients come by during their lunch break since the entire treatment is only 3 minutes long. We can accommodate your specific scheduling request.
● How many treatments are needed to achieve optimal results?
Depending upon the condition being treated, it should initially take five to ten treatments in close succession (every other day). After this initial loading period, maintenance treatments should be at least once per week.
● Who should use Whole Body Cryotherapy?
WBC is ideal for athletes seeking muscle recovery, people with chronic pain and inflammatory conditions, and those seeking weight loss and skin rejuvenation. Cryotherapy is used post-surgery to accelerate healing and reduce pain without the side effects of pain medications. Younger clients, ages 10 to 18, can use WBC with parent’s consent.
● Is exercise recommended after the cryotherapy session?
Yes, an advantage of cryotherapy over ice therapy is that tissues and muscle are not frozen. Ten minutes of light exercise post cryotherapy will induce more rapid vasodilation of the blood vessels and capillaries, and extend the period of analgesia.
● What are the risks of Whole Body Cryotherapy?
WBC is very well tolerated and has minimal risks. Fluctuations in blood pressure during the procedure by up to 10 points systolically (reverses after the procedure as peripheral circulation returns to normal), allergic reaction to extreme cold (rare), claustrophobia, anxiety, activation of some viral conditions (cold sores, etc.) due to stimulation of the immune system. Protective clothing (socks, gloves, undergarments) must be dry in order to avoid frostbite.
● Who should not use Whole Body Cryotherapy?
The following conditions are contraindications for WBC: Pregnancy, severe hypertension (BP > 180/100), acute or recent myocardial infarction (heart attack: need to be cleared for exercise), narrowing of valves, crescent-shaped aorta and mitral valve, unstable angina pectoris, arrhythmia, symptomatic cardiovascular disease, cardiac pacemaker, peripheral arterial occlusive disease, venous thrombosis (blood clots), acute or recent cerebrovascular accident (stroke: must be cleared for exercise), uncontrolled seizures, Raynaud's syndrome, fever, tumor disease, symptomatic lung disorders, bleeding disorders, severe anemia, infection, claustrophobia, cold allergy, acute kidney and urinary tract diseases, incontinence, age less than 18 years (parental consent required). Clients should always check with their medical providers regarding their particular medical status.
Frequently Asked Questions
Disclaimer: Whole Body Cryotherapy is an effective treatment for athletic recovery, pain management, inflammation reduction and skin improvement. Numerous peer-reviewed studies have confirmed the benefits of whole body cryotherapy. It is not a medical procedure, and all clients of Polar Cryotherapy should first check with their medical professionals to confirm whether whole body cryotherapy is appropriate for their health.