There are many misconceptions and untruths about Whole Body Cryotherapy and what I will attempt to do is help you be more informed about what is known and what is hypothesized about WBC. This will be a longer blog than most but will hopefully be educational and informative. I will first make 2 admissions so you will not have to wonder.
- I am the owner/operator of Carolina Chillin’ LLC located in Bluffton, SC
- I am also a continuous user of WBC and you can read more about me and how I found it in an upcoming blog.
What is Whole Body Cryotherapy
WBC for short or just Cryo
WBC is a procedure developed in 1978 to combat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. It was found to have reduced inflammation and pain while at the same time increasing circulation to damaged areas speeding up recovery and slowing the progression of the disease. In the early 1980’s it was introduced into Europe where it was turned it into a full body recovery procedure treating a myriad of ailments and also speeding up recovery time for athletes and reducing their injury numbers. It has been introduced to many countries around the world and in 2011 made it to the US where everyone from Tony Robbins to Lebron James to Demi Moore are utilizing it to gain an edge in competition and life.
Whole Body Cryotherapy Procedure
Whole Body Cryotherapy is a procedure that involves the following. (We utilize the Titan-cabin and depending on the manufacturer, procedures may differ slightly)
- You are shown to the dressing room where you are asked to put on the socks, slippers, and gloves provided.
- Outer clothing and jewelry below the neck is removed or in case of jewelry not able to be removed, covered.
- Women can wear a two piece bathing suit or sports bra and shorts. You may also choose to go commando as we offer towels while going from dressing room to chamber. Your level of modesty is always respected.
- Men can just leave on their boxer-briefs of whatever they have on. Although not recommended I have seen (not literally) some go commando and God bless you if you do.
- During you changing the Cryo-cabin is pre-cooled to below -166F to speed up temperature getting to desired setting.
- Temperature and duration are set prior to you entering chamber.
- As you are stepping in I will ask for your height and that will be put into system.
- You will be raised up by the lift to where your head and neck are out of the top.
- Temperature will range between -180 and -280 (temperature will vary slightly but will remain within range for duration of procedure)
- Duration will be from 2-3 minutes although you have the ability to stop at any time. You have total control over this and we will never question if you say ‘stop’
- If you took advantage of the towel I will ask for it once procedure is starting and give it back 15 seconds prior to end of session so as to again respect you modesty.
What Happens to the Body during Cryo-session?
- We are attempting to take the top mm of skin down to as close to freezing as we can get and then keep it there for the duration of the session.
- This sends signals to the brain that begins the process of going into survival mode.
- Vasoconstriction (closing of blood vessels) to extremities begins which forces blood to concentrate in the core of the body.
- This creates a much smaller circulatory pathway allowing for the liver to go into overdrive filtering the waste and toxins out of the blood.
- Blood temperature is raised and oxygen holding capacity increased for a short time.
- Endorphins are released (it is the morphine of the body reducing pain reception)
- Norepinephrine is also released ( It heightens our awareness by increasing oxygen flow to brain, increases the heart rate, metabolism, and respiration)
- Other nutrients and enzymes stored in the body for just such an occasion is also released.
- Upon exiting your body will begin to vasodilate (opening of blood vessels 3-4x normal) allowing the blood to reach the extremities as quickly as possible.
- This vasodilation is where the whole process starts coming to fruition by flooding the body with oxygen and nutrient rich blood and removing waste and toxins from the body, and even the areas that may have previously had poor blood flow allowing a toxic build up.
- Inflammation and pain reduction is the ultimate goal and this will happen through the use of the Cryo-chamber.
- The more sessions you have the greater the benefit. From pain relief to better mental focus the way each persons body responds may be different but improvements will definitely happen the more you take advantage of its many beneficial opportunities.
What the FDA does and Doesn’t know.
The two main cautions the FDA has stated for the use of Whole Body Cryotherapy is the chance of asphyxiation and frostbite. They mildly mention the chance of skin burns and eye injury both of which I will also address.
- Asphyxiation is depriving the body of oxygen and this will only happen if you stick your face down into the chamber and inhale the nitrogen gas in the chamber (79% of the air you are breathing right now is nitrogen). Your head and neck is out of the top of the chamber and you breath normally so this should not be a problem.
- Frostbite can happen but on this note we take precautions. Gloves go on to protect the fingers and you can also bring them up out of the chamber as needed. Socks and slippers are provided so that you toes are protected with no chance of them being damaged. Other parts of the body normally associated with frostbite are nose and ears and since your head is out the top of the chamber there is no chance of this happening.
- Skin burns happen when a person steps into the chamber when there is moisture on the body. It can be from sweat or excessive lotions. Razor burns on the legs or open sores may also be hurt but can easily be covered to prevent any chance of damage. The burn we speak of is normally a localized redness like a sunburn and will usually subside within a day or two if it does happen. Best thing to do is take one of the hand towels offered and wipe off sweat or excessive lotions if you think you might have some on you. Cover sensitive areas.
- Eye injury as mentioned by the FDA is geared towards those people utilizing the Cryo-rooms and does not pertain to those of us that have the single person Cryo-cabin.
Although the FDA states several times that the benefits of Whole Body Cryotherapy has not been proven they neglect to tell you of the 100,00+ Cryo-sessions (In the US alone) that have been performed over the years with athletes performing better and safer along with people who have taken their lives back from chronic illness. It would be a great service to all if the FDA would take a seriously hard look at how beneficial Cryotherapy can be for those who utilize it properly and to its full potential.
Tragic death associated with Whole Body Cryotherapy
October 2015 was the first and only death associated with Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC). A tragic event that has been reported on and pointed to as a reason to not try it. Here are the facts.
- Miss Chelsea Ake of Nevada was the manager of a Cryotherapy center when her death happened.
- She was alone and un-supervised during the incident.
- Found the next morning by co-workers at the bottom of chamber.
- The death was ruled as “operator error”
- No one may never know the exact list of events that led to this but it has not happened since and never will when proper procedure are followed.
As sad as this death is it should have no impact on whether or not you try it. Heres why…
- You will never be un-supervised during a session.
- Sessions are limited to 3 minutes max and system shuts off immediately upon timer end (Our Titan model also has plunger to open door upon completion).
- You will always be in contact with operator interacting during the entire procedure.
- Your safety is the number one goal and then helping you feel better and live better is next.
Nothing in life is ever without its precautions but a Cryotherapists job is to lower them to almost nonexistent so that you can take chances on other pursuits in life such as bungee jumping or what ever else gets your blood flowing.
Cryotherapy is uncomfortable
Is it the most pleasant sensation a person can have? Well no, but if you are striving to be the best you ever, than you will have to put yourself in uncomfortable situations. Simple as that, no one ever grew or got better by being comfortable and that is true with recovering as well as healing. Whether you are striving to be the best athlete you can be or just wanting to be the best person it makes no difference, you must put yourself in disagreeable situations. Ask yourself the following.
- Do I want to reduce or eliminate DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)?
- Do I want to be 100% ready for game/competition day?
- Do I want to recover faster after the competition so I don’t have to walk around hurting?
- If I have an injury do I want to reduce recovery time?
- Do I want to have an edge up on my competitors?
- Do you want to reduce or eliminate pills that have side effects that reduce quality of life?
- Do you want to be more productive at work and play?
- Do you want to enjoy life’s gifts without pain and inflammation getting in the way?
- What if a surgery in inevitable, do I want pre-surgery to go as smoothly as possible and post-surgery recover better with less complications?
- Would I like to put less chemicals in my body and help it to do what it was meant to do and that is thrive?
If you answered yes to any of those questions than Cryotherapy Can make it happen. So now after reading the questions and stating yes to them, being antsy at spending 3 minutes in an uncomfortable situation doesn’t sound all that bad does it? It really does not matter whether you are in the Age of Youth or the Age of Wisdom or somewhere in the middle WBC if utilized properly can along with other life improving moves make you the best you can be period.
How often do I need Cryotherapy.
Each set of circumstances is different for each person but the following is a guideline for how to utilize it to the fullest.
- Athletes – a couple sessions prior to and immediately after a competition. When you have had a hard week and DOMS is setting in.
- Pre-surgery – come in for a couple of sessions prior to procedure to reduce inflammation and increase recovery
- Post-surgery – When you begin recovery and you want to increase speed of that recovery and decrease the inflammation
- Minor aches and pains – 1-3 sessions will normally greatly reduce symptoms
- Arthritis – 10-20 sessions every day or every other day to reduce symptoms and then 1 to 3 times a week to slow the progression of the disease as much as possible.
- Auto-immune type illnesses along with many diseases of posterity will use the same as arthritis
Each person will have slightly different responses to Whole Body Cryotherapy but one thing is for certain that the more you take care of yourself and reduce the pain and inflammation in your body the more you will get out of life.
Call Us Today Carolina Chillin Free consultation!
17 Sherington Drive, Suite D,
Bluffton, SC 29910