Do you like the cold? What if we told you cold therapy was the secret ingredient in the recovery formula? If you’re an athlete looking for a competitive edge to your training, try full-body cryotherapy. Take a look at the social media feeds of top athletes, influencers, and celebrities, and you’ll probably see a few posts of them dancing around in the misty background of a cryo chamber.
So, what is cryotherapy, and how can it help you improve athletic performance and well-being?
A technology developed in 1978, cryotherapy has decades of research and study behind its effects on human physiology. The process uses liquid nitrogen to rapidly cool the air inside the cryo chamber, exposing the body below the head to sub-zero temperature momentarily.
During the cryotherapy session, you’ll experience the temperature in the cryo chamber drop to between -166F to -222F, with the surface temperature of your body dropping by 30F. In case you’re worried about the onset of hypothermia, cryo sessions last two to three minutes, which isn’t enough time to let the cold therapy cause damage to your body.
During the session, your blood rushes to your internal organs to protect them. The intense cold activates the “Vagus” nerve, improving the function of the central nervous system (CNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system. These biological systems are responsible for controlling respiratory, cardiovascular, and circulatory activity.
As you step out of the cryo chamber, the blood rushes back to the extremities and muscular system, reducing inflammation with super-oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood. Let’s take a deep dive into what you can expect from the physiological response from a cryotherapy session.
Pain and Inflammation Subside
If you experience an injury in training, chances are the first thing you do is ice it down to stop the inflammation in the ligament or muscle, right? Cryotherapy has a similar effect on the body. Blood vessels constrict during exposure to extreme cold.
There’s an immediate reduction in swelling from the drop in circulation moving to the limbs and the skin. As a result, you experience a short-term decrease in the inflammatory response extending for hours after the cryotherapy session ends.
Full-body cryotherapy initiates the release of norepinephrine. The brain produces this neurotransmitter to stimulate the anti-inflammatory response. The result of a three-minute cryotherapy session is incredibly useful in resolving issues with pain and inflammation associated with sports injuries and with age-related conditions like arthritis.
The Increase in Metabolic Rate Fast-Tracks Recovery
Your metabolism governs the rate at which your body conducts protein synthesis. Our muscular system requires introducing nutrient-rich blood filled with protein and amino acids to start the repair process after training.
A cryotherapy session increases metabolic rate, and that has several physiological benefits. The body requires a significant amount of energy to maintain its body heat. When the temperature suddenly drops in the cryo chamber, your body experiences a sudden jolt to your metabolism.
It’s like flipping the nitro switch in a Fast and Furious movie. Your body ramps up the metabolic rate to compensate for the sudden change in environmental conditions. As a result, you burn more calories throughout the day.
During the session, you could burn up to 500 to 800 calories as your body goes into survival mode. However, the effect lingers into the next day, revving your metabolic rate to help you burn more fat naturally.
White Blood Cell Counts Rise
Undergoing cryotherapy sessions initiate a powerful immune response. As the brain senses the cold, it signals the immune system to increase white blood cell production. This reaction helps to reduce inflammation and strengthens the immune response.
Around 60% of the immune system resides in the digestive tract. When the blood rushes from your extremities to your organs for protection during cryotherapy, you help to strengthen the immune response.
Collagen Production Soars
Cryotherapy also provides an anti-aging effect on the body. After a cryotherapy session, the body increases its collagen production. This protein is responsible for building strong bones, joints, cartilage, skin, and hair. Cold therapy also reduces the production of collagenase enzymes that break down collagen proteins.
Collagen also inhibits cortisol production, reducing the effects of stress on the skin and hair follicles. It’s gaining popularity in anti-aging practices due to collagen’s ability to give the skin a youthful look, reducing the signs of aging like wrinkles and cellulite.
While it’s not the fountain of youth, the anti-aging benefits of cryotherapy can significantly improve the look of your skin and hair.
Enhancement to Sleep Quality
Sleep is critical for athletic recovery. During sleep, the body repairs the damage you did to it during your training sessions. Muscle fibers stitch back together stronger, and the brain clears neural pathways of inflammatory toxins.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, it’s going to affect your recovery adversely. Cryotherapy can help you improve your sleep quality dramatically. You’ll notice that you don’t wake up in the night, and you wake up feeling restored after a good night’s sleep.
Mood Elevates and Stabilizes
If you’re feeling down with stress and depression, the mood-enhancing effects of a cryotherapy session will leave you feeling great. Cold therapy increases brain activity and the production of “feel-good” hormones like endorphins. Regular cryotherapy has an anti-depressive effect offering an alternative to medication.
During crypto therapy, the body reduces cortisol production. Known as the “stress hormone,” cortisol is an adrenaline-like hormone initiating the “fight-or-flight” response in the body. Our busy lifestyles can increase stress and cortisol production, leaving us in a state of anxiety.
The effect of cryotherapy on the nervous system reduces cortisol production and its adverse impact on your physiology and mental health.
Experience Professional Cryotherapy with Guaranteed Results
You deserve the best cryotherapy experience available. Muscle Lab in Pasadena, CA, offers you a professional team dedicated to helping you improve your recovery.
Athletes and competitors in any sport can rely on Muscle Lab to deliver performance-enhancing results that exceed your expectations.
Check out testimonials from athletes, influencers, and celebrities and their cryotherapy before and after pics on social media.
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