What is Cryotherapy?
The short answer is using extreme cold in surgery or other medical treatments and it has been used for years in healthcare.
However, it has recently gained popularity due to celebrities like Demi Moore, Jennifer Aniston, and Mandy Moore using it for anti-aging and healing benefits.
Is cryotherapy what really is keeping them looking youthful? If it is, then how is this so? Keep reading to find out!
How does cryotherapy work?
While cryotherapy can be used in several different ways, the two I am focusing on here will be the cryo-facial and the whole body.
With whole-body cryotherapy, you will sit or stand in a chamber(cryo-chamber). Liquid nitrogen is pumped into the chamber with temperatures ranging from -100 to -140 degrees Celsius. The time you stay in the chamber is usually about 3 minutes. BRRRRR!
You know, even though this is really cold, it is a dry cold. So when I read about the experience of people who have done this, they said it isn’t as bad as you would think.
Much different than say…. a cold shower! Keep reading to find out about that, though.
With the cryo facial, liquid nitrogen is pumped all over the face for 2-3 minutes at temperatures ranging from -129 degrees Celsius and -184 degrees Celsius.
Depending on where you have this done, there may be some extra steps involved such as lying under complexion-boosting LED lights.
What are the benefits?
As the below-freezing air is aimed all over your face and neck, tightening will occur because of vasoconstriction.
As your face returns to normal temperature, this will cause a rush of blood and oxygen, which in turn will give you a vibrant glow.
This also stimulates the production of collagen, which will make your skin plump and tighter. Your fine lines and wrinkles will be diminished as well.
Whole-body cryotherapy has been shown to help with weight loss by stimulating metabolism with regular treatments.
There are anti-inflammatory benefits that were originally started in Japan to help ease the pain of arthritis. Athletes have used cold therapy for years to help with inflammation and pain of injuries or speedy recovery from strenuous workouts.
Can Taking a Cold Shower Have the Same Benefits?
There has been some research to show that it would. Before you try this, though, I have to warn you, it’s very intense!
Where a cryo-chamber is using dry cold air, the cold water is definitely a different experience!
While the cold hits your skin, your internal temperature will drop as well. When this happens, your heart will start pumping faster, therefore, rushing nutrient and oxygen-rich blood throughout your body.
Toxins are also removed by the circulatory system and through the kidneys.
Your white blood cells and anti-inflammatory cytokines are increased with regular use of cryotherapy. White blood cells are the ones that fight infection while the Cytokines are, you guessed it, keeping down the inflammation response.
Put all of this together and your immune system is getting a pretty good boost!
Is Cryotherapy Safe?
While it is safe for most people, some under certain conditions should not be used.
If you are pregnant, have high blood pressure, or have any heart problems, you should not use this type of therapy.
The FDA has not approved cryotherapy, but it has been used in one way or another for about 40 years.
What is the Cost?
If you decide you would like to try out a cryo-chamber, depending on where you live, it can range anywhere from $35 a session to $100 a session.
If you decided you want it to make a consistent thing, it could get pretty expensive.
The cryo-facial costs are about the same. The only difference with this one is once you have reached the desired result, it lasts for a while.
If You Decide to Take Cold Showers
You should start slowly. By that I mean you should start out with a warm shower and then turn it to cold for maybe the last minute or so.
Next, you will not want to take them at night. Cold showers are for the morning, to wake up your body and get everything going.
While taking cold showers will help your immune system, if you are already sick, a cold shower will not be a good idea!
At Home Cryo-Facial
While there is a plethora of cryo tools on the market these days, a simple ice cube will do just as well.
Ice cubes are cold so unless you want your fingers to freeze, I would suggest using a soft cloth to hold the ice. Massage your skin in upward motions.
If you don’t want to use ice cubes on your face, there are reusable ice face masks. These are not only great for anti-aging purposes but also help in relieving migraines and sinus headaches!
Ice globes are another great tool to consider.
If you look at how young and preserved Demi Moore and Jennifer Aniston are and they are preaching the gospel on cryotherapy, I would say it’s worth a shot.
Since it has gained popularity, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a place near wherever you may be. Or, you can use the tips listed above and not leave the house!
If you decide to give this a try, let me know how your experience went, whether at home or professionally done!
If you have any questions or comments, leave them below. I would love to hear from you!