Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) is the latest and perhaps the most technological incarnation of a therapy that traces its use back to ancient Greece and Hippocrates. The benefit of temperature differential has also been used in Scandinavia with converts running from a sauna to the snow or even jumping through a hole in a frozen lake.
As a therapy WBC can be credited to Dr. Yamaguchi in in 1978[i]. His use of short freezing treatments on skin to treat pain in rheumatoid arthritis led to the exposure of the entire body to these extreme temperatures with the development of cryogenic chambers. Dr. Yamaguchi found the rapid decrease of temperature of the outer layer of skin led to the immediate release of endorphins and therefore less sensitivity to pain.
Europe and Russia have taken up the challenge of researching the benefit of Whole Body Cryotherapy for nearly 40 years and have developed cutting edge chambers to help patients suffering from chronic inflammatory conditions as well as to enhance elite athlete’s training programs.
In the days following intense training or competition, athletes often experience dull, aching pain, stiffness, tenderness and prolonged loss of muscle strength. A condition commonly called DOM’s which can last for up to 7 days[ii] .
For any serious athletes engaged in strenuous training cycles or competing, reduced force generating capacity for such a length of time could mean the difference between winning or losing.
A review of the literature[iii] found that WBC improves acute recovery during high-intensity intermittent exercise. The improvements were induced by enhanced oxygenation of the working muscles, as well as a reduced cardiovascular strain.
WBC is demonstrated to reduce muscle pain as well as aiding recovery of athletic capacity and performance. Further benefits of WBC treatment included reduction of systemic inflammation and lower concentrations of markers for muscle cell damage.
WBC improves recovery from muscle damage, and studies show that multiple exposures more consistently exhibiting improvements in recovery from pain, loss of muscle function, and markers of inflammation and damage.
In summary WBC is shown to:
- Reduce inflammation, swelling, pain and muscle soreness
- Enrich blood with oxygen, nutrients and enzymes
- Accelerate recovery from athletic training and competition
- Enable the body to handle more intense and higher volume training
- Boost energy & improve muscle unit activation (allows for immediate post-therapy training)
Whole Body Cryotherapy may be the edge you’ve been missing. Come in and see how you can boost your performance.
[ii] Whole-body cryotherapy’s enhancement of acute recovery of running performance in well-trained athletes.Krüger M et al. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. (2015)
[iii] Rose C, Edwards KM, Siegler J, Graham K, Caillaud C.
Int J Sports Med. 2017 Dec;38(14):1049-1060. doi: 10.1055/s-0043-114861. Epub 2017 Nov 21
Image credit: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/443252788301947943/
Comments are closed.