WHAT TO EXPECT
1. What to expect from the cryosauna treatment?
The cryosauna uses mixed with air nitrogen vapor to lower the user's skin surface temperature to 34 - 40 degrees F for up to 3 min, the max length of the cryotherapy treatment. By getting in touch with the extremely cold environment, cold receptors located on the skin send powerful signals to the brain to turn on the protection mode. Reduction of the skin temperature serves as a stimulant to all regulatory functions of the body. It also engages the areas that may not be performing to their fullest potential. So, while the exposed to the cold human body feels the cryo chill and, maybe, slight tingling of the skin, it does its best to make sure all vital functions are sustained – blood vessel constriction on the surface drives blood to the core, systolic blood pressure increases, and all organs receive more oxygen and nutrients. As soon as the treatment is over, blood rushes back to the peripheral tissues and delivers more oxygen and nutrients there. The body feels warm and energized. Many report immediate reduction of aches and pains. The released endorphins improve mood. The immediate effects can last for several hours, while the intangible improvements accumulate gradually. To achieve sustainable results, just one cryosauna treatment will never be enough.
2. What is whole body cryotherapy?
Whole body cryotherapy (WBC) is a short-term exposure of the entire body to extremely low temperatures to trigger the body’s most powerful mechanisms of self-protection, self-recovery and self-rejuvenation. Cryotherapy treatment implies contact of uncovered skin with dry cold air of temperatures between -170 F and -270 F (-110 C and -170 C) for 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Is cryosauna treatment painful?
No, it is not. Even though the temperatures used are extremely low, the air that circulates around the body inside cryosauna is completely dry. It makes the treatment surprisingly comfortable, much better than “wet cold” created by cold shower or a plunge in ice cold water. There is no actual freezing involved, no tissue gets damaged, and the chill that lasts for less than 3 minutes causes slight shivering, at most. Most people never do, while some are more cold-sensitive than the others. It is important to understand that cryosauna user will never be left alone, and the treatment could be stopped any moment if the cold feels too much. Many people start with a shorter first treatment to get used to it.
4. What do I need to wear?
Since cryotherapy relies on the body’s reaction to cold, it is absolutely essential that skin surface with its cold sensors is maximally exposed to the surrounding extreme temperatures. Every piece of cloth that is left on reduces effectiveness of the treatment. There are just a few exceptions: feet and, particularly, toes, fingertips, and genitalia in men. These areas are simply too sensitive to cold and could not stand it for the required 3 minutes. Therefore, men are required to wear briefs or other cotton protection, and everybody has to have thick natural material socks and gloves to cover toes and fingertips. We will provide socks and gloves.
5. Is there a need for a shower before and/or after the procedure?
No. This procedure requires the skin to be absolutely dry (no water, sweat, body lotions, creams, or oils, that, if used, should be wiped off by a dry towel before stepping into thecryosauna). Perspiration or any other secretion is not involved in the process.
6. Is it ok to eat before a cryo-session?
Yes, absolutely. In fact, many clients have reported being able to tolerate the cold much better after having eaten within the past few hours before their treatment, while having a treatment before breakfast has led to slight dizziness during the session.
7. Is it ok to work out right before or after a cryosauna treatment?
Yes! It is completely safe, and beneficial, either way. A cryosauna treatment before a workout may lead to higher pain tolerance, more energy, greater flexibility, and better endurance. Cryo treatment after a workout will help to reduce inflammation and muscle soreness, lead to fuller relaxation and deeper sleep at . Even though it is not recommended to do more than one treatment per day, as it could be too much stimulation and stress for the body, there can be exceptions. For example, marathon runners often do two treatments, before and after, on the day of the race.
1. Is there a need for a prescription?
No, cryotherapy is not a medical treatment by FDA standards, and cryosauna is not amedical device. It is a “wellness for all” type of equipment that has proven to deliver many benefits, including but not limited to enhanced recovery through improved blood circulation, reduced inflammation and swelling.Before the first treatment, every user must receive an explanation of contraindications and sign a liability waiver.
2. How often should cryosauna be used?
It is recommended to commit to at least 10 cryotreatments in the first 30 days for optimal results. Some people will need more, while some conditions, like skin disorders, will be better helped by maximum frequency (5-7 treatments per week). A cryo employee will be happy to help to customize a treatment plan, depending on the desired results. There is no one “right answer”.
Many athletes are active cryosauna users during their season and take a break when it is over. Users for preventative purposes often choose 3 to 4 turns of 10-15 treatments per year.
People who suffer from pain (arthritis, fibromyalgia, sciatica) or autoimmune disorders (psoriasis, eczema) may find more relief in more concentrated treatments for a longer period of time, until a remarkable improvement is achieved. Finally, in a post-surgery or post-injury stage, even a few consecutive treatments could substantially reduce the inflammation and swelling.
3. Can cryosauna be used by claustrophobic people?
Yes, it can. Client’s head is above the edge of the cabin during the treatment, the operator is always there, observing, communicating and ready to help, if necessary. Also, the door is never locked, and the treatment can be stopped any moment.
4. Is there a weight limit?
Cryosaunas can now accommodate clients up to 450 pounds. Cryotreatments can be an amazing jumpstart to weight loss, although the outcomes vary from person to person and should not be taken for granted.
5. Are there age restrictions?
Although the cryosauna produces completely natural results, the cabins are only designed for an adult-sized body. If height is sufficient, age does not matter, as long as the client is able to move enough to enter the cryosauna cabin and to stand unsupported for up to 3 minutes.
6. Can one catch a cold from the effects of cryosauna?
No. The cryo session will enhance the blood flow and cause a short-term increase of the systolic blood pressure. Body temperature may go slightly up for a short period of time, but it will return to normal soon after the treatment is over. The stimulation of the immune system can actually help decrease the severity and frequency of future colds and susceptibility to the flu.
7. Who should not use whole body cryotherapy?
Individuals with the following conditions are strongly advised not to use whole body cryotheraphy, as it may cause health-related issues: severe hypertension (BP>180/100), cardiovascular disorders and recent cardiovascular surgeries, cerebral palsy, uncontrolled seizures, difficulty breathing, cancers or tumors, acute infections, bleeding disorders, cold allergies, fever. It is recommended not to use cryotherapy during pregnancy due to potential risks that have never been evaluated. Every user should understand that cryotherapy enhances blood flow and briefly increases blood pressure. There are conditions where these generally beneficial effects increase health risks and can cause problems.
8. Has whole body cryotherapy been tested?
Yes. Researchers in Europe have been developing and refining whole body cryotherapy for over three decades. In a number of countries, it is used in hospitals, as well as included in state-supported preventative health care programs. The treatment is embraced by numerous top level athletes, including Olympic Medalists; it is 100% natural with no negative side effects. Using cryosauna has proven to be absolutely safe, unless the person has one of the below listed conditions that are considered contraindications.
9. Isn’t nitrogen dangerous to human beings?
No, it is not. Nitrogen is a non-toxic, natural gas that we constantly breathe – only 16% of the air is oxygen, while 78% is nitrogen! If one inhales too much nitrogen, it can cause slight dizziness or even passing out, but cryosauna prevents it from happening, as client’s head is outside during the treatment, while more concentrated cold nitrogen vapor that is heavier than air stays inside the cryosauna cabin.
To create the required cold, treatment providers receive nitrogen in its liquid form and under low pressure of 22 psi. It is neither flammable nor explosive. The specially designed cylinders prevent the extremely cold liquid from spilling, and cryosauna itself is built to make contact between client’s skin and liquid nitrogen impossible. Therefore, all risks are eliminated.
1. Who developed the cryosauna?
Whole body cryotherapy as a concept was originally developed in Japan in 1978 when Dr. Yamaguchi discovered positive effects of extreme cold on his rheumatoid arthritis patients. The benefits were further studied in a number of European countries, leading to an increasingly wide range of cryotherapy applications. First whole body cryosaunas were bulky walk-in chambers that required heavy protective gear, including masks and hats. In 1994, Russian company Krion introduced the first portable vertical immersion cabin leaving client’s head outside and allowing for breathing room temperature air. This modality was much more affordable and easier to use; thus, the therapy started spreading. The United States were introduced to whole body cryotherapy much later – in 2009, by the founder of Millennium ICE, Inc. Aleksandr Matorin, the man behind the first made in USA cryosauna M-Cryo. Today, cryosauna is being increasingly adopted all over the world by holistic health practitioners, chiropractors, physical therapists, sports teams, training facilities and individual athletes for the pain and anti-inflammatory relief that it
2. Why does whole body cryotherapy require this extreme cold?
Applications of hot and cold for health and recovery purposes have been known for centuries. Whole body cryotherapy brings this knowledge to a new level. Human body is designed to take care of itself and is the best healer, provided that the respective built-in protective mechanisms get initiated. Tolerable cold makes the body to react slowly and to send more blood to the area being cooled to offset the cold impact. Extreme cold that is not normal for survival shocks the body into immediate self-protection mode that concentrates on preserving function of the most crucial parts. Instead of warming the peripherals, the blood gets concentrated in the core, maintains temperature there, and delivers oxygen and essential nutrients to all vital organs. After the perceived threat is over, the blood gets flushed back to the skin and more remote areas. The improved blood flow is beneficial for the entire body.
3. How can a human being stand the temperatures below -170 F?
In a long term, it could not, as the cold would damage the tissues. This is the reason why cryosauna treatment never exceeds 3 min. Length of the treatment has been established to get the skin temperature down to not less than 34 F. This way, frostbite does not happen, while the body thinks it is freezing and mobilizes all its resources to stay alive. 3 min treatment in cryosauna is much more effective and tolerable than taking a cold shower or sitting in an ice bath that athletes often use for post-workout recovery.
4. Why doesn’t ice bath produce the same results?
WBC is not simply a faster and more comfortable version of an ice bath. The body’s reaction to low temperatures while submerged in an ice bath (40-45°F) is radically different from its reaction to cryo temperatures (below -166°F) in the cryosauna. The key to this difference is the temperature of the environment, the skin surface temperature, and the speed of the reduction of the skin surface temperature. In an ice bath, the temperature can only reach 40-45°F while the temperature in a cryosauna can go as low as -270°F. This means that skin surface temperature in the wet, up to 15 min long, often painful ice bath can only reach 40°F, while skin surface temperature in cryosauna goes down to 34°F in just seconds, and the total length of time the skin is exposed to the low temperature environment (which is dry, thus invigorating rather than painful) never exceeds 3 minutes.
In an ice bath, the body attempts to fight the penetrating cold by warming blood in its core and sending it to the peripheral tissues. While in an ice bath, the body is struggling with actual, unrelenting physical cold, not just signals from the skin cold sensors. Blood begins cooling as it nears the skin surface, and its return to the core begins to decrease the body’s core temperature, as well. Eventually there is not enough heat produced. Muscles start to congeal and freeze, and the body approaches the zone of real risk of dying from hypothermia. The small benefit of a temporary numbing effect for perceived reduction of pain and inflammation is far outweighed by the potentially damaging effects of the ice bath. Conversely, in cryosauna, the temperature of the air surrounding the body is too low to be seen as normal, so the most powerful protective mechanisms get triggered immediately. Vasoconstriction of peripheral tissues takes place - the body sends blood from the skin surface, muscles, and surrounding joint space to the core to protect core temperature. As long as the exposure to the extremely cold temperature continues, the body continues to circulate blood between the cardiovascular system and the vital organs in a continuous loop. Core temperature stays intact, and the enhanced blood flow in a shorter circle and under higher pressure supplies all organs with more oxygen, nutrients, and enzymes. Once the participant exits the cryosauna, the body immediately begins vasodilation, returning the blood to peripheral tissues, improving their blood supply and flushing out toxins.
During an ice bath, tissue begins to freeze and muscles temporarily lose capacity. Muscle tissue then needs time to return to normal which requires the body to rest. Therefore, an ice bath must be scheduled at the end of a rigorous workout to let the participant recuperate overnight. In contrast, the cryosauna does not actually freeze muscle or any other tissue. It only creates a powerful illusion of freezing. Besides, upon exit from cryosauna, the blood flow back to the peripheral tissues warms the muscles almost immediately. Accordingly, the participant may use cryosauna at any time of the day, before or after a workout, to produce the best results in terms of performance of the body. Lastly, while in an ice bath, oxygen supply to the skin surface is interrupted, and it can promote skin disease if the procedure is often repeated. Significant health risks may involve the MRSA infection (a bacterial infection that is highly resistant to some antibiotics) if ice baths are not cleaned and maintained properly. There is no such effect in the cryosauna.
Professional athletes who have used ice baths in the past have discovered WBC as a more powerful and effective modality to decrease recovery time and increase athletic performance.