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Cryotherapy — Embracing Extreme Cold for Better Health

From Wellness Interactive Branding, LLC.

In a cryotherapy session, the body is exposed to very cold temperatures for a short amount of time. The person enters a specialized booth for several minutes, with average temperature ranges from -200° F to -256°F. Yes, that’s very, very cold! But the sessions are closely monitored, often by physical therapists, chiropractors, or other qualified professionals. This type of treatment is considered a “whole body” treatment.

For those who want the benefits of cryotherapy, but are a bit daunted by the extreme temps, some practitioners will offer an introductory session around -166° to get an idea of what it is like prior to a bigger commitment. This can help you prepare for the regular treatment.

 There are additional options as well. The two other types are local cryotherapy and facial cryotherapy.

Local treatments target specific areas of the body that are aching, inflamed, or painful, such as sore muscles or joints. These typically last longer than a whole body treatment, taking anywhere between five to ten minutes.

Facial treatments are performed to enhance the skin, using pressurized liquid nitrogen to the face and neck for tighter and more even skin by stimulating collagen production and reducing pores. Often called “cryofacials,” this type of cryotherapy can smooth out fine lines, wrinkles, and even relieve intense acne.

Benefits of Cryotherapy

Athletes and other people with sore or injured muscles or joints are some of the most common candidates for cryotherapy, but health and wellness professionals use it to help a lot of other people too. It’s important to understand how the body reacts to this wellness technique.

What happens to your body during cryotherapy is this: the extremely cold temperature will stimulate a response to restrict blood flow to the extremities, which effectively shuts down the inflammation process, swelling, and bruising that occurs after an injury. What also happens is that the blood gets enriched with nutrients, oxygen, and enzymes, as well as hormones. After the session ends and you leave the cold temperatures, normal blood flow returns to the peripheral tissues and muscles, sending that rush of good components throughout your system and body.

This combination of oxygen, enzymes, hormones, and nutrients going through your body is good for multiple health issues.

Benefits of cryotherapy can include:

  • Relieving muscle pain
  • Decreasing inflammation (including for joints)
  • Treating and reducing the effects of migraines
  • Improving skin conditions
  • Relieving stress, anxiety, and depression (through the release of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and endorphins)


Certainly, as in all types of treatments, our bodies react differently. One person’s experience may result in very positive effects, and others may be more subtle or take more time (also depending on the severity of the health issue).

Cryotherapy – Is it a Good Choice for You?

Taking the time and care to consider new additions to your comprehensive wellness program is always a good idea. If you have any major health conditions, it is always important to consult with your healthcare team.

Cryotherapy is NOT recommended for women who are pregnant, anyone with a heart condition, or other contraindications such as Rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, and other specific health conditions. Due to the intense conditions, it is always essential to put safety first. Keeping that in mind, many people could still benefit from cryotherapy.

Wellness Retreats for Cold Therapy

Retreats can be an incredible experience. Whether they are in the middle of nowhere or nearby bustling, cosmopolitan cities, wellness professionals are incorporating cold therapy into their offerings. It’s not as intense as cryotherapy sessions, and you can’t go to them as often for treatments, but they do work with similar concepts and complement diverse personal wellness programs.

A brand new one recently opened in the heart of Swedish Lapland. Arctic Bath, a unique hotel and spa destination, literally floats on the Lule River, where guests are underneath the northern lights in the winter and the midnight sun in the summer. Arctic Bath embraces the beauty of natural elements in its design and wellness experiences, such as a package that includes an arctic bath in the center of the facility, as well as hot tubs and saunas for the ultimate hydrotherapy.

Other retreat options that incorporate cold therapy into their wellness offerings include 10,000 Waves in Santa Fe, NM, the Chedi Andermatt, in Switzerland, and for those who want to have a more structured wellness learning experience, go to Norway and discover the Wim Hof method.

Being exposed to extreme cold can be a shocking yet potentially very beneficial wellness technique. If you’re ready to try something new to improve your health, consider cryotherapy (or other cold therapy options), and consult with health and wellness professionals.

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