Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) is a sophisticated method of cold therapy involving three minutes of skin exposure to temperatures between -200°F to -250°F.
While this modality was first utilized in Japan in 1978 to treat rheumatic diseases, studies conducted over the last two decades have established cryotherapy as a powerful adjunct treatment for reducing symptoms of pain and inflammation associated with a number of chronic conditions. Furthermore, cryotherapy significantly improves recovery time for athletes, treats skin conditions and aids in weight loss.
The sympathetic nervous system is stimulated by the skin’s cold receptors, causing severe vasoconstriction, followed by rapid vasodilation. Blood flow to the skin’s surface and extremities is redirected to insulate vital organs and maintain the core temperature, which can fluctuate by only 4.5° C between states of hypothermia and hyperthermia.
These responses are due to perceived life-threatening conditions; therefore, thermal regulation is trivial as the body is forced to activate a cascade of powerful adaptive (survival) mechanisms involving the body’s most crucial systems.
Cryotherapy immediately improves blood circulation, ensuring adequate delivery of oxygen and nutrients to bodily tissues, while improving the body’s natural ability to eliminate toxins.