Whole Body Cryotherapy

Helps relieve aches & pains, speeds muscle recovery, improves sleep, and has many more benefits.
Watch the video : What is advanced cryo therapy?

Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) is an innovative method of recovery and wellness wherein the body is exposed to very cold temperatures of around -150 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-3 minutes in order to encourage seven key physiological and psychological benefits.

  1. Beauty – Younger-looking skin.
  2. Athletics – Enhances preparation for competition.
  3. Weight Loss – Beneficial effects on body composition and adipose tissue.
  4. Muscle Recovery – Improves recovery from muscle injury.
  5. Mood – Reduces anxiety and depression.
  6. Pain Management – Reduces arthritic pain, migraine pain and numbs nerve irritation.
  7. Sleep – Improves the quality of subjective and objective sleep. 

Explore the photos below to get an in-depth view of Whole Body Cryotherapy.

History of Cryotherapy – A Brief Overview

Born from nature and made safe and effective through science, the use of cold therapy for healing and/or relaxation dates as far back as 3000 BCE. The Egyptians used cold therapy to treat trauma, pain and inflammation according to the the Edwin Smith Papyrus. The Papyrus is the the oldest known medical text and dates from 1600 B.C. but it is believed to be a copy of a much older papyrus, perhaps from 3000 B.C.

Around 400 BC, Greek physician Hippocrates reduced hemorrhaging in his patients using cold and ice. It is believed that the Greeks may have had been influenced by the Edwin Smith Papyrus, using it in the development of subsequent Hippocratic medicine

Cold therapy was modernized in 1978 by the famous Dr. Toshima Yamaguchito in Japan. He began treating his patients with rheumatoid arthritis in an ice-cold chamber. He discovered that this released endorphins in his patients that reduced their overall sensitivity to pain and discomfort.

Present day studies are showing similar results of those discovered by Dr. Yamaguchito. Pain is significantly reduced in patients with RA, Disease activity is also significantly reduced in a clinically meaningful manner reducing the amount of pain medications taken. In addition, a survey of 300 RA patients said that pain was the number one thing reduced from cryotherapy treatments.

Accumulating evidence also indicates the effectiveness of whole body cryotherapy in ankylosing spondylitis, fibromyalgiamultiple sclerosis, and chronic low back pain.

Modern Day Cryotherapy

Fortunately, you no longer have to jump into a frozen lake to experience the benefits of cryotherapy.

Modern day whole body cryotherapy sessions are administered using an electric, fully enclosed, cryotherapy chamber. Once you step into the chamber your body is briefly enveloped in a dry, hyper-cooled, breathable air environment. Depending on your skill level, or bravery, you will be in the chamber for 2 to 3 minutes at a temperature of -145F or we can cool it down to -175F if you would like.

One benefit of electric cryotherapy chambers versus other types is that you can bring a friend in with you. The chamber is large enough to comfortably fit 2 people.
Modern day whole body cryotherapy chambers are like walking into a large freezer.

Once you exit the chamber, your skin begins to warm up causing your body to respond by expanding blood vessels (vasodilation). This creates a four-fold higher blood flow than normal throughout the body that is full of nutrient-rich and oxygen-rich blood. This flow brings with it an army of new white blood cells improving your overall immune system and also brings massive healing to all injured and damaged parts of your body.

This increased blood flow change can last a few hours following exercise, resulting in the elimination of metabolic products.
Modern day whole body cryotherapy chambers are like walking into a large freezer.

How Cryotherapy Works

Cryotherapy creates a systemic response throughout the body that generates a much faster recovery time from all sorts of injuries and even surgery. When exposed to extreme cold temperatures, blood rushes from our extremities to our core. This is our body’s natural way of protecting our core organs from extreme cold.

This systemic response to cold causes our blood vessels to narrow, which reduces the blood flow to inflamed or painful areas. This in turn slows down nerve transmission so the brain receives fewer pain signals. Inflammation is also reduced as the number of pro-inflammatory cells that cause sensitivity and pain is decreased.  

As mentioned above, cold promotes increased blood flow which brings fresh, oxygenated blood, full of white blood cells to areas of the body that need it. Yes, whole body cryotherapy has been shown to strengthen the body’s immune system and fight against viruses by increased white blood cell count throughout the body!

The effectiveness of whole body cryotherapy is session dependent. A single session, while exhilirating, is not sufficent to exert any significant benefit. The standard procedure prescribed by rheumatologists, traumatologists or sports physicians is a series of 20 sessions for evaluating effectiveness. To acheive a complete hematological and immunological recovery, 30 sessions is optimum.

Explore the photos below to get an in-depth view of Whole Body Cryotherapy.

Seven Key Physiological & Psychological Benefits of Cryotherapy

Whole body cryotherapy causes many different effects on human physiology by reducing core and tissue temperatures and altering blood flow. The most notable physiological effects include a reduced perception of pain and an overall sense of well-being. The 7 key physiological and psychological benefits of whole body cryotherapy as mentioned at the beginning of this article are:

Cyrotherapy Promotes Beautiful Skin

When you step out of the chamber, the blood that was protecting your core rushes back out to your extremities. This boost of blood circulation brings with it all sorts of nutrients, antioxidants, and oxygen to the entire body. Cell growth and cell renewal is stimulated throughout the body and the production of collagen ramps up, rejuvenating and repairing the skin.

The increase in collagen promotes smooth, younger looking skin. Dark circles, visible lines, wrinkles and pore size are all reduced. Skin volume, tone and resiliency is improved. Even the growth of hair and fingernails is promoted.

Cryotherapy also has a sedative effect in psoriasis and neurodermatitis.

Croyotherapy Enhances Performance in Athletics

Both athletes and coaches praise the performance enhancing effects that exposure to whole body cry0therapy has when used prior to competition.

When used alongside traditional pre-competition warmups, the acute hormonal, anti-inflammatory, perceptual and psychological responses yielded by whole body cry0therapy could enhance an athlete’s readiness for competition.

This practice would also aid in the athletes’ recovery after competition from it’s positive effects on the muscular enzymes creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase.

Muscles Recover Faster with Cryotherapy

The most common use of whole body cryotherapy is as a recovery modality for muscle damage after high intensity exercise and/or competition. One study found that a series of 10 sessions of whole body cryotherapy significantly reduced the inflammatory response induced by eccentric exercise.

Whole body cryotherapy engages vasoconstriction and activates the central nervous systems flight or fight response. Norepinephrine, which regulates endorphins such as dopamine and adrenaline, is quickly released from the brain.

Elite athletes have been using whole body cryotherapy for enhanced athletic performance and recovery for years.

Blood rushes to the core, heart rate and blood circulation increases and more nutrients and oxygen can now reach the major muscle groups. Meaning, you can train longer and harder and recover much faster.

Also, the endorphins the brain released last for hours so many experience an elevated mood for several hours after a session.

Cryotherapy Helps with Weight Loss

Studies are showing the efficacy of whole body cryotherapy as an adjuvant treatment in obesity. The cryogenic stimulus has important anti-inflammatory/antioxidant effects somehow mimicking an exercise effect.

It has been found to reduce systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, abdominal obesity, and body mass as well as increase the percentage of brown adipose tissue volume, decreasing the percentage of adipose tissue.

One study found that a series of 20 whole body cryotherapy sessions achieved beneficial changes in body composition. Body mass, abdominal circumference, waist circumference, hip circumference, total fat mass and percentage of leg fat all significantly decreased.

Mood is Positively Enhanced with Cryotherapy

Recent studies suggest that whole body cryotherapy is a promising add-on intervention for mental health problems such as depression and anxiety disorders.

Sleep problems are at the top of the list for many individuals with mental health problems. The positive effect whole body cryotherapy has on sleep is believed to be a contributing factor in the reduction of depression and anxiety symptoms in study participants.

The onset of depression and anxiety are also associated with inflammatory processes. Whole body cryotherapy is well known for reducing inflammation which may also contribute to the reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms.

Cryotherapy Helps with Pain Management

Just as Dr. Toshima Yamaguchito discovered in 1978, present day studies are showing similar results for treatment of inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Pain is significantly reduced in patients with RA, which in turn reduces the amount of pain medications taken. In addition, a survey of 300 RA patients said that pain was the number one thing reduced from whole body cryotherapy treatments.

After a session, there is an increase in anti-inflammatory cytokines and a decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines supporting anti-inflammatory response. This reduction in inflammatory responses has made whole body cryotherapy an adjuvant treatment for many autoimmune diseases, arthritis, fibromyalgia, ankylosing spondylitis and even Long COVID.

Sleep is Improved with Cryotherapy

A number of studies have shown that whole body cryotherapy improves sleep in high level athletes as well as in people that live active lifestyles. This is attributed to the pain reducing effect of the cold, which lowered soreness and induced relaxation.

The quality of their sleep was also improved. Tossing and turning during the night causes intermittent wakefulness and poor sleep. Low movement during sleep is associated with a deeper sleep and deep sleep is what is required for recovery from mental and physical fatigue. Participants in these studies reported that they had a deeper, less disturbed sleep.

Cryotherapy – The Final Analysis

After a whole body  cryotherapy treatment, most people feel refreshed and recharged! Your immune system, blood cells, endorphins, focus and recovery ability will all benefit.

Whether you are focused on arthritis, autoimmune diseases, surgeries, injuries, athletic performance, beauty, sleep, pain management or just plain want to improve your overall wellness and vitality, whole body cryotherapy could be a vital part of reaching your goals of optimal health.

Learn More About Our Integrative Treatments

Everything on our website comes from from reputable publications, books and scientific journals, most of which are available on PubMed and other government websites. These include Meta-Analysis’, Randomized Controlled Trials, Clinical Trials, Systematic Reviews, Books and Documents. We encourage you to read the science, in order to separate fact from fiction, so that you can arrive at a full understanding of what is best for your body. We would be honored to be a part of that educational journey with you.

  1. Wafa Douzi, Olivier Dupuy, Maxence Tanneau, Geoffroy Boucard, Romain Bouzigon & Benoit Dugué (2019) 3-min whole body cryotherapy/cryostimulation after training in the evening improves sleep quality in physically active men, European Journal of Sport Science, 19:6, 860-867, DOI: 10.1080/17461391.2018.1551937
  2. Klemm P, Hoffmann J, Asendorf T, Aykara I, Frommer K, Dischereit G, Müller-Ladner U, Neumann E, Lange U. Whole-body cryotherapy for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: a monocentric, single-blinded, randomised controlled trial. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2022 Nov;40(11):2133-2140. doi: 10.55563/clinexprheumatol/lrff6k. Epub 2022 Mar 1. PMID: 35238767.
  3. Wang H, Olivero W, Wang D, Lanzino G. Cold as a therapeutic agent. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2006 May;148(5):565-70; discussion 569-70. doi: 10.1007/s00701-006-0747-z. Epub 2006 Feb 17. PMID: 16489500.
  4. van Middendorp JJ, Sanchez GM, Burridge AL. The Edwin Smith papyrus: a clinical reappraisal of the oldest known document on spinal injuries. Eur Spine J. 2010 Nov;19(11):1815-23. doi: 10.1007/s00586-010-1523-6. Epub 2010 Aug 10. PMID: 20697750; PMCID: PMC2989268.
  5. Nasi, M., Bianchini, E., Lo Tartaro, D. et al. Effects of whole-body cryotherapy on the innate and adaptive immune response in cyclists and runners. Immunol Res 68, 422–435 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12026-020-09165-1
  6. Garcia, C., Karri, J., Zacharias, N.A. et al. Use of Cryotherapy for Managing Chronic Pain: An Evidence-Based Narrative. Pain Ther 10, 81–100 (2021). 
  7. Allan, R., Malone, J., Alexander, J. et al. Cold for centuries: a brief history of cryotherapies to improve health, injury and post-exercise recovery. Eur J Appl Physiol 122, 1153–1162 (2022).
  8. Ziemann E, Olek RA, Grzywacz T, Kaczor JJ, Antosiewicz J, Skrobot W, Kujach S, Laskowski R. Whole-body cryostimulation as an effective way of reducing exercise-induced inflammation and blood cholesterol in young men. Eur Cytokine Netw. 2014 Mar 1;25(1):14-23. doi: 10.1684/ecn.2014.0349. PMID: 24998353.
  9. Bettoni, L., Bonomi, F.G., Zani, V. et al. Effects of 15 consecutive cryotherapy sessions on the clinical output of fibromyalgic patients. Clin Rheumatol 32, 1337–1345 (2013). 
  10. Miller E, Kostka J, Włodarczyk T, Dugué B. Whole-body cryostimulation (cryotherapy) provides benefits for fatigue and functional status in multiple sclerosis patients. A case-control study. Acta Neurol Scand. 2016 Dec;134(6):420-426. doi: 10.1111/ane.12557. Epub 2016 Jan 18. PMID: 26778452.
  11. Szygula Z, Lubkowska A, Giemza C, Skrzek A, Bryczkowska I, Dołęgowska B. Hematological parameters, and hematopoietic growth factors: EPO and IL-3 in response to whole-body cryostimulation (WBC) in military academy students. PLoS One. 2014 Apr 2;9(4):e93096. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0093096. PMID: 24695100; PMCID: PMC3973677.
  12. Partridge EM, Cooke J, McKune A, Pyne DB. Whole-Body Cryotherapy: Potential to Enhance Athlete Preparation for Competition? Front Physiol. 2019 Aug 6;10:1007. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.01007. PMID: 31447697; PMCID: PMC6691163.
  13. Wiecek M, Szymura J, Sproull J, Szygula Z. Whole-Body Cryotherapy Is an Effective Method of Reducing Abdominal Obesity in Menopausal Women with Metabolic Syndrome. J Clin Med. 2020 Aug 30;9(9):2797. doi: 10.3390/jcm9092797. PMID: 32872598; PMCID: PMC7563463.
  14. Rymaszewska J, Ramsey D, Chładzińska-Kiejna S. Whole-body cryotherapy as adjunct treatment of depressive and anxiety disorders. Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). 2008 Jan-Feb;56(1):63-8. doi: 10.1007/s00005-008-0006-5. Epub 2008 Feb 5. PMID: 18250970; PMCID: PMC2734249.
  15. Rymaszewska J, Urbanska K, Szcześniak D, Pawłowski T, Pieniawska-Śmiech K, Kokot I, Pawlik-Sobecka L, Płaczkowska S, Zabłocka A, Stańczykiewicz B. Whole-body cryotherapy – promising add-on treatment of depressive disorders. Psychiatr Pol. 2019 Oct 30;53(5):1053-1067. English, Polish. doi: 10.12740/PP/OnlineFirst/91298. Epub 2019 Oct 30. PMID: 31955185.
  17. Douzi W, Dupuy O, Tanneau M, Boucard G, Bouzigon R, Dugué B. 3-min whole body cryotherapy/cryostimulation after training in the evening improves sleep quality in physically active men. Eur J Sport Sci. 2019 Jul;19(6):860-867. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2018.1551937. Epub 2018 Dec 14. PMID: 30551730.
  18. Douzi W, Dupuy O, Theurot D, Boucard G, Dugué B. Partial-body cryostimulation after training improves sleep quality in professional soccer players. BMC Res Notes. 2019 Mar 15;12(1):141. doi: 10.1186/s13104-019-4172-9. PMID: 30876470; PMCID: PMC6419922.
  19. Capodaglio P, Cremascoli R, Piterà P, Fontana JM. WHOLE-BODY CRYOSTIMULATION: A REHABILITATION BOOSTER. J Rehabil Med Clin Commun. 2022 Sep 19;5:2810. doi: 10.2340/jrmcc.v5.2810. PMID: 36189129; PMCID: PMC9495643.
  20. Rymaszewska J, Ramsey D, Chładzińska-Kiejna S. Whole-body cryotherapy as adjunct treatment of depressive and anxiety disorders. Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). 2008 Jan-Feb;56(1):63-8. doi: 10.1007/s00005-008-0006-5. Epub 2008 Feb 5. PMID: 18250970; PMCID: PMC2734249.
  21. Doets JJR, Topper M, Nugter AM. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of whole body cryotherapy on mental health problems. Complement Ther Med. 2021 Dec;63:102783. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2021.102783. Epub 2021 Oct 14. PMID: 34655758.