What’s the first thing you do if you bump your head or twist an ankle? ICE! But why? Because icing – or cold therapy – helps to alleviate pain by reducing inflammation. With cold being so helpful in the treatment of inflammation, you may have noticed it becoming a new healthcare trend. But did you know that cold therapy can actually help you live a longer and healthier life? Cold therapy involves exposing the body to freezing temperatures for therapeutic purposes and offers a plethora of benefits that can enhance our overall well-being. A longevity activator, cold therapies include Cold Plunges, Cryochambers and even Cryo Facials. Let’s take a closer look at the refreshing world of cold therapy!
There are many benefits associated with cold therapy. Cold therapy reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels and reducing blood flow to the affected area. Cold therapy is extremely beneficial for managing acute injuries like sprains, strains or post-surgical recovery. Cold therapy also helps with pain relief by numbing nerve endings and reducing nerve activity in a treated area, interfering with our brain’s perception of pain. It has been used for managing chronic pain conditions like arthritis and migraines as well as muscle soreness.
Cold temperatures help decrease muscle damage as well as inflammation which allow for faster healing and repair of muscle tissues. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts often use cold therapy to accelerate recovery after intense workouts. Not only does it help with enhanced recovery and muscle repair, but it can also help improve athletic performance by reducing fatigue and speeding up recovery between training sessions. Therapies like ice baths or cryotherapy chambers can promote increased blood circulation and oxygenation leading to improved stamina and endurance.
It has even shown to be effective in skin health! Cold therapy can improve skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and acne. Cold temperatures can reduce itching, redness and inflammation associated with these conditions, promoting healthier skin.
Imagine taking a dip in an icy lake or immersing yourself in a cold plunge pool. While it may sound daunting, it can work wonders for not only for your body but also for your mind! In addition to reduced inflammation and revitalized circulation, a cold plunge can enhance our mood. Cold therapy stimulates the release of endorphins – those wonderful feel-good chemicals. Not only can it elevate our mood, but it also helps alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety and leaves us feeling refreshed and relaxed. It can even help improve sleep. A cold plunge before bed can help regulate body temperature, facilitating a deeper and more restful sleep.
A cryochamber is another way to get all the cold benefits for the whole body. It doesn’t use cold water but instead, uses cooling agents to chill the air around you to about -200∞F to -300∞F. Because the air is so cold – the time in the chamber is short, usually 2 to 4 minutes. Treatment in a chamber does not actually freeze muscle tissue which can happen with a plunge but instead, tricks the body’s nervous system to perceive it is freezing. The benefits from a cryochamber are the same but recovery is much quicker than a cold plunge. Once you exit the chamber, the body immediately senses a return to normal body temperature while with a plunge – the body must work to return to the core body temperature.
And while a whole-body cold treatment can invigorate our bodies, cryo facials pamper our skin. These chilly facials involve exposing the face to extremely cold temperatures, typically using liquid nitrogen or cold air. Cryo facials boast many fantastic benefits including skin rejuvenation, reduced puffiness and inflammation and enhanced skin health. In addition to flushing toxins and increasing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the skin, they promote a radiant complexion and help to reduce the signs of aging.
So the answer is yes – cold therapy opens up a world of possibilities for our well-being and self-care routines. Whether it’s a cryochamber, a plunge pool or a cryo facial, the benefits are remarkable from improved circulation and reduced inflammation to mood enhancement and skin rejuvenation. Cold therapy offers a natural and invigorating way to take care of ourselves. And if you don’t have access to cold therapy facilities, even turning your shower on cold for a few minutes at the end of your routine allows you to access some of the same benefits. Now let’s get our cold plunge on!