FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

BHC FAQ

WHOLE BODY CRYOTHERAPY

Invented in 1978 for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, whole body cryo has established itself to be a powerful treatment for a whole variety of conditions.

CRYOTHERAPY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - FAQ

  • WHAT IS WHOLE BODY CRYOTHERAPY? +

    Cryotherapy is the application of cold to a part of your body for therapeutic purposes. It includes many things from ice packs, ice baths, cold showers to surgical procedures designed to destroy diseased tissues. Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) is simply exposing all or a major portion of the body to cold temperatures. It includes full body ice baths and cryo-chambers specifically designed for such purposes.
  • WHAT IS A CRYO-CHAMBER? +

    Cryo-chambers were first developed in Japan in 1978 as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. These chambers are designed to expose people to extremely cold temperatures (-168 degrees or lower) for short periods of time (up to three minutes). This results in a rapid decrease of temperature of the outer layer of skin triggering a cold stress response in the body. The use of cryo-chambers has grown over the years. It has especially taken hold in Europe where there has been a good deal of research and a growing body of evidence as to its efficacy. They were introduced in the United States about 10 years ago where its use has gained increasing popularity especially among elite athletes, professional sports teams, and physical therapists.
  • HOW DOES IT WORK/THE SCIENCE? +

    Cryo-chambers use hyper cooled air to trick the brain into a systemic cold stress response whereby blood vessels to limbs are constricted (vasoconstriction). This redirects blood to the body’s core in order to protect vital organs. Once the session is over, the constricted blood vessels expand (vasodilation) and blood rushes back to limbs and extremities. This is a natural reaction which activates and optimizes a number of biological functions. During the constriction phase, the body’s organs do what they’re supposed to do. Toxins are flushed from peripheral tissues and blood is enriched with oxygen, enzymes and nutrients for return to outer limbs. The rapid contraction and expansion of vessels, not unlike resistance training, strengthens and helps optimize the circulatory system. As the body warms itself, the body begin to generate heat, or energy. This is done by an increase in the body’s metabolic rate(increased calorie burn). This will continue for some time after the session. The body also releases into the blood stream several chemicals and hormones, all related to the fight or flight response. These include endorphins, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. Endorphins are morphine-like chemicals that help diminish pain and trigger positive feelings. Norepinephrine acts as both a neurotransmitter and a stress eliminating hormone. As a neurotransmitter, it increases alertness and arousal and speeds reaction time. As a stress hormone, it increases heart rate, triggers release of sugar into the blood, and increases blood flow to muscles. Epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, makes the heart beat stronger and diverts blood to tissue.
  • ARE CRYOCHAMBERS SAFE? +

    Yes, they have been in use for over 30 years and have an excellent safety record. Shortly after their introduction into the United States they were evaluated by FDA and deemed not to be a medical device. Risks include a spike in blood pressure by about 10 points (This quickly reverses itself post session after peripheral circulation returns to normal.) As such, people with severe uncontrolled hypertension (BP>160/80) should avoid using. Other risks include a very slight chance of chilblains (redness and irritation of skin) and dizziness if a person does not keep their head above the mist.
  • WHO CAN BENEFIT? +

    Whole Body Cryotherapy is ideal for athletes seeking muscle recovery, people with chronic pain and inflammatory conditions, and those seeking to have a better overall sense of well-being. It can also be used post-surgically to accelerate the healing process and reduce pain without the side effects of medications or anti-inflammatory drugs. Younger clients under the age of 18, cannot use Whole Body Cryotherapy without their parent’s consent.
  • WHO SHOULD NOT USE WHOLE BODY CRYOTHERAPY? +

    Women who are pregnant or anybody with the following conditions should not do whole body cryotherapy: untreated hypertension, history of heart attack or stroke, unstable angina, prior open-heart surgery, pacemaker, COPD, chronic liver disease, DVT, Raynaud’s Disease, active infection, vasculitis, severe anemia, diabetes, acute kidney/urinary tract disease, polyneuropathy, and seizure disorders.
  • IS NITROGEN SAFE? +

    Yes, nitrogen is a non-toxic, odorless, natural gas. The air that we breathe is made up of 78% Nitrogen. Although nitrogen is non-toxic, directly inhaling the nitrogen cooled air can lead to dizziness. Care should be taken to ensure the head is above the mist.
  • HOW LONG DOES A SESSION LAST? +

    Maximum three minutes. Most people, if they are just there for Cryo, are usually in and out of the office in fifteen minutes.
  • IS THERE ANYTHING THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO PREPARE FOR A SESSION? +

    Just show up. You need to be sure your skin is dry. For that reason, it is probably a good idea to wait an hour or so after strenuous exercise to allow for an adequate cooled down period.
  • HOW OFTEN SHOULD IT BE DONE? +

    Frequency is very much dependent on personal circumstances, level of exercise intensity and purpose of treatment. If the purpose has to do w/sports related injuries or alleviation of chronic pain, then frequent sessions (up to 5 x’s/wk.), especially in the beginning, make sense. Over time, as conditions improve frequency can be scaled back. Frequent sessions may also make sense for elite athletes who engage in strenuous exercise every day. Most people, however, report that 1 to 3 sessions per week, again depending on frequency of high intensity exercise or level of pain, is enough to promote faster recovery, improve sleep and promote a better sense of physical and emotional well-being. Just as critical to frequency is consistency over time. As is the case with most things health related, those who maintain a consistent regimen over the long haul achieve greater benefits.
  • HOW DO YOU FEEL AFTER A SESSION? +

    Skin will feel cold and slightly uncomfortable during and immediately after a session. Post session, the vast majority of people report an elevation in mood and energy. This is due to the sudden release of endorphins (think of a runner’s high) which are morphine like chemicals/hormones that diminish pain and trigger positive feelings.
  • CAN I DO IT IF I HAVE JOINT REPLACEMENTS OR BREAST IMPLANTS? +

    Yes, in fact a number of members report their original impetus for trying cryotherapy was to aid in pain management and swelling post joint replacement surgery. Breast implants pose no problems.
  • WHAT IS NORMATEC COMPRESSION TREATMENT? +

    Compression treatment for legs, shoulder, and arms is an adjunct treatment used to facilitate faster muscle recovery. It has been clinically shown to relieve the tired feeling and aid in the removal of excess fluid and lactic acid following strenuous workouts. Packages offer significant savings over single session pricing. Also, membership includes sessions of NormaTec compression therapy and vibration power plate detoxifying and toning, as well as more sessions of cryotherapy. Ask your Better Health Cryo Technician for details!
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