So what is cryotherapy? Here are some frequently asked questions that will help you make an informed decision if this treatment is right for you.
Q: When Was Whole-Body Cryotherapy Developed?
A: Whole-Body Cryotherapy (WBC) was developed in Japan in 1978 for the treatment of rheumatoid conditions.
Q: Where Is Whole-Body Cryotherapy Used?
A: The technology was implemented in Europe almost three decades ago and has been refined ever since. Numerous studies have been published in European Medical Journals about the positive effects of WBC. This technology has been very popular in the United States for elite athletes and for use in health spas and beauty salons.
Q: What Is Whole-Body Cryotherapy?
A: WBC is an alternative to cold water immersion or ice packs. This treatment consists of exposing individuals to extremely cold, dry air (below -110C) for up to three minutes in a climate controlled cryochamber. To achieve the subzero temperatures required for WBC treatment, cold air which is cooled by liquid nitrogen is pumped into the chamber at a steady and controlled pace.
The chamber is designed for two to three person use and is popular with groups of athletes or couples. During these exposures, individuals wear minimal clothing to maximise skin exposure. The dress code usually consists of shorts for males and shorts and a crop top for females. Gloves, a woollen headband covering the ears, and a nose and mouth mask, in addition to dry shoes and socks, are commonly worn to reduce the risk of cold-related injury.
Whole-Body Cryotherapy was initially intended for use in a clinical setting to treat patients with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic inflammation and multiple sclerosis, and although WBC is provided in over fifty European hospitals and medical clinics, it has now been implemented in many private clinics, health spas and athletic training facilities in the Western countries. The scope of WBC application has widened greatly and people young and old are using WBC to rejuvenate their bodies and minds.
Q: WBC Safe?
A: Yes, WBC chambers are very safe and have been used for three decades without severe adverse reactions being recorded. The skin, hair and undergarments must be dry. Avoid swimming, showering and exercising immediately prior to a cryotherapy session. Minus110’s WBC chamber is cooled by nitrogen, but there is no direct exposure to nitrogen in the chamber. Clients simply breathe normal room air which has been cooled. A mask is provided to ensure the air is warm around the mouth and no discomfort is caused. Our WBC chamber is equipped with multiple monitors to ensure all aspects of the cryotherapy process are as they should be. There is an emergency stop button and an emergency exit door in case there is ever an emergency or evacuation required. All sessions are supervised by an instructor who explains the procedure to the clients before they enter, and monitors the session from start to finish.
Q: How Do I Feel During & After My Treatment?
A: The WBC treatment lasts three minutes and the client is wearing a provided uniform designed to protect against the cold whist delivering the maximum skin exposure for maximum results. The treatment does feel cold, but it is very tolerable. The cold is delivered by radiation as opposed to conduction (ice bath). There is an initial shock of cold to the body, but the deep cold is not felt till two minutes onwards. The body releases endorphins which make you feel happy after the treatment, and assist in reducing pain also. Most clients report feeling energised, awake and physically rejuvenated. The mood-enhancing benefits from each session can last for days.
Q: How Many Sessions Should I do?
A: Depending on the condition of treatment, you should initially do ten treatments in close succession (e.g. three per week) to maximise your results. After the ten treatments have been completed, an assessment of your results is conducted and recommendations for maintenance are made.
Q: I Am Claustrophobic, May I Use WBC?
A: Yes you may. Our WBC chamber has no roof to ensure the experience is as enjoyable and least confining as possible. The chamber door is never locked and is held shut by magnets to prevent the cold escaping. If you feel uncomfortable at any time, you may simply push the door and walk out, or the instructor can pause the treatment and help you come out.
Q: What Happens After My Treatment?
A: After the treatment, you are instructed to spend five to ten minutes in our low impact gym to do a warm up. Additional water should also be consumed post treatment to ensure the maximum benefit is derived from the therapy.
Q: Who Should Not Use WBC?
A: The following are contradictions to WBC. Pregnancy, severe hypertension (BP>160/100), acute or recent myocardial infraction, unstable angina pectoris, symptomatic cardiovascular disease, cardiac pacemaker, peripheral arterial occlusive disease, venous thrombosis, acute or recent cerebrovascular accident, uncontrolled seizures, Raynaud’s Syndrome, fever, tumour disease, symptomatic lung disorders, bleeding orders, severe anemia, infection, cold allergy, acute urinary tract or kidney disease and ages less than 18 years (parental consent to treatment needed). We strongly recommend that our clients seek the opinion of a medical professional before using WBC if they are unsure about their health and the impact the cold may have.
Q: What Are The Risks Of WBC?
A: WBC is generally tolerated very well and has minimal risks: Fluctuations in blood pressure during the procedure by up to 10 points systolically (this effect reverses after the procedure, as peripheral circulation returns to normal), allergic reaction to the extreme cold (rare), minor redness, and skin burns(only if exposed to temperatures longer than recommended or skin is wet prior to entry).