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Cryotherapy Is Becoming Beloved by Many for the Benefits They See

Cryotherapy is the use of sub-zero temperatures to treat different medical conditions.

The two most common forms of cryotherapy are ice packs and ice baths. Cryotherapy has become a popular treatment in recent years, and it can be found in spas and high-end athletic facilities. Many people have also chosen to install their own home cryo chambers. When your body is exposed to extreme cold, it triggers the fight-or-flight response in the sympathetic nervous system. The result is a cascade of effects triggered by the activation of special receptors in the skin called cold receptors. In the skin, these cold receptors are known as the C-fibers. When activated, they trigger the release of various chemicals in the body. These chemicals have a range of effects on the body, including reduced levels of inflammation and pain in the extremities, improved blood flow to the affected area, and increased cellular regeneration. This article covers everything you need to know about cryotherapy, from treatments, benefits, side effects, and risks of cryotherapy.

Conditions Cryotherapy Can Improve

There are many reasons that a person may choose to undergo cryotherapy. Some of them include: 

  • Acne: Acne is a common skin condition people suffer from and one that can be extremely difficult to treat. Cryotherapy has been shown to reduce inflammation, eliminate bacteria, and even increase the effectiveness of your other acne treatments.
  • Arthritis: Arthritis is an inflammatory disease that causes joint pain and swelling. This can make it extremely difficult to move and perform daily tasks. Cryotherapy increases blood flow to the affected joints, reducing pain and inflammation.
  • Spider veins: Spider veins are pretty common and usually occur in people older than 40 or pregnant. These spider veins are closer to the skin's surface and are accompanied by redness and swelling. Although there are many treatments for spider veins, including surgery and medication, cryotherapy can be a more effective and cheaper option.

Benefits of Cryotherapy

In addition to benefiting specific conditions, there are some general benefits that come from undergoing cryotherapy. They include: 

  • Reduced Stress: One of the best ways to reduce stress is to give your body time to rest and recover from any previous stressors. Cryotherapy does just this.
  • Increased Immune System: When your body experiences a rush of blood, it responds by increasing the number of blood cells your body produces, which helps fight infection and disease.
  • Improved Sleep Cycles: Sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and it's something that many of us don't get enough of. Cryotherapy can help regulate your sleep cycles and make it easier to fall asleep, which can be a massive benefit if you struggle with sleep or stress-related insomnia.
  • Better inflammation response: Cryotherapy has been shown to increase the amount of inflammatory cytokines your body produces to help heal.

Risks of Cryotherapy

Naturally, there are also some risks that come along with cryotherapy. Frostbite is the most common risk for cryotherapy and can be very serious. Frostbite is the freezing of your skin and is most common in extremities, such as fingers and toes. While frostbite is the most common risk, skin burns are also common. These can be caused by extreme cold or being inside the chamber for too long. As with any injury, you risk contracting an infection in the area of your skin that is affected by cryotherapy. If you're diabetic, you may find that cold therapy makes your blood sugar more difficult to control.

If you're interested in trying cryotherapy, you may wonder where to find a cryotherapy unit or cryotherapy chamber. Luckily, they are widely available, with many cryotherapy units being found in spas and salons in many major cities. Alternatively, you can purchase a cryotherapy unit and use it in the comfort of your home.