Cryotherapy Wellness Benefits
Enhancing Your Mood
When you are inside the cryogenic chamber and the temperature drops suddenly, your body releases mood-lifting endorphins. These endorphins help you feel more energetic and happier and mimic the natural high you get from exercise.
Because whole-body cryotherapy alleviates pain in some, as well as improves circulation, this could also have an effect on your overall mood and outlook.
After all, when you physically feel better you are more likely to feel better mentally, as well.
More Energy and Less Fatigue
After cryotherapy treatments, many people say they feel energetic and clear-headed.Most likely, this is caused by the release of endorphins, as well as improved blood flow and lowered inflammation.
Lowered Oxidative Stress
When patients undergo cryogenic therapy, they show increased levels of antioxidants and reduced indicators for oxidative stress within the body (25).
While there have been mixed results in this area, it does appear that cryotherapy can have some positive impact on certain antioxidants within the body, which in turn can reduce oxidative stress and its impact on all body systems.
There is some evidence to suggest the effect is intensified when cryotherapy occurs after exercise or training (26).
Improvements in Anxiety and Depression
In addition to treating physical injuries and disorders, cryotherapy is being studied as a way to heal psychological strain and improve mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Preliminary research in this area is promising. Patients were given regular whole-body cryotherapy treatments for several weeks. After each session and after all cryotherapy was complete, patients were monitored using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. In nearly all areas, whole-body cryotherapy led to improvements for patients (32).
Chronic pain can often be the cause of or a contributing factor to depressive symptoms. When studied in patients with spinal pain or other joint issues, cryotherapy has been shown to increase overall well-being and improve patients’ quality of life. The more depressed the mental state before therapy, the more powerful the results after it (34).
Support for Weight Loss
While there are many claims online and in the media about cryotherapy’s ability to help burn fat and lose weight, there is not a great deal of empirical evidence to support these claims.
While exposure to cold therapy has been shown to boost metabolism, this has not yet led to significant decreases in body fat or weight in most people who have tried this technique. However, because cryotherapy is known to enhance mood, provide extra energy, and reduce pain, this may keep you more active and able to exercise more which could positively influence your weight loss efforts.
So, while cryotherapy itself is not going to cut body fat, the positive effects of this treatment could help you meet your weight loss goals on your own.
Possible Treatment for Dementia
Because of its anti-inflammatory effects and ability to increase antioxidants and lower oxidative stress, it is hoped that, someday, whole-body cryotherapy may be used in the treatment of dementia disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
While this is not a current application of this technology, as we learn more about the effects of cryotherapy, we could be seeing this innovation sometime in the future.