You may have seen your favourite celebrities or sports stars dancing around in a small futuristic chamber and wondering what on earth they’re doing. Well, it’s cryotherapy!

What is cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy (cold therapy) is a minimally invasive treatment that uses extreme cold to freeze and remove abnormal tissue. Cryotherapy can be delivered to just one area, or you can opt for whole-body cryotherapy. Concentrated cryotherapy can be administered in several ways, including through ice packs, ice massage, coolant sprays, ice baths, and even through probes operated into tissue.

How does Cryotherapy work?

It works by reducing blood flow to a specific area, which can considerably reduce inflammation and swelling that causes pain, particularly around a joint or a tendon. It can temporarily reduce nerve activity, which can also alleviate pain.

The theory for whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) is that by immersing the body in exceptionally cold air for several minutes, you could receive a number of health benefits. The individual will stand in an enclosed chamber that encircles their body but has an opening for their head at the top. The temperature will drop to between minus 90-150°C. They’ll stay in the sub-zero air for between two and four minutes.

What are the benefits of cryotherapy?

You can get benefits from just one session of cryotherapy, but it’s most successful when used consistently. Some athletes use cryotherapy twice a day. Others will go daily for 10 days and then once a month afterwards. These benefits include reducing migraine symptoms, helping treat mood disorders, reducing arthritic pain, and more!

Risks and side effects of Cryotherapy

The most common side effects of any type of cryotherapy are numbness, tingling, redness, and irritation of the skin. These side effects are almost always brief. Make an appointment with your doctor if they don’t resolve within 24 hours.

*Those with diabetes or any conditions that affect their nerves should not use cryotherapy. They may be unable to fully feel its effect, which could lead to additional nerve damage.

Is cryotherapy expensive?

That depends on how desperately you need the therapy. For just 2 minutes in the booth will cost £30 according to some sites. If you were to be in terrible pain from an injury then £30 might seem a very reasonable price to pay. Because this isn’t a treatment that would require weekly appointments, a monthly investment into your health could even prolong your life.

Cryotherapy at home

If you just wanted a cryotherapy facial without having to go to a beautician, here’s what you need to know.

  1. Have the correct tools – Ice globes or Ice rollers are readily available online, costing anywhere between £10-£60. Pop them in the fridge or freezer overnight so that you can roll them over your face in the morning to de-puff.
  1. Prep your face!- before using your tools be sure to either use a facial oil or moisturizer so that the tools aren’t pulling on your skin.
  1. Massage- Start at the chin and work your way towards your ears. Then glide your roller from your forehead to your ears. Repeating each motion 5-10 times every morning will result in more defined cheekbones and a smoother appearance to your skin.

So what are you waiting for? Book yourself in for the coldest therapy out there and become the next Wim hof!