Many treatments fall under the umbrella of Complementary and Alternative Medicine or CAM. Some of the most commonly used CAM therapies include: Acupuncture Chiropractic Food counseling Herbalism Massa...
Somehow I don’t quite think of sitting in a cold tank as being comfortable and certainly seems an odd path to health. However, this trend called cryotherapy is becoming very popular as Zawn Villines reports in her article that was reviewed by Natalie Olsen, RD, LD, ACSM EP-C. They claim that extreme cold can improve mental and physical health and prolong life.
I once had a friend who lived across from the lake in Vermont, and when the ice began to form they chopped a large hole and all her children took a swim in the morning. The pediatrician indicated it was safe to do so as long as they were not ill with something. It was a practice I could never understand, but I guess I was wrong according to this article.
Doctors do not understand all the potential benefits and risks of this new trend for treatment. The following facts of possible benefits should be reviewed prior to engaging in the practice of cryotherapy healing.
Some facts are that cryotherapy is any treatment that involves the use of freezing or near-freezing temperatures. Because cryotherapy is new, some potential benefits are not yet proven. Cryotherapy might be a safe alternative treatment and preventative for many ailments but it can be unpleasant, particularly for people who are unaccustomed to the cold.
Sitting in a cryotherapy booth for 3-5 minutes is the most popular form today. Cryotherapy facials are popular by applying cold to the face or a cryotherapy wand to target specific areas such as a painful joint. The entire body is usually the source people refer to for the term cryotherapy. This is a non-medical treatment, but doctors also use cryotherapy to freeze off warts or cancerous cells.
Pregnant women, children and people with severe high blood pressure or heart conditions should not participate in this practice. This treatment should not be used for any longer than a few minutes or it can be fatal.
Some benefits are pain relief and muscle healing, weight loss, reducing inflammation, preventing dementia, preventing and treating cancer, reducing anxiety and depression, improving symptoms of eczema and treating migraine headaches.
There is evidence that suggest it may help with a range of concerns, including slowing or reversing skin age, supporting fat loss, preventing chronic diseases and others. It is impossible to determine how effective cryotherapy is as a treatment until further research can support these claims.