What Is Cryotherapy? Advantages and Disadvantages

What Is Cryotherapy? Advantages and Disadvantages

The advancements in medical science have led to the development of many ways to tackle the health issues faced by people. Cryotherapy which translates to cold therapy is one of those techniques that can aid many folks with their problems. It works by exposing the body to extremely cold temperature for a few minutes.

That may sound wild and unreal to many people but this particular type of therapy is offered in many parts of the world. In fact, it is becoming more popular day by day for its many benefits. You may have also seen a number of athletes and beauty gurus opting for a certain type of cryotherapy.

Though cryotherapy is usually considered a non-medical procedure, it is also used by doctors. Medical health professionals use this therapy mainly for getting rid of warts and killing off cancerous tumors. Cryosurgery is also a similar method used as the primary treatment of prostate cancer.

For celebrities and bloggers, cryotherapy is useful for beauty, relaxation, and soothing aches. Though a lot of medical literature on this field is not available yet, people are opting and trusting this method. Many have described it as safe and effective.

However, before trying any sort of procedure, be it non-medical one, it is important to know more about how it works and any associated risks and precautions.

How Does Cryotherapy Work?

Any treatment which involves exposing the whole or parts of the human body to near freezing temperatures. The therapy can be performed in accordance with the person’s needs. A person may also do localized cryotherapy through ice packs, ice baths, and certain coolant sprays.

For the whole body cryotherapy, the person is required to stand in a compartment or an enclosed chamber with air as cold as -200 to -300 Fahrenheit for two to four minutes. The head is not included and does not experience any of the cold.

Various benefits can be received from this single session of cryotherapy but more sessions are suggested for even better results. It may also help with reducing the intensity and risks of many health conditions.

Other types of cryotherapy used for beauty purposes involves ice facials which improve the skin texture, tightness and help with the problem of enlarged pores, reducing the chances of types of acne in people.

Advantages Of Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is a relatively new procedure in the common market but has been used by doctors for some while now. It has seen to improve many health conditions. Following are the advantages of cryotherapy:

  • Reducing the intensity and chances of migraines
  • Curing and numbing nerve pain and irritation (especially the one caused by exercise and sports)
  • Controlling arthritis pain
  • Improving antioxidant levels in the blood
  • Positive psychological hormonal changes (resulting in treatment of mood disorders)
  • Treating atopic dermatitis and improving skin
  • Lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Disadvantages Of Cryotherapy

Though cryotherapy is relatively safe, it is not recommended to all of the people. For example, people with certain health conditions such as diabetes and those with issues related to the nervous system and told to stay away from it. Same goes for pregnant and breasting feeding women.

Most of the disadvantages of cryotherapy are temporary but should be considered by everyone before decide. Following are the disadvantages:

  • Redness and tingling in the area where cryotherapy is performed
  • Mild fever and chills
  • Irritation on the exposed skin
  • Ineffectiveness (the therapy does not work the same for everyone)
  • May cause serious health issues if done for more than required

Generally, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. However, it is important to be cautious and choose a specialist for the therapy. If done for more than 3-4 minutes or more sessions than needed, it may have reverse and harmful effects on the health.

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With an academic background in Food Sciences, Klaire is interested to read about the latest news on nutrition, therapeutic benefits of foods and health. She is a practicing dietician with a focus on improving women’s health. Before joining the team, she has worked as a researcher and freelance writer.

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