Hey Recovery Revolutionaires!

Picture this: You step into a futuristic-looking chamber, frosty vapor swirls around you as your whole body is enveloped by subzero temperatures. Luckily you have your favorite hype song playing in your bluetooth headphones, but you have your doubts. Can you make it the whole 3 minutes? Will your eyeballs freeze solid?

Well, you definitely don’t need to worry about that last part but welcome to the world of whole body cryotherapy. WBC, for short, is a cryogenic therapy technique where you expose your body to extremely low temperatures (think WAY down in the negatives) for a short period of time. I, for one, feel like I get a big benefit from it and try to get in a session about once a week with my friends at The Feel Better Lounge.

So today, I’m cutting through the thick ice and uncovering the myriad benefits of WBC and why it’s becoming a go-to recovery tool for athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and health seekers alike.

Enhanced Recovery from Training

WBC can absolutely step up your recovery game. The extreme cold triggers vasoconstriction, causing blood vessels to narrow and flush out metabolic waste products from your muscles. This results in reduced inflammation and accelerated muscle repair, allowing you to bounce back quicker and hit your next workout with the intensity you need.

Pain Relief and Injury Recovery

Studies have shown WBC can alleviate chronic pain conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia, as well as acute injuries such as sprains and strains. The cold numbs pain receptors and reduces nerve activity, providing natural and drug-free relief for those battling discomfort.

Mental Health and Stress Reduction

Stepping into the cryo-chamber may not melt away all your worries, but it might help reduce your stress and improve your mood. As I talked about in my cold plunge blog, cold exposure triggers the release of endorphins, which act as natural stress relievers. A 2008 study found that in a third of people with depression or anxiety, cryotherapy reduced symptoms by at least 50 percent which was a significantly greater reduction than in people who did not undergo cryotherapy.

Improved Sleep Quality

Our bodies follow a circadian rhythm that self-regulates eating, sleeping, and activity patterns according to day-night cycles, thereby allowing us to function normally. Researchers have found that a dysregulation of circadian rhythms can lead to a disrupted sleep, which, in turn, can lead to a number of health problems. In addition to WBC promoting relaxation and reducing stress, some research suggests that the cooling effect can also pave the way for a deeper, more restorative sleep.

Cautions to Consider

While WBC offers a myriad of benefits, it’s not suitable for everyone. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before jumping into that chamber for the first time, especially if you have any underlying health concerns. Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as uncontrolled hypertension, heart conditions, Raynaud’s disease, cold allergies, and pregnancy, should avoid WBC due to potential risks. 

Also, I highly recommend reaching out to Dr. Ben Seeman and his team at the Feel Better Lounge for some in-depth education about WBC.

As the chill from that futuristic cryo-chamber envelops you, remember you’re not just experiencing a brief cooldown – you’re tapping into a wealth of health and fitness benefits. From accelerated recovery and pain relief to improved mental clarity and better sleep, cryotherapy offers a holistic approach to enhancing both body and mind. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or simply looking to elevate your well-being, cryotherapy may just be the chill pill you’ve been searching for.

So go ahead, suit up, and find that perfect hype song so you can discover the transformative power of whole body cryotherapy.

Stay chilly,

Coach Matt