Find out more with our Cryotherapy FAQ’s below, or contact us direct for any questions your might have?
What is the origin of whole body cryotherapy (WBCT)?
Cold was used to treat pain as early as 460-370 BC.
WBCT was developed in Japan in the 1970s by Dr. Toshima Yamauchi, with the prospect of relieving pain and reducing inflammation in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. He presented his findings at a European Congress in 1981, where he announced that the treatment had a wider application than simply in the management of inflammation and arthritis.
Since then, the modality has been advanced and refined by a range of specialists in Europe and America and it is now a well-established treatment option for a variety of medical conditions as well as overall health promotion.
I don’t like cold. Would it be comfortable for me?
Even those with a low tolerance for cold report it to be within their comfort range. You are advised to start with shorter sessions (30 seconds to one minute) and build it up from there. It has been scientifically proven that WBCT users become habituated and drastically build up their tolerance to cold in general.
How do I feel after a treatment?
During each session the body naturally releases endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain medication hormones which create a sense of euphoria. This causes you to feel relaxed, improves your mood, increases pleasure and minimises any pain you might have.
What happens if I am wet or have used moisturiser before my session?
Any moisture on the skin can cause skin burns. (A towel will be provided to dry yourself before your session.)
Do I need to shower before or after the treatment?
No, you don’t. The treatment is completely dry and will not make your skin wet.
What clothing should I bring for the treatment?
It is imperative that all the clothing you wear during your session must be completely dry to avoid skin burns. All jewellery and piercings should also be removed.
Men: You can wear shorts, board-shorts or simply just underwear.
Woman: You can wear shorts, your bikini or just underwear. Tops are optional.
- You will be provided with gloves and socks but are welcome to bring your own, as long as they are dry.
- Robes will be provided for you in the changing area.
What is the optimal time for a treatment?
Everyone is different and the time will depend on your tolerance level. We suggest that you start with shorter sessions and build up to three minutes as your tolerance increases. CryoLiving™ will assist each person to choose an optimal time. You are able to terminate your session at any point.
How many can I do in a day?
As it’s considered a safe treatment, you can do multiple sessions in a day but with marginal additional benefit after the second treatment. A third treatment might be recommended by doctors for the management of certain conditions.
How often and how many treatments should I do?
The impact of WBCT is cumulative, so it is important to do multiple sessions in a relatively short period of time before assessing how your body responds. The number of sessions and frequency depends on your goals.
For general wellbeing and health optimisation:
5-10 initial sessions, then 1-2 sessions per week as maintenance.
10-15 sessions initially, then after each intense training session. Professional athletes also use WBCT before competitions due to the natural hormonal benefits. This is, however, only recommended where an athlete has done more than 20 sessions to achieve habituation. (Studies have been done to ensure that hormonal benefits fit within legal sporting parameters).
For patients suffering from indicated diseases
It is suggested that you work closely with your doctor to establish an optimal programme. In severe cases where a disease involves highly active processes, treatments can be done 2-3 times a day for 2-3 weeks before reducing the frequency.
Who should use WBCT?
WBCT is ideal for anyone wanting to:
- Be healthier
- Reduce chronic pain, inflammation and muscle spasms
- Experience more energy and feel stronger
- Reduce stress, fight depression or anxiety
- Improve sleep
- Improve sporting performance
- Take preventative steps or treat WBCT indicated diseases
Is WBCT safe?
WBCT has been performed more than two million times over the last 30 years with no severe adverse reaction ever being reported. The liquid nitrogen does not come into contact with your skin, as it is only the dry vapour that is enveloping your body. Your head remains outside of the CryoSauna throughout the treatment and oxygen levels will be monitored constantly. A trained operator is also always present during the treatment to control the temperature levels and monitor your comfort. Your skin temperature decreases to a safe level and your core temperature remains constant as a result of only brief exposures to the cold.
Problems have only arisen if a client steps into the machine with wet clothing, especially wet socks, as water will freeze immediately at these temperatures leading to skin burns.
Are there health contra-indications for WBCT?
Yes, WBCT is not allowed in the following conditions:
- Severe, unmanaged hypertension (BP> 180/100)
- Cardiac pacemaker
- Recent heart surgery
- Valvular heart disease,
- Congestive heart failure
- Heart attack within previous six months
- Unstable angina pectoris
- Decompensating diseases (e.g. oedema) of the cardiovascular and respiratory system
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Ischaemic heart disease
- Raynaud’s syndrome
- Peripheral arterial occlusive disease
- Known circulatory dysfunction
- Severe anaemia
- People undergoing treatment for cancer
- People who experience uncontrolled seizures
- Cold allergy
- Acute kidney and urinary tract diseases
- Chronic liver disease
- Open wounds or ulcers
- Bacterial and viral infections of the skin
- People under influence of drugs or alcohol
- Hyperhidrosis – heavy perspiration
- Acute febrile respiratory disease
Can I use cryotherapy if I am claustrophobic?
Yes, you can. The door to the CryoSauna is never locked, and you can exit at any time. The CryoSauna is open at the top and your head is raised above the rim, allowing you to see in all directions and breathe natural air in the room.
How do I warm up after a treatment?
Exercise equipment is provided at CryoLiving™ for you to use following your treatment.
Can I do WBCT if I have metal implants?
The cold does not penetrate your skin very deeply so metal implants are unlikely to be affected. You should let your doctor know about any superficial plates or screws so the effects can be monitored during your treatments.