Cryotherapy is similar to exercise in the sense that it causes hormetic stress. Hormetic stress or “good stress” provokes a beneficial adaptive response which strengthens the body. When we exercise, our bodies are put under hormetic stress which overall can improve lung function, strengthen the heart, and increase muscle mass. Cryotherapy strengthens the body in many different ways. During a cryo session, your sympathetic nervous system (“fight or flight” response) is stimulated, blood vessels constrict, and the body focuses on preserving its core temperature. This reaction increases insulin sensitivity which helps glucose to be used up as energy or fuel for your cells as apposed to being stored as fat. Studies have shown that cryotherapy can increase insulin sensitivity by up to 10X baseline!
During Cryotherapy, a hormone called adinopectin is released which helps to break down fat and lower blood sugar. This response has an anabolic muscle repair effect. Andinopectin combined with the natural decrease in inflammation from cold exposure helps to enhance and shorten recovery time. Although some swelling after an injury is important for the overall healing process, there is no physiological reason to allow the body to freely increase swelling/inflammation for hours, days, or even months after an injury occurs. It’s actually very important to PREVENT this excessive swelling because built up fluid in and around the injured tissue can cause poor circulation which decreases oxygen levels around the injury site. Overall causing more damage, more pain, and delayed recovery. By preventing this cascade and reducing inflammation, we can get you back in motion sooner! During cryotherapy, excess norepinephrine is released. You’ll notice this will improve alertness and increase your pump at the gym for several hours, but what you may not notice, happening on a cellular level, is the increase in luekocytes and granulocytes (immune system cells). These cells help to fight disease and infection by boosting the immune system. Cryotherapy can also cause cell autophogy. This is where your body cleans and rids the cells of metabolic waste, making them healthier and allowing them to live longer.
- Decreases inflammation
- Increases immune system
- Increases metabolism
- Decreases Blood Sugar
- Increases cell longevity
The benefits of cryotherapy are an overall improvement in recovery, increased metabolism, better cell function, along with an immune system boost all in one!