Technology has certainly outdone itself and this time it sunk low… and by that I mean, as low as between -166 and -319ºF . Personally, stepping into a chamber of subzero degrees seems anything but enjoyable, but apparently Systemic Cryotherapy has it’s promising effects that plenty of men and women famous and non are buying into…The question is, is it safe enough to swear by?
When you step into a cryotherapy chamber, the temp rapidly drops to Antarctic levels—anywhere between -166 and -319ºF —through the use of liquid nitrogen. Since the treatment only lasts for two or three minutes, the idea is that you’re only in there long enough for your surface temperature to drop without affecting your body’s core (internal) temp, which would be insanely dangerous.
While your surface temp is dropping, blood rushes to your heart and vital organs to keep your core temp up. “Your body doesn’t want to be cold, so it goes into the fight or flight mode,” says Shoshana Sevel, a chiropractic sports practitioner who has worked with both local and systemic cryotherapy. “Your body is pumping blood and oxygen through your system to try to warm itself up.”
So as soon as you step back into a normally heated room, all this super-oxygenated blood goes rushing back to your extremities, allegedly creating a sort of internal fountain of youth and healing.
The dangers, on the other hand, are very real. “If you have systemic issues, especially diabetes, it can dangerously compromise blood flow in the extremities,” says Allen Huffman, a chiropractor who routinely uses localized cryotherapy to treat patients. Other systemic issues that could cause a serious problem are heart conditions and even allergies or a cold.
It’s best to conduct plenty of research before testing out this new form of therapy and speaking with a trusted physician to get a better insight on what you may be getting yourself into.