Over the course of the last year I have acknowledged the possibility that there are processes out there for us to use as we age, that are not that well known to most of us.
Most of us would like to think that we could age gracefully, pain free and healthy if we just found the right remedy or routine to follow.
While I firmly believe that what works for one person might not be as effective for another. I also think that sharing experiences with new found practices is a valuable tool for our aging population.
I am 65 now. I am not the same person I was at 55 thank goodness. I do realize that as I progress through my 60s even though I am healthy and strong, I need help keeping myself that way
Over-using muscles, the food we eat, stress and sleep can have a huge impact on our strength, pain and mobility as we age
After a minor car accident and some stress related shoulder and hip issues I was invested in finding some remedies that did not include pain medications.
I would like to share some of the practices I have discovered that have benefited me and I believe could be helpful to others.
Today I would like to share my experiences with Cryotherapy and how I think it can help others.
I first heard about chryotherapy a few years ago when doing some research and had forgotten about it, not realizing there was a place close by until my personal trainer tried it out. I thought that the treatment might just help a residual muscle pain that other treatments had not completely fixed.
I am really impressed with the possibilities that cryotherapy has for improved health for most people.
What is Cryotherapy? Cryotherapy has a few variations but the one that is common is the whole body using a chamber as shown in the picture above.
It is essentially the process of using very cold temperatures for health benefits. It is used to decrease pain and muscle spasms improve recovery, slow cell aging and generally improve mental and physical health.
It all happens in a 3 minute session.
Sounds fantastic doesn’t it ?
The treatment involves standing in the cryochamber wearing minimal clothing while cold dry air is piped in at about -160 degrees Celsius for 3 minutes.
It sounds So Cold !
Actually it doesn’t feel that cold when you are doing it.. Liquid nitrogen is used and so it is almost like a cold dry steam. I liken it to having to run out to your car in the winter while just wearing shorts and a t shirt. A short time and not really that uncomfortable.
So that you are safe while doing the 3 minute treatment there are a few things that happen every time you use the chamber…..there should never be any exceptions even if you are a famous person who thinks they know better. (You might have heard of the football player in the news.)
Every person wears socks and slippers that insulate your feet just in case and also a pair of thermal gloves. You don’t need to wear anything but underpants to protect yourself. Your head is never inside the machine. Your hands and feet are covered as there is less circulation there.
One of the staff comes into the room once you are ready in your robe and helps you get into the chamber. You hand out the robe. And the door closes and the cold air starts.
The staff member is there to monitor you all the time. They talk to you and get you to move around facing different ways. I am not sure how necessary the rotation is as the steam comes in from all sides, They do monitor your alertness by talking to you, so they can tell how you are doing.
What does it feel like and how does it work? It really works the same way an ice bath works, except much faster and not painful. The cold air causes your blood to move to protect your organs, sending oxygen to the blood. Once out of the chamber the blood starts moving back flushing your system. In my experience the surface of your skin feels cold to the touch for about an hour afterwards.
Why on earth would anyone choose to do this on a regular basis?
Well. to see the real benefits you do need to do it more than once. Most restorative treatments like physiotherapy and Massage therapy are not a one time thing if you really want to see change. Cryotherapy is something that you do as an ongoing treatment until you see the results you are seeking. The results sort of stack on themselves over the course of several treatments.
To start, I chose to go three days in a row. By the second day I could feel a difference and my mental clarity and energy level seemed to have improved. I started at the beginning of April and went three times a week for the first 4 weeks and then twice a week for the next two. I was away for a few weeks and was curious to see how long the positive effects would last . I was pleasantly surprised to find that the treatments had a lasting effect. I now drop in for a once a week session to make sure that I am keeping at my healthiest.
Some of the claims about Cryotherapy are the following:
Relief of minor inflammation
Help lessen symptoms of Anxiety
Improved Immune function
Relief of Joint pain
Relief of muscle and nerve pain
Increased mental alertness/clarity
Release of endorphins
Increased muscle strength
Weight loss ( supposed to cause your body to burn up to 800 extra calories in the 12 hours after a session )
Help with skin problems like exema
Help with arthritis pain
Help people with MS
I do not have arthritis or MS so I can not comment on that although I do know people who have had relief from arthritis pain after doing Cryotherapy.
What I can comment on is a positive response to all of the other claims.
My mental clarity has been noticeably improved. Both with focus and retention of information.
My energy has improved
I am sleeping better
The annoying sciatic nerve issue that just didn’t seem to want to go away has disappeared.
I feel that my muscle strength may have improved but certainly my muscle recovery has improved.
It has improved my mental health for sure. One person told me that it had improved her anxiety so much that it was the main reason she regularly did it,
As we age some of the things that are important to us are: How quickly we can recover from muscle strains and injuries. How well we sleep at night and how much energy we have during the day . How clear is our thinking process And of course that menopausal weight gain that many women experience is of concern.
The weight loss someone might experience from cryotherapy would not be my reason for doing it. Yes it does speed up your metabolism and you do burn more energy afterwards. The problem you might have though is being prepared with really healthy foods to eat so that the energy being burned is not replaced by empty calories.
Cryotherapy is a fantastic compliment to massage therapy or physiotherapy. When you are an athlete, you are looking for something that will help you recover quickly so that you can be in your best shape to do your sport. Cryotherapy can help you do that no matter what your age,
Cryotherapy is just one of the things that I have used for living my healthiest life. It is worth it to think a little outside the norm and try some methods that might not be familiar.
My Experience has been very positive and I will continue to be a regular user.
Check it out and see if it is a benefit for you. You will never know until you try it.