Cryotherapy for Weight Loss and Muscle Building

 

Introduction to an Amazing New Therapy

Hot and cold have been parts of healing and health since the beginning of time. Today, there is a new therapy that shows a great deal of promise: whole body cryotherapy (WBC). At Regen Wellness Spa, we have the newest model of the highest performing CryoSauna available. The equipment is the treatment and only the best equipment offers the best results.

Check out the Weight Loss Program we have at Regen that involves Cryotherapy and Infrared Sauna Sessions.

 

How new therapies evolve

Most new health therapies, such as cryotherapy, are based on ancient concepts. Often new techniques and technologies will change how these therapies are used. For acupuncture, it came from a movement to explore Eastern traditional medicines. Massage saw a revolution when European doctors began to explore and devise new modalities. For WBC, the revolution is based on new technological advances.

 

Typically, as new therapies are discovered or rediscovered, the mainstream health establishment will shun them. Over time, researchers and medical professionals will begin studies that will prove or disprove the efficacy of any given therapy.

 

Protecting Yourself

In nearly every case, there are no dangers from cryotherapy or saunas, but there are some basic guidelines that everyone should follow:

  1. Only work with trained and experienced providers. If you find someone who has simply set up a booth in a salon, you should ask for evidence that they have been trained. Ask questions about how many clients they have had, problems they have seen, and how they would deal with a crisis.
  2. Time is the key to anything involving heat or cold. This includes cryotherapy, as well as your hair dryer, your oven, and an ice pack on your knee. Regardless of what you do or what you’re told, if you feel unwell, stop. Never stay exposed to extreme heat or cold for longer than you know to be safe. Again, refer to the professional that you’re working with for guidance.

 

One statement, from a study by Bleakley et al. that was published in the Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine, tells the most important scientific observation about (WBC):

“There were no adverse events associated with WBC

 

Cryotherapy

What is cryotherapy?

Often referred to as “whole body cryotherapy,” it involves exposing the nearly nude body to air that has been super-cooled using liquid nitrogen. This exposure lasts up to 3 minutes.

 

Cryotherapy as a medical therapy is well established. If you’ve ever seen those wart freezing kits in the store, that’s cryotherapy. Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze undesirable cells. After freezing, the cells simply fall away or are reabsorbed by the body. Freezing kills cells by causing ice crystals to pierce the cell walls.

 

In WBC, the body is exposed to extremely cold air. Proponents say that it can help:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Reduce muscle pain and soreness
  • Boost antioxidants
  • Increase “good” body fat (brown adipose fat)
  • Weight loss

 

How does it work?

By exposing the body to extreme cold, it forces the body to upregulate it’s hormones to deal with the extreme acute stress from the cold. The more you expose yourself to the stimulus, the longer the hormonal effects last.

Whole body cryotherapy and inflammation and pain reduction

According to a study by Vamos et al. (2016), cryotherapy reduces inflammation in muscles without slowing down the regenerative process. 1 Professional athletes, like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, find it effective for helping to keep their muscles in prime condition.2

 

A study published in 1996 in Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports sums up the effects of cold on muscles:

“The physiological and biological effects are due to the reduction in temperature in the various tissues, together with the neuromuscular action and relaxation of the muscles produced by the application of cold. Cold increases the pain threshold, the viscosity and the plastic deformation of the tissues but decreases the motor performance. The application of cold has also been found to decrease the inflammatory reaction in an experimental situation. Cold appears to be effective and harmless and few complications or side-effects after the use of cold therapy are reported.” 3

 

Muscle soreness and cryotherapy

This topic is closely related to the inflammation issue above. Most muscle soreness, particularly after sports, is caused by inflammation. The use of cold for muscle soreness is an accepted practice. The most significant difference in the use of single muscle or joint icing versus WBC is that whole body cryotherapy will treat and reduce inflammation all over the body, not just on a single joint or muscle.

 

“The main finding was the sustained cold-induced stimulation of norepinephrine, which was remarkably similar between exposures. The frequent increase in norepinephrine might have a role in pain alleviation in whole-body cryotherapy and winter swimming.”4

 

This pain reduction can help to greatly improve performance, even if that performance is being able to go to work without pain each day.

 

Antioxidant activity and cryotherapy

The cryotherapy community has long believed that daily or, at the very least, consistent cryotherapy, increases the immune system by improving the efficacy and blood serum level of antioxidants.

In a study published by Lukowska et al. entitled, “Whole-Body Cryostimulation – Potential Beneficial Treatment for Improving Antioxidant Capacity in Healthy Men – Significance of the Number of Sessions”5, it was discovered that there was an increase in “peroxidant and antioxidant status.” In other words, there is scientific evidence that WBC increases the activity of antioxidants in the body, helping to reduce aging and damage in the body. As this is a preliminary study, there is not an overwhelming amount of proof, but this is a promising therapy for everything from illness prevention to cancer therapies.

 

Brown Fat, Weight Loss, and Cryotherapy

As with most things, like cholesterol and therapeutic drugs, there are good and bad versions that tend to get swept together. Body fat is one of these things.

There are two main types of fat: white and brown. White fat is unhealthy and is the source of diabetes, heart disease, and more. Brown fat, so named for its color caused by iron, is an excellent energy source in the body and is the desirable form of fat.

The Director’s Blog from the National Institutes of Health helps to explain this difference best, “Fat has been villainized; but all fat was not created equal. Our two main types of fat—brown and white—play different roles.”6 For more information, this article by Cannon and Nedergaard delves into brown adipose tissue and what it does.

Understanding that brown fat is excellent for your health and can lead to weight loss, WBC is an excellent way to increase brown fat and thermogenesis, the use of fat as energy.

 

The combined results suggest that a variable indoor environment with frequent cold exposures might be an acceptable and economic manner to increase energy expenditure and may contribute to counteracting the current obesity epidemic.”7

 

This very bold statement, which was originally published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in 2013, is the first of many observations that cold exposure can be an amazingly efficient way to lose weight. In essence, the body works harder and burns hotter to generate warmth. In doing so, it creates more high-energy brown fat cells and reduces the bad white fat cells. In short, one can lose weight without ever needing to exercise.

 

Finding the Right Spa

The most important factor in choosing the right spa or office to expose yourself to WBC is experience and professionalism. While there are myriad benefits from cryotherapy, you should expect to be treated professionally from the moment you enter the building.

 

A reputable facility will do certain things:

  • Ask about medical condition and make sure that you are in generally good health
  • Discuss your goals, including losing weight or toning muscle
  • Explain the process and what to expect
  • Show you how the cryotherapy sauna works
  • Give you time to ask questions

 

At Regen Wellness Spa, we are all certified in using the CryoSauna and Cryo-T Elephant.

Take the time to learn more about this amazing therapy. Whole body cryotherapy isn’t just for the wealthy and famous. It’s a new therapy based on science that holds the potential to increase health and even change lives.

 

Check out the Weight Loss Program we have at Regen that involves Cryotherapy and Infrared Sauna Sessions.

 

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26725948
  2. http://www.techtimes.com/articles/61392/20150618/cryotherapy-works-why-star-athletes-love.htm
  3. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-0838.1996.tb00090.x/full
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18382932
  5. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0046352
  6. https://directorsblog.nih.gov/2013/03/26/brown-fat-white-fat-good-fat-bad-fat/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3726172/

 

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