Cryotherapy: What Works and What Doesn’t

A recent email from a fan asks, “What is your take on the benefits or consequences of cryotherapy?” That’s a very broad question since the word cryotherapy is a non-descript term, like “oxygen therapy.” Cryotherapy is a type of proven medical treatment, but it’s limited to a very narrow set of applications and there are uses of that term that have a much shakier foundation. The term describes a myriad of questionable practices; some are built upon plausible mechanisms that lack a clear scientific foundation, and some are out-and-out chicanery. As such, the word derives its practical meaning from the methods and the purpose of the treatment. So let’s take a look at some of the common uses of the term and try to tease out the science vs the sham.

Liquid nitrogen, one substance commonly used in cryotherapy. Via Wikimedia.

In science-based medicine, the word cryotherapy usually refers to a surgical procedure called cryoablation. Cryoablation is the use of extreme cold in surgery to destroy abnormal or diseased tissue. It is typically used to treat benign and cancerous lesions through cellular destruction. Usually this is done using a variety of gases, sometimes cold laser.

Although the biology underlying tissue injury by freezing is complex and incompletely understood, we know the rapid development of intracellular ice crystals produces shearing and rupture of cell membranes, organelles, and the cytoskeleton. Tissue damage also occurs because ice crystallization extracts free water from the intracellular solutes, resulting in protein denaturation. These complex mechanisms of cell death are further enhanced by damage to the microvascular circulation, which results in secondary anoxia and hemorrhagic necrosis. The two parameters that correlate best with the magnitude of cell destruction are the lowest temperature achieved and the rate of cooling during freezing. Cell death requires temperatures lower than -20ºC, but temperatures as low as -40ºC may be necessary to ensure complete freezing of the intracellular compartment. Many cryoablation techniques use proprietary and formulary gas mixes. Most include liquid nitrogen, but not all. You can buy cryoablation kits over the counter in the US for wart removal (those formulations do not include liquid nitrogen).

Cryosurgery lesion removal with a cryopen. Via Wikimedia.

Another cryotherapy is used to treat heatstroke, especially in children, by a method called evaporative cooling. In that process, ice packs are applied to the neck, axilla, and groin and room-temperature intravenous normal saline may be administered to patients as a complementary treatment. Cold water immersion is another adjunctive cooling modality when evaporative cooling with or without selective ice application is not possible. Treatments of this type that are effective for children may be less successful for adults. In adults, cooling methods such as cooling blankets, covering patients in ice, covering patients with a wet sheet while fanning, or selective application of ice packs to the neck, axillae, and groin have very low to negligible cooling effect. This is due to the relative surface area verses body mass problem. Younger children have a higher surface area to mass ratio, resulting in a greater rate of heat/cooling absorption.

The most common medical use for cryotherapy is very low tech and is very common. Icing is an effective symptom reliever for a variety of pain-related issues—everything from muscle pain and sprains to postoperative swelling. Superficial icing can cool the dermal tissue and induce a restriction of blood flow. Additionally it provides a pain-numbing-and-distraction effect in your pain receptors. Essentially in all cases of cold applications you are helping the affected area by reducing swelling and distracting you from the pain while you heal. It does not directly stimulate any healing process and is not a curative treatment. It’s a symptomatic treatment, like taking acetaminophen.

Weightlifter Karyn Marshall taking an ice-bath as part of athletic training in July 2011. Via Wikimedia.

Although any medical treatment involving cold is in-fact “cryotherapy,” this does not mean all forms of cryotherapy are a medical treatment. The term cryotherapy sounds science-y and futuristic but it is a very featureless description. The combination of science sounding terms plus imprecise meaning makes it a pseudoscience bonanza. Similar to the oft-abused physics term “quantum,” using the word cryotherapy gives the aura of scientific treatment. The sham uses of cryotherapy go far beyond any medical science or any plausible medical benefit. Internet searches for the term produce a multitude of expensive and useless treatments bearing the name cryotherapy. The most egregious one, in my opinion, is “Whole Body Cryotherapy” AKA cryosauna.

A cryotherapy chamber in operation at Kurzentrum in Bad Bleiberg, Austria. Via Wikimedia.

The Cryosauna (also called a cryochamber) is a device used in therapeutic treatment with cold, commonly called whole-body cryotherapy (WBC). The cryosauna is exactly what it sounds like: a cold sauna. It’s expensive, with an average cost of $70.00 per treatment. Each different type has its own marketing, but all of them use essentially the same method. Wikipedia gives this description of the device:

The cryosauna reduces outer skin temperature from 32.5 °C to +5 – +12 °C in 60 seconds or less maintaining it at this level for up to 3 minutes. … Its main purpose lies in strengthening the immune system of the human body. Cryotherapy stimulates the immune system and induces processes for recovery in the body.

Wikipedia shares other common claims about the cryosauna:

Cryotherapy is popular in sports medicine and physiotherapy. Sportsmen undertake cryotherapy procedures in order to increase their chances for faster recovery from injuries. The beauty and cosmetics industries are using cryotherapy to improve blood-circulation, to make skin look and feel healthier, to fight age-related deficiencies and for the removal of toxins from the body. In medicine, cryogenic chamber procedures are expected to help to recover after illness or surgery, help to treat skin diseases, help to increase general improvement of health during various diseases.

As Skeptoid fans well know the term “strengthening the immune system” is almost always a red flag for pseudoscience. Here are some other examples of other marginally factual claims from a spa advertisement:

This modality was first utilized in Japan in 1978 to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Studies conducted over the last two decades have established WBC as a powerful treatment for inflammatory disorders and injuries. … WBC boosts the body’s metabolic rate, accelerating weight loss outcomes. Professional athletes have discovered WBC as a powerful treatment to decrease recovery time and increase athletic performance.

Or, from another promotional site:

Whole Body Cryotherapy stimulates the body’s natural healing abilities. WBC uses Extreme Cold to induce responses on Three Levels: the Circulatory System, the Energy Meridians and the Nervous System. There is no other therapy known to elicit such a powerful, positive and holistic response. [sic]

Anything that talks about energy meridians is pseudoscientific nonsense. When that statement is included in marketing claims it is a very bad sign. When marketers have to reach for magic to make their arguments it is synonymous with useless. I have reviewed the extensive “research” on multiple sites related to this “treatment.” All of the research has a similar theme and/or flaw. I will take the claims in order of plausibility.

Could WBC decrease recovery time and improve performance? Sure, it’s possible, even reasonable, to assume that it can improve performance. There is plenty of solid research surrounding athlete recovery time and icing. Research related to WBC found the treatment to be just as effective as an ice bath or swimming in cold water. What was demonstrably lacking from the research was anything showing a superior effect over conventional recovery methods—e.g. massage, ice bath, localized icing—that would justify big claims and high prices.

Is it a “powerful treatment” for inflammatory disorders? No, not really. There is a ton of bad research related to this claim. The research shows either a fundamental failure to comprehend how the human immune system works or how to design an experiment. This research uses the same kinds of modalities employed to support other nonsense treatments like homeopathy, cold remedies, organic food benefits, and vitamin supplementation. Such research includes, but is not limited to, uncontrolled heme comparative blood count tests, small sample sizes, unblinded testing, anecdotes, and vague performance measures. These types of studies permeate all sorts of bad, sales-pitch medical advice and appear to often be used solely to inject an air of legitimacy and scientific foundation into brochures. The only sham research missing from this hodpodge of crap is a rodent study. WBC may help alleviate a person’s rheumatoid arthritis, but so does an ice pack.

Does cryosauna treatment boost the metabolic rate? No: the studies used to support this claim is as minimal and poorly structured as the immune research. The only research showing a benefit uses WBC in conjunction with an exercise program without controls. An exercise program boosts your metabolism, but there’s good evidence that the combination of cold and exercise produces a net-total reduction in metabolism. It seems counter-intuitive, but the human body seems to be more efficient using waste heat from exercise than radiating that net heat in warm environments. So it’s unlikely that WBC would increase metabolism; there is no research to counter the growing body of evidence indicating the opposite.

Does cryosauna have cosmetic, psychological, or neurological benefits? Despite many claims of improved skin and cellulite etc., there is no evidence for its cosmetic usefulness—not even bad evidence. There is no evidence of any kind that it has a lasting effect on circulation, nervous function, depression or any other health issue. Promoters claim a myriad of health benefits, but provide no actual evidence, not even minimal anecdotal evidence. Overall, despite marketing  statements that might sound like scientific evidence, WBC is physiologic nonsense that, as is sadly too common, oversimplifies how the human body works.

Is cryotherapy dangerous? No. Although I looked through several databases, I could not find any incidents of harm related to cryosauna, except for minor frostbite issues. Essentially it has no greater risk of injury than an ice bath. Hypothermia is theoretically possible, as well as suffocation if the system malfunctions and introduces too much nitrogen. These things have never happened.

The real danger is in surrendering your health to charlatans. Ice baths don’t market themselves as cure-alls. Neither do they make spurious claims about general health benefits. Whole-body cryotherapy is a basic pain-relieving method that charges a high premium price for its show: an expensive piece of equipment with sub-zero temperatures and liquid nitrogen. It sounds like it should do something spectacular, but it doesn’t. PT Barnum would be proud of cryosauna and cryotherapy. Save your money: stay away from whole body cryotherapy. I would recommend that you stay away from any place that markets it. It is a pretty good indication you have good reason to be skeptical about any spa, therapy, or website that promotes it.

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Further Reading:

Pain Modulation and Mechanisms

Boost Your Immune System

About Stephen Propatier

Stephen Propatier is a board certified acute care nurse practitioner specializing in spine and sports medicine. He is a member of the Society for Science Based Medicine.
This entry was posted in Alternative Medicine, Health, Pseudoscience and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

103 Responses to Cryotherapy: What Works and What Doesn’t

  1. Torchwood says:

    A highly successful gym in my hometown has a cold pool that is maintained at about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. It is a delightful (if not pleasant) finish for a hard workout, sovereign for achy feet, very soothing for rheumatoid arthritis (NOT osteoarthritis) and a useful complement to chiropractic adjustments. That cold water reduces inflammation is a no-brainer, and if you have done something silly like pick up something too heavy the palliative effect is most welcome.

    As with all aspects of living, exercising the brain first improves the chances of positive benefit, aka, think before you jump in over your head. 🙂

    • example says:

      “chiropractic” … stopped reading there. Another pseudo-science.

      • Noah Dillon says:

        Yeah, that’s the point. The whole article is about “medical” treatments that are actually pseudoscience.

      • Kristine L says:

        Chiropractic is not pseudoscience. It actually is science, it is basically neurology. Your spine is your nervous system, interruptions of the nervous system due to subluxation (or a slight misalignment in the vertebral column) will disrupt this and cause dysfunction in the body. Cryotherapy is also well researched and has been heavily used in Europe and is now breaking ground in the US. Read some research articles if that is the route you would like to go before sticking your nose up at my profession and against well researched methods of recovery and pain relief. Or better yet try it out before you knock it. I wish the US would focus on preventative care instead of writing a prescription for every ailment and subsequent side effect of multiple medications.

        • Kristine.
          Chiropractic is not neurology!! Which is the study of the brain and has little to do with either the spine or the any other part of chiropractic theory.
          The rationale for chiropractic hinges on three postulates:

          Bones are out of place
          Bony displacements cause nerve interference
          Manipulating the spine replaces the bones, removing the nerve interference and allowing Innate (a vitalistic life force) to restore health.
          There is no credible evidence to support any of these claims.

          Real subluxations (partial dislocations) show up on x-ray. Chiropractic “subluxations” don’t. In view of the negative x-ray evidence, chiropractic was forced to change its definition of a subluxation from “a bone out of place” to “a complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system and general health.”
          So the closest medical dicipline maybe is orthopedics not neurology.
          Secondly, until cryotherapy has large rigorous well controlled study that is replicated it is a warning sign of pseudoscience since proven treatments have this. Index studies with minuscule effects and poor controls is synonymous with many disproved medical treatments, like homeopathy, reiki, accupressure, and it a common sign of pseudoscience. I cannot recommend it to patients.
          Also what is preventative about cold therapy?
          Finally your assuming that all proven medicine does is write a prescription for medicines collect our big pharma check and on our way… Right? You obviously have a wrong idea about chiropractic, neurology, diagnosis, treatment, and proven medical care.

          • Ann Lance says:

            You reference neurology as the study of the brain; however, not the spinal cord. That’s highly incorrect. Neurology includes the spinal cord. Hense, a NEUROsurgeon performs spinal surgeries.

  2. It’s quite clear from Stephen Propatier’s diatribe that he did not even so much as perform a simple Google Scholar Search for “Whole Body Cryotherapy,” not to mention read a single journal article relating to WBC.

    Being skeptical without being dialectical is vicious, not virtuous, and hardly scientific. Skepticism without the intension to discover truth creates an insurmountable, paralyzing ignorance. And this blogpost amounts to shameful intellectual malpractice.

    To the readers of this trashy hit piece, please do the research yourself and reach your own conclusions lest Mr. Propatier’s poorly written propaganda stymie your search for health and wellness.

    • I am curious whom do you think my “propaganda” is benefiting? And please I look forward to you sharing the study from google scholar that shows a structurally sound research with better outcomes than simple icing because I couldn’t find it.

      • Justin says:

        The body of research is not clear and is still developing, but there are certainly studies that show various benefits. You haven’t done your homework.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3956737/

        http://www.lifestreammed.com/resources/resources/cryotherapy/wbc_StudiesInInflammatoryRheumaticDiseases.pdf

        http://www.science.gov/topicpages/w/whole-body+cryotherapy+wbc.html

        • Andrew says:

          As a research scientist in medical and life sciences, I can actually read the literature, not just put out the URL’s.

          So, I read the NCBI reference. It states: “There is weak evidence from controlled studies that WBC enhances antioxidant capacity and parasympathetic reactivation, and alters inflammatory pathways relevant to sports recovery. A series of small randomized studies found WBC offers improvements in subjective recovery and muscle soreness following metabolic or mechanical overload, but little benefit towards functional recovery. There is evidence from one study only that WBC may assist rehabilitation for adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder. There were no adverse events associated with WBC; however, studies did not seem to undertake active surveillance of predefined adverse events. Until further research is available, athletes should remain cognizant that less expensive modes of cryotherapy, such as local ice-pack application or cold-water immersion, offer comparable physiological and clinical effects to WBC.”

          The ending is exactly how Skeptic describes it. Ice packs and cold-water immersion are just as effective.

          BTW, software engineers do not have the training and knowledge to read the medical literature and especially to make sense of the statistical analysis of trials. And, anyone who says anything is a “useful complement to chiropractic adjustments” has already demonstrated medical ignorance and thus can be ignored.

      • Emo says:

        Our doctor recommends vitamin supplementation. The British Journal of Medicine in roughly 2011 recommended that adults supplement vitamin D based on its review of the research. So do other credible sources. My doctor recommends daily vitamin supplements for my wife as she is of child bearing age, a prenatal vitamin and folic acid. Other regular doctors of mine (MDs not naturopaths or homeopaths) have recommended taking fish oil. One such doctor earned his degree from Yale. I started to not trust what you said when you lumped vitamin supplementation in with cryotherapy.

        • Noah Dillon says:

          I think Steve’s talking about the massive effort to get people of all kinds to take large doses of vitamins. For women who are pregnant or are seeking to become pregnant, yeah, it’s probably good to take a prenatal vitamin. For people with a vitamin deficiency, they should probably either change their diet or take a supplement. But most people just don’t need 300% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin C or whatever, regardless of what Centrum and Airborne, or whoever, tell you. A lot of doctors recommend fish oil, but the evidence of its efficacy has been eroding for a long time. Just because a doctor you trust with a degree from Yale says something doesn’t mean it’s right. It doesn’t mean it’s wrong, but it could be based on stuff that has since become less and less reliable or on studies that are widely believed but poorly interpreted, etc.

        • Emo
          If you only trust doctors with title trust these Yale trained physicians at science based medicine. It also explains why many physicians still recommend vitamins even though the evidence is poor. As to Vit D specifically, Current advice is that most people may benefit from vit D to prevent osteoporosis. What is not clear is how much vit D supplementation is helpful. What are the benefits, or at what age should we start. Also there appears to be absorption issues with vit D supplementation when you are taking proton pump inhibitors IE omeprazole. This post is much older than the current consensus but there are still many questions about VitD specifically. Since many PMD track your vit D serum levels it is safe to follow their advice. That said massive doses can be problematic and people often assume vit D is safe because it is OTC.
          https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/are-guidelines-for-calcium-and-vitamin-d-rooted-in-evidence-or-vested-interests/
          https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/vitamins-and-mortality/
          https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/speaking-skeptically-about-vitamins/
          https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/vitamins-and-cancer-risk/

      • Jace Janiero says:

        Stephen Propatier makes way too many generalizations and dismisses way too many accredited methodologies and sciences. He sounds like a shill for the FDA.

        • Simon Whyatt says:

          It’s funny how everyone that criticizes this article, does so with ad hominem attacks, and fails to provide any links to the supposed supporting evidence for the therapy…

          • Kish McLroy says:

            It’s funny that most people that support it do so with appeals to authority – one logical fallacy doesn’t negate another…

    • Matt says:

      If you’re the standard bearer of truth, justice and the cryofreeze way can you please then provide the evidence you rail against Stephen for omitting? Instead of just pontificating about what a propagandist against health and wellness he is? Or refute specific claims he made that offend you? This isn’t middle school, where whoever yells loudest wins. If he didn’t do his homework, help us do ours, if you really know something he doesn’t.

    • Shawn Bellon says:

      Great reply! Couldn’t agree more!

  3. Eugene says:

    I am opening a cryotherapy facility in South Africa. Before deciding to do so, I read through 75 research papers (mostly found on PubMed). I found a tremendous amount of real “statistically significant” benefits for Rheumatic and autoimmune diseases as well as sport recovery. There is an excellent study about the benefits for depression and anxiety as well. (available on google)

    I must admit, I am pretty disappointed about Stephen’s perspective, and also wonder if he has gone to the trouble of reading the research and truly understanding the treatment modality.

    The shameful part is, even though he is just a nurse, people tend to believe medical “professionals”.

    Oh by the way, I have an actual doctor (specialist physician in fact) that has confirmed my interpretation.

    • Michelle H says:

      Eugene, did you open your cryotherapy facility in South Africa? I am investigating opening one in the states and too want to see the medical studies to defend the therapy. I would love some of your resources from PubMed so I can better educate myself on the validity of the industry and efficacy of the treatment before taking the plunge with a new business. I want to fully believe in it before I make the big investment.

  4. Edison Kiela says:

    It’s a good thing Stephen Propatier wasn’t around during the 1900s when the x-ray machine was being introduced throughout America.

    There will always be people like Propatier who say; “This research uses the same kinds of modalities employed to support other nonsense treatments like homeopathy, cold remedies, organic food benefits, and vitamin supplementation.” Really? Nonsense treatments like homeopathy, etc. Wow! Soup Nazi says “No Cryo for Stephen”.

    • Nice straw man argument Edison but yes Xrays were used widely without good safety research and many people were gravely harmed by xray machines in the early years. It was used for a variety of treatments that didn’t work and much harm was done. Hardly a great example of a device that should have been rushed to use without research. Where xray differs from cryotherapy is that it had a proven imaging benefit, underpinned by a solid physics and science foundation. It was a poor treatment but eventually became the hallmark of diagnostic testing. It was not and is not a medical treatment that has many uses except in limited radiation treatments.

  5. Howard marks says:

    “This research uses the same kinds of modalities employed to support other nonsense treatments like…… vitamin supplementation.”

    This guy’s a quack!
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=o0u8UdZeOhc

  6. Peggy says:

    I will agree! When he says it fits in with other no nonsense treatments such as homeopathic! Sorry I am here to tell you, my eating raw garlic has got me thru illnesses. Many others dealt with for weeks, down to days! I use oils and massages and incorporate magnesium into my daily routine! I’ll listen to a homeopathic doctor over you any day of the week. Just go take a whiff of some fresh Rosemary sometime. Especially is you are studying, or about to take a big test.

    • Peggy
      I am glad you are feeling better. Taking something and feeling better is hardly convincing. Since you heal yourself. Some illness resolves on there own. It is defiantly off topic for cryotherapy. Still magnesium is the only substance you listed and it is hardly harmless since it can cause hypotension, and arrhythmia. Both dangerous side effects. I am saddened that you feel someone who sells and supports the sale and use of Magic water(homeopathy) is a resource for good health advice. I cannot recommend that that any patients will derive any benefit from homeopathy. Homeopathy is physically impossible, scientifically implausible… and worse demonstrated to do nothing. I can’t recommend homeopathy anymore than I can recommend that you go to a seance for medical advice.

  7. Kelly says:

    Everyone seems to be missing the point. Cold therapy is tried and true; What the CryoSauna provides are the real benefits of a 10 minute ice bath, in 3 minutes, with NO PAIN. No water, no pain. No pain, more frequent use of cold therapy. More use of cold therapy better results. Any one that tries to turn it into something mystical or exaggerate the benefits is probably overly enthusiastic. There is no need to make it more than it is. It WORKS and it is PAIN FREE. (you warm-up a lot faster from the cryosauna than from an ice bath too!)

    • I have no reason to doubt you Kelly. Still there is no data showing it is just as effective as an ice bath. We can assume that and it is plausible. Anecdotal reports are not reliable. Plus all medical treatment has a cost to benefit consideration. It would have to have a really clear cut benefit to justify the premium price. I have no problem with using it for sports injuries. Generalized pain complaints as long as there is proper diagnosis. As long as clear standards for safety is in place. Still I would need clear cut research showing it is effective as icing for sports injuries. It stretches credibility that even once a day treatment(very expensive at that frequency) would be as effective as multiple ice 3-4 applications of 20 minutes over a day. Certainly once a month or once a week couldn’t possible give the same benefit for cold therapy.

  8. Glenn Edwards says:

    The double-blind study, gold standard of research is being omitted here; by both Mr Propatier and the mostly ad hominen responses attacking him. Every few years, another scam such as various “detox” programs based on no science
    is promoted as new. This is no different. There appears to be a very short term effect induced by shocking the skin with cold temperatures. but in large, one does need to be wary of anything that claims to have a measureable efffect on the immune system or the increase inoxygen levels. Endorphin release is not an indicator of change in an injured or otherwise compromised system or body part.

    The Swedish plunge has been availale in many gyms for decades, yet no one is charging $70.00 a session,
    nor making foolish unsustainiated medical claims.

    The only real science here is the science of marketing.

    I dont think rheumatologists are going to find thenmselves on the unemployment line.

    • johnny says:

      how can you do a double blind study when it’s icing vs cryosauna lol. double blind means the subject and the scientist don’t know whom is getting what treatment…kinda hard in this setting, no? lol idiot

      • Brian says:

        Through a sham. And I’m sure somebody smarter than both of us can design the studies. I’m a total idiot.

      • Double blind placebo controlled are not really necessary to determine if it is superior to traditional icing, a properly structured comparative study with replication is all that you need. Cold therapy is a well understood benefit for pain management. As to the far out health claims related the claimant needs to prove the claim. That requires that they come up with a testable method

  9. Dajana says:

    Hello,

    I feel like this might just be an opportunity for me. I have recently heard about cryotherapy, I saw this

    http://steep.tv/entertainment/6056/deep-freezing-the-body-is-the-new-health-trend-in-nyc

    and I liked it. It is just that I feel scared to do it. My foot has a broken bone, broken in two, to be precise, and it really hurts. I have been wearing a cast for two months, but it is still not feeling like before, after six months.

    Maybe I sohuld try this.

    thank you for your article.

    D.

    • Brian says:

      Has anyone here even done both things? I use a cold plunge pool daily at my gym because it’s indescribable how good it makes you feel during and afterwards (and I’m half Finnish). But I’ve also done the space cabin and that is way more fun and the feeling is more pronounced. Everyone who says, just take a cold plunge is being lazy non specific and just vapid. Just like jumping in mirror lake in Yosemite is a completely different cold beast than a cold plunge pool, wbc is also completely different. Although the bio medical journals support enough evidence already, yeah let’s add to it. And it’s not a fad. Romans had the fridgedarium centuries ago. Space cabins provide this thing called progress, health awareness, modernity, efficacy, fun, note worthyness, convenience etc. I’m super skeptical about your skepticism. You clearly need to chill out. But you don’t know how. That’s cool, more chillness for us. You can keep your hot head. 🙂

      • Brian I have no doubt that cold therapy works as a pain reliever in a limited fashion similar to all cold therapy. In a time of endless options for medical treatments you have to decide what makes sense and delivers bang for your buck. Plus in this scenario you add in all the rigmarole and unproven implausible benefits. You are paying a premium price for a machine that carries a small risk. No amount or personal testimonials will make me believe that this is superior in a any way to an ice-pack. The machine and marketing appears to be a formalized pseudoscience window dressing done for the express purpose of making people believe that you have to spend a lot money to get superior results, or worse offer desperate people a placebo for their symptoms. Which in my opinion is just unproven expensive window dressing.

        • Brian says:

          I agree we need more research. That’s going to be a component to my work. Is long term analysis. I want Ray Cronise to come out, and get as much peer reviewed source material. Namely over long term, instead of these, felt bad feel better after wbc. Have you ever been in a space cabin? People pay a lot more and endure much more dangerous and costly procedures to get even a modicum of pain relief. But have you done it before and if you live in the area I’ll give you free treatments 🙂 I plan on doing a lot of pro bono work as well. Especially in the underserved military personnel area. Lot of pain and long lines to the VA for relief. I spline to tricare last year and while they don’t cover it with insurance they said it was a great option for out of network healthcare. Thanks for the reply.

          • Brian says:

            Spoke*

          • Brian says:

            I wanted to add, nobody is more concerned with taking people’s money without merit than I am. I’ve. Researched cold thermogenesis and whole body cryotherapy for years now. And feel very confident about offering it to the community to make my livelihood and be a productive member of society. Its not a cure all magic bullet, but it’s damn near close to it. I think I would do more harm by not offering it in my community. And I’m going to do the best I can to reduce the cost. But I love talking cold. It’s a fascinating topic.

        • Maggie Anderson says:

          I started using a cryosauna two months ago because of all my issues with arthritis and planterfacitis and so much more. My results have been life changing in a lot of different ways than I could have imagined. My arthritis in my hands is almost completely gone, my knees don’t ache any more when getting up from a seated position or from exercise, which I have recently been able to start back up because I feel so much better. I am currently in pre-menopause, going on now 5 years, with hot flashes all the time, never being able to get a solid night sleep. Since I started the cryosauna I have not had a hot flash since much less I am actually sleeping completely through the night and feeling so rested when I get up.
          My 10 year old got hives so bad that i thought he was going to go insane, we went to the doctor and she said it was a virus and it would take 5-7 days to go away. I wanted to give him relief so I took him in and he was big enough to do a session. He walked into the cryosauna with hives all over his body and walked out with only a few red marks when he got out. The red marks went away completely by the next morning and the hives or skin red marks never came back. This saved me 5 days off of work, 5 days off from him being at school and not to mention him being absolutely miserable with itching all the time.

          I could spend tones of money on medicine for all my issues not to mention all the side affects and still not get the same results. Oh and by the way I have more energy and am feeling like I can live again since I am not so sore all the time from just being older.
          Well worth the $35 dollars I spend for a session and I will continue this therapy until it doesn’t work any longer or until I die! That is how good it makes me feel and what it has done for my son was priceless. it even made my husband, the biggest skeptic in the world, a believer and he doesn’t give been a hell of time when I go any more.
          Oh and by the way I grew up in a medical family and most of my sisters are all in the medical field!

  10. Ryan says:

    My n=1 2 cents.

    I train really hard. The key to training really hard for many years is for the focus to shift from your training to your recovery. Once your recovery is primary you can take a beating for a long time.

    So I’m willing to try anything. I’m open minded and fairly empirical. I’ve done 20 Cryo chamber treatments over this past year at a resort my wife and I go to every few months. I swear by contrast therapy or cold therapy. Once I was dealing with significant DOMS which anyone who trains hard understands, this last round (I’m actually writing this from the resort) is for recovery from shoulder surgery.

    My view on this after experiencing most treatments similar to this, is that the author nailed this on the head. Cryo Chambers do have a function and can be useful. It helps recovery and can decrease inflammation. Stating that it does more than that is irresponsible and inaccurate. I am not convinced it works any better or worse than an ice bath of contrast shower. I am convinced it costs much more. Unfortunately I cannot accurately isolate it’s effects as we spend our time here getting in and out of steams, saunas, cooling down in cold showers and ice rooms, drinking lots of water, sleeping well, and relaxing. All tools in the recovery tool box, which is what Cryo Chambers are, another tool in the tool box.

    It does improve circulation. Temporarily. Just as all contrast treatments do.

    As a rule of thumb any treatment that uses the generalized term “toxins” immediately raises a red flag for me, and the ads for this treatment uses it liberally.

    The resort is a great place but they are also guilty of overselling it’s benefits. I’ve gotten to know the main operator and he HATES telling some of the things he has to tell. He’s knows it’s not true.

    Any one taking swings at the author needs to understand he’s taking a scientific approach. Your feelings and emotions are not relevant. Just because you’re passionate about it or have made a financial investment in it does not change the facts.

    TL;DR It works for a specific purpose. Stop justifying it’s cost with pseudoscience.

    • Brian says:

      Well said. How much should each use cost?

      • Ryan says:

        Not to be obtuse, but it should cost exactly what people are willing to pay. It’s a niche market and a very expensive setup, I can imagine it’s tough to get into the black with it.

        The resort we go to uses a sauna setup. 3 different rooms you need to go through like airlocks to keep out humidity. I suspect the setup is well into 6 figures, but that’s just conjecture.

        They charge $45 per session, or $30 per for 10, plus gratuity. I think that’s about where they need to be, but it’s a large resort and if they are losing money on this machine it’s not a big deal, they’re making it elsewhere. Like Walmart losing money on each oil change, they come out ahead because you’re there spending while you wait.

        • Brian says:

          Did you feel gouged price wise? Think it should be cheaper? It is a little wild indeed. $65 for 1-3 minutes… In CA the space cabins charge $12-65 per session 1-3 minutes. I am very curious to see long term studies of people who use whole body cryotherapy daily. Like operators and people with disposable income. But again how much do you all think the cost should be? Just sliding scale?

          • Ryan says:

            Didn’t feel gouged, at least not relative to other costs at spas. It felt pricy for what it was, but makes sense if you appreciate the costs involved. I never mentioned but that’s in Canadian dollars. Cost to benefit ratio relative to other cold treatments at this point does not make sense, at least to me. I’ve given it an honest try, and have not noticed significant difference from an ice bath.

            I spent several treatments with a woman around 80 years old and she swore this treatment has been an important part in her getting out of a wheelchair. Real or placebo, does not matter because placebo is a legitimate treatment. The value was there for her. The morality of selling a potential placebo to anyone is not the point here.

            I really don’t know the spa/wellness business or the Cali market so I really don’t know what should be charged. All I know is I would rather spend my money elsewhere now.

          • Brian says:

            Lovely discussions. Besides crazy, what would you call someone who just likes to do cryotherapy? Never mind all the hyperbole. Who are these groups and individuals who are simply into it? There’s foodies, for food, trekkers for star trek…

        • Deb Sheets says:

          I’ve recently started whole body cryotherapy in Austin Texas and find it is very helpful for my fibro and arthritis. I pay $18.50 per for ten sessions.

  11. Skyboy says:

    >… suffocation if the system malfunctions and introduces too much nitrogen. These things have never happened.

    Probably time for an update considering the death of Chelsea Ake. Very helpful article, BTW.

  12. Steve says:

    Very poor analysis of cryotherapy . Your ignorance is only overshadowed bybyour ego

  13. Carol says:

    One death already. As mentioned above – bend over and breath in – frozen lungs and you suffocate.

    • Susan says:

      You’re neglecting the facts. Someone did it without supervision and got stuck in the chamber. That is insanely dangerous and against all protocol. That’s like mountain climbing alone and not using a line and dying and using that as a cognitive example of someone dying while mountain climbing. It’s impossible to bend over in these machines. You’ve so clearly never done it before. Please refrain from speaking from an uneducated point of view, it helps no one.

      • Noah Dillon says:

        Doing or not doing something isn’t required to think about the problems in many treatments that are for sale. Nonetheless, if some quack started prescribing rat poison for aches and pains, people who spoke out against the quack would be attacked for not having tried the treatment first.

  14. Becca says:

    I like cryotherapy . I like the energy surge I feel, I have deeper sleep and I just feel awesome- can’t explain it!

  15. Steve says:

    There is an interestingly unscientific attitude in the culture of those who need empirical evidence to support the claim for the efficacy of any ‘treatment’. The necessary information is readily available to anyone who would rather know how Cryotherapy works than to vacation say in Reno for the week. Sure it costs money but a few treatments have a good chance of revealing how it works for you. And if you aren’t a research scientist, that’s what really matters.
    I also think that to reject further inquiry into a matter because someone has compared it to longstanding but controversial ideas such as chiropractic treatment, may suffer more pain than necessary. We aren’t talking N.E.S.A.R.A. after all. (Google that.)

    • How would you define unscientific?
      That we require is carefully done systematic replicated evidence before recommending a treatment. What part of that is not scientific? I am not saying quit researching it. I am just saying do the research before you start using it.

  16. It seems like cryotherapy would be a good option for marathon runners like myself. When you finish a race, your whole body can take a few days to recover and if you aren’t careful, you can be stuck with a lot of tight and sore muscles. You mentioned that athletes will use it to help them recover faster from injuries so that supports my point. I’ll have to talk with my physical therapist about it and see what he recommends.

  17. Tom Bolger says:

    Cryotherapy works wonders for me. Absolutely love it

  18. artermix says:

    Ice baths? Sure but they are inconvenient as well. I do not have the ability to fill my tub with 50 lb of ice either. So you say that ice packs do just as well and I agree…..hmmm, but again same pain in the butt to make an ice pack that is just right for whatever part you need. And if you ever done an ice pack, you know how hard it to mold it perfectly to the site to treat and leave it just enough that won’t freeze burn your skin. Then rinse and repeat.
    Of course with WBC there is no much scientific evidence on the wellness part because they are not going to do studies on this. My thing is that it delivers the basic benefits of an ice bath in a different and more sophisticated manner and some people are willing to pay more for that upgrade. I look at this as a more convenient way to do ice therapy for athletes. The detox part, boosting the immune system and all the rest is certainly marketing but science market itself just as well in other areas far more serious.
    I didn’t appreciate the part dedicated to the attack of chiropractic, organic foods, homeopathy ant the rest were all bunched together. Dang you forgot prayers!! -The latter, actually proved to work- Whatever work for people to make them feel better. 🙂

  19. GMBailoutMe says:

    As someone who lives in an area of 4 hours of daylight, perpetual darkness, and temperature easily as low as -60 f… cold has the opposite affect. I regularly bounce 100lbs plus through a season.

    • Gloria says:

      Maybe you should try it before you write an article about it? I had a broken arm and was passing out weekly for almost 6 months from the acute pain because 5 different hand sugeons looking at an MRI of my wrist failed to go an inch down and see the break. WBC gave me pain relief for 5-8 hours. Seriously. And let’s just say icing my entire arm didn’t quite have the same effect.

      • @ gloria
        Although personal accounts are compelling. You and every individual are completely unreliable judges of what works and what doesn’t. Saying a doctor misdiagnosed me therefore magic cold therapy works is equally nonsensical. Cryotherapy is dangerous people have died. TO say lets use it because it worked for me is not thinking very carefully about how we determine what works and what doesn’t. Your anecdote nonwithstanding it doesn’t change my opinion. One ton of bad studies doesn’t equal one good study and I need replicated studies before I start risking my patients health and body on super cold in a box.

        • Michelle H says:

          Stephen have you bothered to research the cause of the girl’s death in the Las Vegas cryochamber? She ignored every safety protocol of using cryotherapy. She worked at the facility, got in the chamber when she was the only one there after the place closed, dropped her phone or for some reason stuck her head down in the chamber, inhaled a huge amount of the nitrogen gas and passed out thereby dying from asphyxiation. It wasn’t the cryotherpy that killed her but her lack of respect for proper safety protocol.Chance of dying in a car accident are far greater. For sure an absolute shame and my prayers go out to her family. But you imply that cryotherapy isn’t safe.
          I agree that more studies need to be done for making wider “claims” of cryotherapy but like someone said its an ice bath on steroids that is much easier and less painful which usually translates to better compliance. If the other benefits to people are anecdotal or placebo so be it. We all just want to feel better and healthier. I would much rather someone do a cryotherapy session and sleep better, feel better than take addictive sleep meds or antidepressants…..which by the way is the FIRST thing doctors want to recommend to treat these issues.

          • Michelle
            A couple of points
            There are no comparative studies that show it is more effective than an ice bath, no evidence that it is in fact an ice bath on steroids.
            All medical treatment is a risk benefit analysis. IF there is no proven benefit yet there have been burns and one death that is not worth the risk.
            If you are charging someone a large amount of money to give them a placebo effect I don’t call that a placebo I call that a scam.
            If you are treating chronic depression or insomnia with cryotherapy seek more help, there is no chance that a short term adrenaline rush from a cold air exposure is going to solve that problem. If you don’t have those conditions, please don’t take those medicines. If you want to feel better and sleep better try regular exercise. Not pills and not magic cold chambers.
            Do the proper research show the benefit I will remove my objections. The rest takes care of itself. Sell a high priced unproven treatment with obvious risks based upon personal anecdote. Yes I consider that dangerous.

  20. Simon Whyatt says:

    Wow. Stephen, I applaud you for taking the time to respond to all these comments.

    I fear that they will all fall on deaf ears, however!

    Pretty clear that most either haven’t properly read the article, or have failed to understand it.

    Is it really worth the effort of trying further to communicate with people that “already know” all the answers?

    Probably better to devote the time to writing another great article, or just put your feet up and have a nice cup of tea.

    Anyway, just wanted to say good article, and keep up the good fight 😉

    • Thanks Simon
      We are currently debating the benefits of continuing the comments section for the blog. It has become a platform for trolls and woo merchants to slip links here. It is not really driving any of the conversations. In fact a few regular commentators have become abusive. I am not sure how they keep getting back in but there are issues. On other parts there has become a distinct racist tone to the comments sections. It reflects poorly on everyone. It not that we don’t enjoy the discussions. The 18 paragraph, cut and past comments with links embedded have become an issue. It is not like the woo pages IE the natural news allows us to discourse on their site.

      • Simon Whyatt says:

        Hmm, Tricky indeed!

        Perhaps integrating some kind of 3rd party program like disqus might be worth a try before axing it completely.

        It’s a shame, as in theory comments could be such as useful feature, if only a few idiots didn’t spoil it for everyone!

      • Norman says:

        I’m sure more than one person has died in an ice bath. Saying it’s unsafe because a person died that didn’t follow the safety regulations is irresponsible. How many people become addicted and overdose on pain medications in a year? Yet every year people in your field prescribe them at a higher rate because science says it’s ok.

        • Norman your missing the point. We are all searching for ways to avoid pain medication, pointing out the failings of proven treatment says nothing about unproven and fantastical claims of cryotherapy. Lets assume your ice bath argument is true. Then both are equally deadly. I am not advocating ice baths rather ice packs. Secondly even if an ice bath only works as well as cryotherapy, it is magnitudes cheaper.

          • Norman says:

            I was with you until you choose to speak of the girl’s death and make it seem like death is a substantial risk of cryotherapy. That same type of misrepresentation of facts is what you are arguing against when you say that cryotherapy is marketed as some type of miracle treatment. Numerous people have claimed they benefited from this type of treatment on this forum and you dismissed them all. As anectodal as it might be to those people that’s real relief. I don’t understand what your infatuation with the price. In my opinion it is a more convenient form of an ice bath, one that I am willing to pay 40 dollars for. I don’t see people pawning their television for a cryotherapy session I do see people loosing everything they have to keep up with their opiate depence because science says it’s ok.

        • Simon Whyatt says:

          Norman, your argument makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

          Firstly, whether or not you should consider cryotherapy for one issue, or pain killers for another, are 2 totally separate issues which have no bearing on each other.

          I don’t think there is any great evidence of risk for cryotherapy. The main reason to avoid it is simply because it is a waste of time and money.

          Pain killers are a completely different issue, far more complex. They are certainly over prescribed and there are potentially significant downsides. Potentially they can have benefits in certain circumstances however, if used wisely. In no way does the science say “It’s fine to prescribe them indiscriminately”, and if some Doctors do so, they are not being guided by the evidence, nor does it mean that all doctors would do so.

  21. M. Rene' says:

    This guy has so many typos and spelling errors I don’t see why anyone would trust him at all on anything. If you can’t clearly and properly communicate your ideas, you’re not worth the time of day. Especially when regarding the decisions people are or will be making to feel better about their lives and themselves.

    I work at a cryotherapy supporting health and wellness center in the states and I see first hand how cryo sessions help people in everyday pain and suffering. If something, like cryotherapy, isn’t harmful but it still makes people happy or convinces them that they are healing themselves then you should just butt out. ESPECIALLY when you didn’t even try to find supporting evidence with factual REAL information, because believe me it’s out there.

    • Simon Whyatt says:

      Yes, clearly if someone makes a typing error in their argument, it totally invalidates everything they’ve said…

      “If something, like cryotherapy, isn’t harmful but it still makes people happy or convinces them that they are healing themselves then you should just butt out.”

      You’re basically admitting here that cryotherapy is nothing more than placebo. What’s the harm? People wasting huge amounts of time and money that could be devoted to a therapy that actually has evidence! Though as they are giving you there money, I guess you don’t see this as a bad thing.

      “…you didn’t even try to find supporting evidence with factual REAL information, because believe me it’s out there.”

      Hmm, same claim as every other cryo fan who has posted a comment, yet again, no actual studies to support the claim. Hmm…

  22. Max Payne says:

    I came across this feed while I was looking for info on Cryotherapy. I just did two sessions this week for the first time and I am so incredibly disappointed. It did absolutely NOTHING. I paid $60 and took time away from work to freeze my butt off in a machine and it did NOTHING. I was hoping for some relief of my muscle soreness because I just started a new workout routine. NOTHING. I even called my chiropractor’s office to get my money back. I love my chiro, he’s awesome and has helped me with sports therapy for years. I’m hoping he can make it up to me. The front desk lady said “it’s not guaranteed.” Well, what is in this world?! They way everyone was ranting and raving about this therapy lead me to assume I would get at least some type of result. Now I’m feeling totally scammed. Just wanted to throw in my two cents. $60 is a lot of money to throw away so if you’re not comfortable with the chance of it not working, save the money for a massage or something else.

    Thanks for the info.

    M

  23. KJA says:

    What works for one person does not work for all…. Seriously if we have learned nothing on this planet at least learn that. Leave people to make their own minds up about stuff…. its called learning from your mistakes and not taking someones word for it.. If you’ve never tried a therapy, how can you form an opinion.

  24. Kamara says:

    I’m taking a graduate course in biomedical physics, and we have to author a paper on some aspect of pseudoscience. I was wondering if you would be willing to forward me your sources for this article if possible.

    Thank You
    Kamara

  25. coco says:

    Although I do agree with your reasoning, I think it is too easy to discard its benefits. It worked for me an has worked for many of my friends suffering from Lyme disease. It is not a miraculous treatment but unlike what you conclude, I do recommend anyone truly suffering from any auto-immune related conditions to try it out! I have undergone one session day for 2 weeks and since then I have felt great, exactly like before the outbreak of my lyme. So please stop dismissing a potential treatment just because it doesn’t fit your very sacred, square-minded science.

  26. Some Random Dude says:

    There are possible benefits to this therapy, for sure. Whether they are enough to justify the costs are pretty much up to the individual spending the money. Here is the problem though… almost everyone that has benefited from WBC has a narrow range of issues that it worked on (for them at least), but it is being marketed for many other things. My wife asked me today to look into cryotherapy, because she saw the “scientific” claim that one can apply “targeted cryotherapy” to the face and neck as an anti-aging treatment.
    “Applying Targeted Cryotherapy to the face and neck stimulates circulation, which promotes better oxygenation of the skin cells. Moreover, the process reduces pore size, puffiness, redness and inflammation in your face while stimulating collagen production, thereby assisting in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. The anti-inflammatory properties of cryotherapy contribute to the decrease of symptoms of chronic skin conditions, such as psoriasis, rosacea and eczema. The treatment takes about 12 minutes. Because the treatment uses cold, dry air and there is no physical contact with the skin, hair and make-up is not affected.”

    When you go through the claim, it systematically falls apart, but I think most people reading this would think that this was a proven therapy. Frankly, the last sentence made me laugh… it is basically like saying that it is as effective as going outside in the bitter cold when there is no humidity. This treatment isn’t being dismissed or discarded because it doesn’t work… the question is how well DOES it work and under what conditions (or for what conditions) is it effective. The rest is BS. The XRAY example was perfect… when the research shook out, it was shown to be a great diagnostic tool. But how many people paid good money on the XRAY “treatments” that were offered when the technology hit the market. The requirement of science to “prove” something before making recommendations is for the protection of everyone that can’t read a research article (some of which were paid for by the same people selling the tech) and just read the claims made based on the research. If the research is faulty, so is the recommendation.

  27. Sean says:

    Dr. Rhonda Patrick at http://www.foundmyfitness.com has a free download report on Cryotherapy.

    She goes much much deeper into the science than Mr. Skeptic does. Go read it yourself. There are many benefits.

    And yes, Ice baths can have the same effects but who has the means to do regular ice baths as opposed to paying $40 and be in/out the door in 30 minutes for a cryotherapy session? Not me.

    • Simon Whyatt says:

      I think you mean, much deeper into the PSEUDOscience…

      • Sean says:

        Didn’t read the report I see.

        • Simon Whyatt says:

          Did read the report, and did read the studies cited in the report actually.

          The direct link to the report is here: https://www.foundmyfitness.com/reports/cold-stress.pdf

          Thanks to https://temp-mail.org I got it without having to go on their spam list.

          OK, perhaps pseudoscience is a bit harsh, but it’s certainly over interpretation of the evidence. I think she places far too much faith in animal models and metabolic markers.

          In her defence, she does qualify everything with MAY do this, MAY do that, but people tend to read this as PROBABLY. There’s also no consideration of the costs – i.e. it’s unpleasant, costly and time consuming.

          • Sean says:

            I was going to ask you to enlighten us on what passages in her report were “PSUEDOScience” but since you backed off that claim I’ll leave it alone.

            So animal models and metabolic markers are worthless? I know. You didn’t say that.

            And Thanks for your concern but I do know the difference between “May” and “Probably”. I think anyone going to the trouble of reading that report, does as well.

            As far as being unpleasant, costly and time consuming. That’s a load of crap. The paper is about whether there is evidence of benefit or not. Even the average Dr. Oz viewer can figure out whether its too costly, time consuming and unpleasant without the help of a scientist. And that answer will be different for each individual. While you apparently think 3 minutes is time consuming, I don’t. And it’s far more pleasant than an ice bath. And I’m fine with $40 per treatment.

            And don’t knock that “spam list”. It’s full of Science.

          • Simon Whyatt says:

            The line between pseudoscience and over selling/interpreting real science is a fine one.

            Though referring to correlation vs causation in observational studies, I just came across this the other day, which indicates that people do indeed have trouble differentiating between may and probably… http://ow.ly/df4X30b789T

            Animal models and metabolic markers are both useful tools, but should not be used for drawing conclusions.

            The fact remains, there is nothing remotely near to firm evidence that there are any health or performance benefits to cryotherapy. It might work, it could work, but equally, it might not. In fact, a far as performance goes, there’s as much evidence that it hinders!

            Most people have limited time and budget. For this reason I think “experts” should be very careful before saying, yes, give it a go, what can it hurt, rather than being more realistic and saying there’s no good proof it works, better to spend your time and money on something else with more evidence behind it.

  28. Robyn says:

    This is something that happened after this article was written. The therapy can be deadly if misused.
    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/10/27/us/death-of-woman-in-tank-at-a-nevada-cryotherapy-center-raises-questions-about-safety.html

  29. Addison Grey says:

    There’s a much simpler way to making a point than a long drawn out scenario. If you are stating fact…clear, precise, simple.
    I find it interesting that you offer PayPal as a means to continue your “facts”.

    Within all your long drawn out facts does it mention your experience with WBC.
    Interesting.

    • Noah Dillon says:

      I haven’t had any experience with CPR. Do I need to in order to know it’s a medical treatment that works? I’ve never had any experience with taking arsenic for flu. Do I need to in order to know that it will not work?

  30. Trish Wyderka says:

    As somebody who has done chiropractic care since a rear-end car accident 3 years ago I have to say I disagree with people, when I go to chiropractic appointments once a month I feel a relief when I’m adjusted. I never realized how bad my posture was sitting at a desk or how me typing or doing repetitive motion is causing some injuries and certain parts of my body. Recently I went to my first cryotherapy appointment I was like everybody else and skeptical, I’m sure that maybe some traditional medicine doctors here in the United States don’t agree, medicine isn’t always the best way. When I was sick a couple years ago with some liver issues I opted out of traditional medicine and went and used Chinese medicine and my liver results were back to normal within 30 days. We don’t really know what the long-term effects are I know that the NIH has done some studies are related to having water baths with ice and doing this cryotherapy, relieve the pain that I had in my elbow and in my knee. How do you explain within a 24 hour of having a relief of pain? I’m allergic to NSAIDs so I can’t take that kind of medicine and I’m tired of taking drugs every time I don’t feel good. Doesn’t anybody ever wonder why we have an opioid problem in the United States? What if we really looked at alternative methods to take care of our pains? I’m not a doctor, but I’m a patient and I know how I feel now for the last 3 years from having chiropractic care and for the last week of having my first cryotherapy

    • Offering people unproven replacement therapy is hardly a proven method to treat pain. Pain is subjective affected by stress, sleep and host of psychiatric coomorbididites. People regress to the mean, heal and just get better. But lets say non of that is true. Why use an expensive boutique cooling treatment when icing is just as good. Especially if your responding to other treatment prior to cryotherapy.

  31. Debbie says:

    Cryo Chamber works, just had two treatments three weeks apart for 15 year old neck injury. The muscle spasms are gone, pain is less, my mood is lifted. Don’t be a sceptic until you’ve tried it. 3 mins in the walk in chamber is more pleasant in my opinion than 20 in an ice bath.

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