- by Dr Ankita Bhatia
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- Dec 06 2017
BENEFITS OF CRYOTHERAPY
Cryotherapy or “cold therapy,” is a technique where the body is exposed to extremely cold temperatures for several minutes. Cryotherapy can be delivered to just one area or one can go for whole-body cryotherapy.
Let’s understand how cryotherapy can benefit us and relieve ailment.
- EASES MIGRAINE
Cryotherapy can help provide relief from migraine symptoms by cooling and numbing the nerves located in the neck area. Applying a neck wrap with two ice packs inside, to the carotid arteries in the neck can reduce migraine pain. This works by cooling down the blood that is passing through the intracranial vessels.
- HELPS WITH NERVE IRRITATION
Athletes have been using cryotherapy to treat injuries for quite some time now. Cryotherapy has a numbing effect on the pain and the irritated nerve. It not only reduces pain and swelling after injury but also speeds up the rate of recovery following a joint or muscle injury.
- MOOD DISORDERS
The cold temperatures in whole-body cryotherapy causes physiological hormonal responses. It leads to the release of adrenaline, noradrenaline and endorphins and has a positive and calming effect on those going through mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Cortisol levels and pain perceptions are reduced, making one feel better.
- HELPS WITH CHRONIC PAIN
People who suffer from chronic pain, fatigue, fibromyalgia, arthritis or any general body pain, find relief with cryotherapy. The relief may last for few hours to days and even longer.
- IMPROVES SKIN CONDITIONS
Atopic dermatitis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease with symptoms of dry and itchy skin can be treated using cryotherapy as it can improve antioxidant levels in the blood, reducing inflammation. Both localised and whole body cryotherapy can help with the condition.
- PREVENTS COGNITIVE DECLINE
Cryotherapy boosts mental focus and attention by increasing the production of norepinephrine in our brain. Norepinephrine can increase twofold just by getting into 40 degree F. water for 20 seconds, or 57 degree water for a few minutes. It also reduces the risk of developing cognitive degenerative disorders such as alzheimer’s or dementia by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress responses.
Although cryotherapy has numerous benefits, it must be noted that it can’t cure or treat a problem. It is a therapy and not a medical treatment. It helps soothe, relieve and makes you feel comfortable for a fixed span of time. You would need to see a doctor to treat long term muscular disorders as cryotherapy is only a short term relief.
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