Frequently Asked QuestionsLearn More About Cryotherapy
Who developed the cryosauna?
Whole body cryotherapy was originally developed in Japan in 1978 By Dr. Yamaguchi and the benefits have been studied and refined in Europe since that time. Initially explored for the purpose of treating rheumatoid arthritis, Dr. Yamaguchi found he could significantly reduce the soreness and pain his patients usually felt during manipulation of their joints, because the rapid decrease of temperature of the outer layer of skin led to the immediate release of endorphins and therefore less sensitivity to pain.
Has Whole Body cryotherapy been researched?
Yes. Researchers in Europe have been developing and refining whole body cryotherapy for over three decades. You can find additional information regarding the success of cryotherapy at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=whole+body+cryotherapy
How does the cryosauna work?
The cryosauna uses nitrogen gas to lower the client’s skin surface temperature from normal body temperature to 30 degrees Fahrenheit in 30 to 45 seconds and keeps it that way for 2-3 minutes. The skin reacts to the cold and sends messages to the brain that stimulates the body to go into survival mode by shunting blood from the extremities to the core where the blood is enriched with oxygen, enzymes and nutrients. As the body re-warms, this nutrient rich blood is pushed back to the extremities. Enriched blood promotes internal organ regeneration, expels toxins from subcutaneous layers, initiates cell renewal process, triggers replacement of damaged cells and eliminates dead cells from peripheral tissues. Or simply put, it is rejuvenation of the body at the cellular level.
Is nitrogen dangerous for humans?
No, it isn’t. Nitrogen is a non-toxic, natural gas. The air that we breathe is made up of 20% Oxygen, 78% Nitrogen and 2% of other components.
How can I tolerate the cold?
The air is very dry, some people don’t even shiver. The cooled air flows over the skin, which in turn, creates the beneficial results. This process never freezes the skin tissues or organs. Only the sensation of being cold is perceived.
How does Cryotherapy compare to an ice bath?
It doesn’t. You are simply unable to achieve the same results with an ice bath. After 12-15 minutes of a shockingly cold ice bath the skin temperature only arrives at 41 degrees whereas with 2-3 minutes of whole body cryotherapy the skin temperature gets as low as 30 degrees, this allows for a different physiological response from the body increasing your speed of recovery and overall healing. During an ice bath, the cold actually penetrates into deeper skin tissue and can be damaging to the skin. In the cryosauna, the skin is never penetrated, yet the body responds on a deeper level, even improving the skin’s overall condition.
How will I feel afterward?
During each session the body releases endorphins, which are your “feel good” hormones. The effects from each session last at least 6–8 hours. As with any new regimen, consistency is key and increased results will be noted with regular use. Many report a higher pain tolerance when exposure is pre-workout, and decreased inflammation is noted with a post- workout exposure. You will also burn 500 calories or more per exposure, due to the body’s increase in metabolic rate.
Can I work out immediately before or after my exposure?
Yes. In fact, it is recommended. If you workout before your exposure, you can expect greater recovery due to the inflammation reduction. If you work-out after your exposure, you can expect a higher pain tolerance, more energy and greater flexibility.
Can I catch a cold from the effects of the cryosauna?
No. The immediate cold impact of the exposure will raise the internal body temperature for a short period of time. The triggering of detoxification can actually help your body recover from a cold.
I am claustrophobic. Can I use the cryosauna?
Yes, you can. The chamber is open at the top and your head is raised above the level of the upper rim of the chamber, so you are never fully enclosed. You will remain in complete control as the door is never locked and you can step out if you ever experience discomfort.
How often should I use the cryosauna?
For optimum results, 2-3 times a week. It is safe for you to do two sessions a day but it is only recommended for those in heavy training or rehab.
Do I have to take a shower before and/or after the procedure?
No, you don’t. This procedure is absolutely dry and does not make your skin wet.
Why do I need socks and gloves?
The method of hyper-cooling the skin is so sudden that the body is triggered to pull blood from the extremities to protect the body’s core temperature. The vessels around the core then constrict, holding the blood in the core. We simply protect the areas that are most affected by this reaction to ensure your comfort and safety during your exposure.
Who should not use whole body cryotherapy?
The following conditions are contraindications to whole body cryotherapy: Pregnancy, severe Hypertension (BP> 180/100), acute or recent myocardial infarction, unstable angina pectoris, arrhythmia, symptomatic cardiovascular disease, cardiac pacemaker, peripheral arterial occlusive disease, venous thrombosis, acute or recent cerebrovascular accident, uncontrolled seizures, Raynaud’s Syndrome, fever, tumor disease, symptomatic lung disorders, bleeding disorders, severe anemia, infection, cold allergy (being allergic to cold), acute kidney and urinary tract diseases. *Any client with a recent history( within the last six months) of cardiac disease or episodes will acute kidney and urinary tract diseases. *Any client with a recent history( within the last six months) of cardiac disease or episodes will be required to have a physicians statement clearing them to try whole body cryotherapy.
Is there a weight limit?
We can accommodate clients up to 350 pounds in our cryosaunas. * Please note: You will also have to be able to stand comfortably within the chamber without touching the sides in order to be allowed to purchase an exposure. We will assist you in accessing and measuring in the chamber for your safety.
Are there age restrictions?
Yes. Although the cryosauna triggers normal body responses to cold, ours are only designed for an adult-sized body. It cannot hurt children, yet they are simply too small for our cryosaunas. We recommend clients be at least 16 years old with parental consent. For those clients who are between 14-15 years old , both a physicians release and parental consent form are required.
What are the risks of Whole Body cryotherapy?
Whole-body cryotherapy is very well tolerated and has minimal risks: Fluctuations in blood pressure during the procedure by up to 10 points systolic (this effect reverses after the end of the procedure, as peripheral circulation returns to normal), allergic reaction to extreme cold (rare), and activation of some viral conditions (cold sores) etc. due to stimulation of the immune system.
What to Expect
Once you arrive, we will be glad to have you tour the cryochambers and answer any questions that you may have regarding whole body cryotherapy and our procedures. After signing your waiver, you will be shown to the cryosauna room, where we will go over instructions step by step on what you need to wear, how to access the sauna and how to let us know when you are ready.
Once you are in your protective clothing (you will remove all clothing besides socks, slippers and gloves, which are provided. Men: You need to bring cotton underwear or boxers, as you will need the extra protection), you will step into the cryosauna, advise the staff member who will come into the room and go over the instructions with you. They will then turn on the cryosauna and stay with you, talking you through the entire process. We will be asking for your feedback throughout the treatment to ensure your comfort. We will only see your face, as the rest of your body will be in the cryosauna. The cooled air begins, and you instantly feel the effects of the cryosauna healing your body, relieving your pain and rejuvenating your skin! Then as quickly as it began, three minutes has passed, the machine is turned off, and your body instantly begins to warm back up to normal temperature. Our staff member leaves the room, allowing you to exit the cryosauna and get dressed in complete privacy. The immediate effects of the cryosauna will have already kicked in as you leave the room. Your body is re-warming. You will see slightly pink skin with goose bumps and have a warm tingling sensation as blood rushes back to your extremities. After 10-15 minutes you will notice increased energy that lasts for up to 6 hours.
At STL Cryo, we recognize it is your body and you have a better understanding than anyone on how you feel. We encourage you to share throughout the process what you are feeling and remember if at anytime you do not feel comfortable you may push the door open (quick release safety feature) and the machine will stop.