CRYOTHERAPY is a medical technique which uses cold temperatures for health benefits.
It is sometimes referred to as cryosurgery, cryozone, cryoablation or cryosauna and uses a cryo-chamber.
What is cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy involves the application of sub-zero temperatures to treat diseased or dead tissue.
For tailored treatments, it can be applied via a spray gun or cotton swabs to certain parts of the body.
A whole-body treatment involves getting into a body-sized capsule – up to your neck – while liquid nitrogen is pumped into the air, cooling the entire chamber to -200°C.
Argon gas is sometimes used, but nitrogen is the most common in cryotherapy.
The most common form of treatment involves spending up to five minutes immersed in the chamber, any longer could poses risks for the human body.
Little is worn inside the chamber, like swimsuits, with trunks for men and bikini-style clothing for women.
What are the benefits?
It is used to treat certain localised skin conditions, such as warts, moles, skin tags and verrucas.
In the case of warts and other external uses, it works by freezing the afflicted area very quickly and then letting it thaw slowly.
This kills the cells and eventually the body forms a scab which falls off after a few weeks.
Cryotherapy can also be used by people to alleviate muscle pain, sprains and swelling, which is what the whole-body cryo-chambers are commonly used for.
The sessions claim to have other health benefits aside from helping treat specific conditions.
These are said to be increased blood circulation, boosted immune system, decreased fatigue, and faster recovery time from sports injuries.
Cyrotherapy is used as a treatment for certain types of cancers, and can be used internally and externally depending on which cancer is being targeted.
It is sometimes used in conjunction with radiotherapy and surgery, but is still a relatively new form of treatment.
As cryotherapy itself is still a fairly new form of treatment, further studies need to be conducted to prove any long-term benefits.
Who uses it?
Celebrities and athletes are known to use cryotherapy.
A-listers Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore and Daniel Craig are all reported to have used the treatment.
The James Bond actor is said to have used cryotherapy in the lead up to his role as the 007 agent in Skyfall.
Take That singer Gary Barlow has also immersed himself in a cryo-chamber ahead of his new solo tour.
A recent video showed the 47-year-old at one of his sessions, where the temperature is cooled to -200°C.
The former X Factor judge said he had been undergoing the sessions to boost his immune system and keep him in top form for his tour.
And he revealed it was his son who talked him into it.
He told the Daily Mirror: “Someone said to me, it was probably my son, that Ronaldo never goes on the pitch unless he’s had cryo.
“The problem is I am so gullible, I believe all this.”
The footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is another famous face who uses the cold treatment, having reportedly bought his own cryo-chamber back in 2013.
The 33-year-old is said to undergo two three-minute sessions per week to keep himself in peak condition.
It reportedly cost the dad-of-four £36,000 (€45,000) to install and needs regular supplies of liquid nitrogen canisters.
Article originally posted at The Sun by Rebecca Flood
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