history of cryotherapy

Has Cryotherapy Always Existed?

Cryotherapy, or as the original Greek of the name suggests, ‘cold cure’, has existed in some form or another for a long time. Although it has evolved into a fairly sophisticated system in the present age, it was one of the earliest, primitive cures.

Primitive Uses of Cryotherapy

Many older women today will tell of having their earlobes frozen with ice cubes prior to piercing. Although this is more in the nature of anaesthesia or pain relief rather than treatment of any disease, it clearly shows that controlling temperature as a form of home treatment is truly nothing new. Even cold sponging, which was widely used up to the present age to reduce escalating body temperature or ‘fever,’ is really cryotherapy in its most primitive form. Prior to the emergence of a powerful medical profession in western civilisation, much of the treatment for illnesses was performed at home with mothers, aunts, grandmothers and wise women of the locality in attendance. Some of the treatment was appropriate, but many were erroneous. So when did ‘cryotherapy’ as it is known today, begin to emerge?

Emergence of Cryotherapy as a Treatment

According to the article ‘History of Cryotherapy’ which appeared in the ‘Dermatology Online Journal’ by Antoli Freiman MD and Nathaniel Bouganin MD, of the Division of Dermatology, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, a form of the treatment was being used by ancient Egyptians four and a half thousand years ago. It was used to treat injuries and inflammation. The article also states that Dominique-Jean Larrey, Napoleon Bonaparte’s personal doctor, used it to aid in amputations of the limbs of war wounded. From emergency therapy for injuries and amputations, it is now mainly used to treat skin conditions.

Developments in Cryotherapy

According to the Freiman-Bouganin article, the late 19th century saw the emergence of cooling gases, developed especially for use in this treatment. The pioneers of cold gas development were the French physicist Louis Paul Cailletet and Swiss physicist Raoul Pictet. In 1889, a physician from New York, Campbell White, was one of the earliest physicians to report the use of liquid gases for the treatment of a variety of skin complaints including warts, herpes zoster and epitheliomas. In 1907, another New York surgeon, Whitehouse, reported the treatment fifteen skin cancers.

Further Development of Cryotherapy

In the early 1900s, Dr William Pusey of Chicago introduced the use of solid carbon dioxide, again for the treatment of various skin complaints and diseases. In the 192o0s, Irving and Turnacliff described positive outcomes with liquid oxygen. However, this substance being inflammable, it was rather dangerous. In the post World War II era, Dr Ray Allington used swabs dipped in liquid nitrogen to treat various skin complaints and diseases.

To the Present Day

Modern cryosurgery developed with Irving Cooper, physician and Arnold Lee,engineer. They developed a modern cryosurgical probe using liquid nitrogen. More cryosurgical apparatuses were being developed in the 1960s. Cryotherapy continues to evolve throughout the years as an acceptable way to treat a variety of skin complaints, both malignant and benign. Nowadays, you can use integrated cryotherapy chambers or have cryosauna treatments as well as whole body cryotherapy. To find out more about these treatments contact us at CryoAction.

cryotherapy vs. ice baths

Introducing a Revolutionary Multi-purpose Healing & Regeneration Technique

One Stop Health & Beauty Solution

Cryotherapy is an extremely versatile therapy with a range of applications in health and beauty. It is one of the most exciting technologies to be developed in recent times. One of the most important uses of Cryotherapy is that it drastically reduces the recovery and healing time after an injury or exercise. It also has great potential in the beauty world as it can completely change the current techniques used to solve a variety of problems.

The Concept

Cryotherapy enhances recovery time from sports injuries by up to 5 times as compared to traditional healing methods. It also offers faster recuperation after intense workout sessions. A whole body treatment lasts for just 3 minutes. The ultimate objective of the treatment is to elicit the ideal physiological response of the body for faster healing from injury and recovery from fatigue.

Cryotherapy vs Ice-Bath

The concept of Cryotherapy may seem very similar to your regular ice-bath, but they are actually very different. Even though the core concept in both is concerned with exposing the body to very low temperatures, the techniques differ. As compared to an ice-bath, a Cryotherapy session is highly comfortable and offers many additional advantages while at the same time eliminating the major risk factors associated with an ice-bath.

Some of the major differences between Cryotherapy and Ice-Bath are as follows:

* Cryotherapy uses extremely cold air in the range of -220°C to -280°C whereas the temperature of water in an ice-bath varies from 45° C to 60°C.

* As a result of the treatment, the skin temperature varies from 32° C to 35°C in Cryotherapy and 45° C to 60°C in the traditional method.

* A Cryotherapy session gets completed in a short duration of 2 to 3 minutes while an Ice-bath may take as long as 15 to 20 minutes.

* Some of the immediate benefits of Cryotherapy include faster recovery, increased haemoglobin levels, improved blood circulation, stronger immune system, mood improvement, etc.

* Along with an overall improvement in many health parameters, Cryotherapy is a great beauty aid as it improves the skin health and initiates collagen production.

* There is also no risk of hypothermia in Cryotherapy that is a risk associated with ice-baths. Ice-baths can induce irregular heart beat which can cause a heart attack or other heart complications.

* A rest period of 12 to 24 hours is required after an ice-bath, while you can return to your regular activities immediately after Cryotherapy.

Equipment

CryoAction provides leading Cryotherapy solutions to elite sports persons and for everyone who is interested in taking their health levels to the top notch. They provide a range of Cryotherapy chambers serving different purposes. Built-in chambers, transportable chambers, chambers on rent, etc. have been designed by keeping in mind the various requirements of end users. Whether it is for the dedicated sports person to be used on a regular basis or required temporarily to recover from injuries, each and every need can be met with these customisable and flexible chambers.

Summary

Cryotherapy shows a lot of promise, and it should be of great interest to people who are serious in pursuing competitive sports. It has also become invaluable to the beauty industry as it provides a holistic and healthy approach to solving many beauty issues. It helps in eliminating cellulite, boosts collagen production, tightens the skin, diminishes wrinkles, prevents blackheads and also improves skin elasticity and tone. It also helps in faster healing after cosmetic surgeries. Cryofacials can give a youthful appearance to the skin and promote thicker hair growth. Since Cryotherapy increases metabolic rate, it also aids in weight loss and detoxification.

You can find further information from CryoAction here, comparing cryotherapy & icebaths.

Types of cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is a treatment method where extremely cold temperatures are used to treat various conditions such as ligament injury, muscle injury, swelling and inflammation among others. Cold therapy is also used in treating benign and malignant lesions. Cryotherapy is beneficial in mental health, heart problems, sleeping problems, injuries and skin problems. Some of the common types of Cryotherapy include the following.

Whole Body Cryotherapy

Whole Body Cryotherapy is the latest type of Cryotherapy that is used as an alternative to cold water and ice packs. In this method, the patient is kept in the cryogenic chamber briefly – bot exceeding 3 minutes. The Cryotherapy chambers in Whole Body Cryotherapy is cooled using liquid nitrogen to temperatures of about 120 degrees Celsius. Patients wear a bathing suit, gloves, socks, ear and mouth gear to protect them from frostbites. Despite the cold chamber temperatures, the core body temperatures remain constant. Whole Body Cryotherapy stimulated endorphins, the natural body painkiller that relieves pain, insomnia, and other conditions.

Partial Body Cryotherapy

This form of Cryotherapy where devices known as Cryosaunas are used. Cryosaunas are cylindrical Cryotherapy chambers with an aperture at the top that allows the head of the patient to remain outside to prevent it from cold stimulus. Partial Body Cryotherapy differs from Whole Body Cryotherapy in that it uses an evaporated liquid nitrogen in the chambers.

Ice Pack Therapy

This is a cold treatment therapy done to an injured body part. The ice pack is placed over the injured area to absorb heat resulting from the injury. This method is commonly used in alleviating minor injuries and reduce muscle soreness. Ice park therapy can also be used in sports medicine where ice packs are applied to the injured part. However, it should only be used for a maximum of 10 minutes to avoid decreasing performance.

Instant Ice Pack Therapy

Instant ice pack therapy encompasses an appliance with two bags, an outer bag with water and the inner with ammonium nitrate. Squeezing the outer bag breaks the inner bag, dissolving the ammonium nitrate in water. The resultant endothermic reaction absorbs heat from the surrounding environment thus lowers the temperatures of the ice pack. This mode is a convenient alternative to crushed ice and is best for sports injuries.

Internal Cryotherapy

Internal Cryotherapy is a type of Cryotherapy where surgeons use freezing agents to treat internal body parts. It is a common treatment strategy for some forms of cancer.

Cryotherapy can also be classified based on the type of illness used to treat. Based on this classification, there are five types including:

  • Cryotherapy for prostate
  • Cervical Cryotherapy
  • Cryotherapy for lungs
  • Cryotherapy for heart surgery
  • Cryotherapy for prostate

Before settling on one type, ensure that you consult a medical professional on the benefits, side effects and precautions associated with each.