Cryotherapy For Weight Loss: Everything You Need To Know
Cryotherapy (cold therapy) uses enormously chilly temperatures for a few minutes on a particular body part or the entire body to treat conditions, viz. soreness, swelling, and so on. Health professionals use ice baths, ice packs, or coolant sprays to perform Cryotherapy. Recently, experts have claimed that whole-body Cryotherapy has several health advantages and reduces weight. Cryotherapy is a new technique; people should know specific things before taking it.
This article will summarize Cryotherapy for weight loss, its working mechanism, types, and benefits, as well as some associated risks and contraindications. In addition, it will also clarify popular queries that people are interested to know about.
How does Cryotherapy Work?
- In cold therapy, doctors expose the patients to chilling temperatures for specific periods to achieve particular health advantages.
- The doctors might utilize several substances viz; argon gas, liquid nitrogen, liquid nitrous oxide to produce the cold environment.
- The procedure decreases blood flow to the intended region, including white blood cells (WBC). The WBCs help the body’s natural immune response that causes body inflammation. Thus, a blood flow decrease in the intended area helps diminish the soreness and puffiness in the body part.
- Thus, Cryotherapy assists in momentary pain relief in afflicted areas .
Types of Cryotherapies
The different types of Cryotherapies are listed below-
Partial body Cryotherapy
- In partial body Cryotherapy, the doctors allow the patient to enter a single- individual cold chamber with an opened top to exclude the neck and head region to get the treatment.
Whole body Cryotherapy
- Doctors allow the patient to enter a confined apartment previously chilled with a cooling substance, liquid nitrogen.
- The health professional will enable him to enter and stay there for three to four minutes to get the health benefit.
- It is a technique to treat specific tumors and skin diseases.
- The physician performs the procedure by delivering excessive cold to destroy the targeted tissue. Surgeons perform Cryosurgery only in health clinics or hospitals.
Cold water immersion
- The technique tackles muscle pain after physical activity.
- During the method, the health expert allows the individual to immerse in cold water (60 degrees Fahrenheit) for a specific time (3 to 4 minutes) .
Cryotherapy for Weight Loss
- Recently, Cryotherapy has become common in reducing weight and eliminating body fat along with its earlier uses, viz, decreasing body soreness and puffiness.
- The whole-body Cryotherapy method has apartments to submerge the entire body, including the head region, at temperatures of around minus 230 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit for a specific time (usually 3 to 4 minutes)
- Experts believe that whole-body Cryotherapy can reduce body fat and decrease weight. But to date, there is limited scientific evidence to validate that Cryotherapy helps with weight reduction. However, there are some proofs that it has minimal impact on the body’s metabolism .
How does Cryotherapy help weight loss?
- The body’s fat (brown adipose tissue) gets activated on cold treatment. After the treatment, the body needs to work more to get the average temperature.
- The fat tissue transforms its energy into heat to reverse the body to the actual temperature. Thus, an individual loses more fat and weight after cold treatment.
- Studies have indicated that body exposure to chilly temperatures impacts numerous hormones (chemical messengers) needed for correct body metabolism, along with inhibiting pain and swelling linked to increased weight.
- Thus, Cryotherapy can efficiently deal with body fat and alter the body’s energy utilization. However, studies are still in infancy, and there is limited scientific evidence if whole body Cryotherapy is an effective treatment for weight .
Cryotherapy sessions to lose weight
- Current studies must clearly state the number of treatment sessions required to reduce weight. One research study on middle-aged women needed twenty Cryotherapy sessions to decrease the body’s abdominal fat. However, in another survey of male individuals, no prominent weight loss was observed after ten sessions of Cryotherapy treatment .
- Yet, another study has found prominent adipose tissue loss in hours post-treatment, and they mentioned that many follow–up sessions are needed to note body fat decline .
- Since there are no accurate conclusions on the treatment sessions, one must take the sessions along with a healthy diet and exercise to get the maximum benefit .
Cryotherapy for Weight Loss: Side Effects
Since Cryotherapy involves the application of frigid temperatures, the body’s nerves might be affected to some extent.
Some of the common side effects are listed below-
- Skin redness
- Loss of sensation in the treated part
- Sensitivity reaction viz; itching and rash
- Burns and pimples (in rare cases) .
What are the Benefits of Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy has many health advantages. Some of the expected health benefits are listed below-
- Decreases arthritic pain
- Decreases nerve irritation
- Decreases migraine headache
- Prevents mental disorders
- Treats specific tumors
- Treats skin diseases
- Treats emotional disturbances
Decreases arthritic pain
- Concentrated Cryotherapy treatment in a specific area reduces joint and body pain.
- Studies have also found that whole-body Cryotherapy considerably decreased the joint pain associated with arthritis.
- It enabled people to take up practical physiotherapy sessions after treatment .
Decreases nerve irritation
- Most sportspeople take up Cryotherapy sessions to block the pain sensation in injuries. Extreme cold can make the aggravated nerve insensitive.
- Physicians treat the targeted area by placing a minute chilly substance near it to manage the soreness associated with the wound .
Decreases migraine headache
- People can manage migraine headaches by cooling nerves in the neck region.
- Studies have found that putting ice packs in the neck’s carotid arteries near the skin’s surface decreases the intensity of migraine headaches. The reason is the cool blood that passes through the vessels due to ice pack application .
Prevents mental disorders
- Most people believe that whole body Cryotherapy improves memory and thinking capability and helps avert mental illness viz, Alzheimer’s disease.
- Research studies have found that Cryotherapy might be effective in preventing mental illness due to the treatment’s anti-inflammatory and detoxifying effects .
Treats specific tumors
- Health experts use Cryosurgery (targeted Cryotherapy) to kill abnormal cells.
- The extreme temperature freezes the tumor cells with ice and ultimately kills them.
- Cryosurgery is now used to treat specific risk-free abnormal cells in prostate cancer 14 Benefits| Researched based study from Cancer Research UK.
Treats skin diseases
- Cryotherapy can treat atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is when the body has desiccated irritated skin.
- The antioxidant property of Cryotherapy reduces soreness and swelling and helps manage the skin condition .
Treats emotional disturbances
- The freezing temperature in Cryotherapy treatment can cause the production of specific hormones viz; endorphins, adrenaline, and nor-adrenaline.
- Research studies have indicated that whole body Cryotherapy can prove efficient in giving momentary treatment for emotional disturbances viz; anxiety and depression .
- Cryotherapy is safe for most people if carried out by a skilled professional.
- However, one might encounter severe consequences if the treatment is done frequently without an expert’s direction.
- Some of the severe risks of Cryotherapy are listed below –
- Damaged nerves
- Eye injury
- Increased blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate
- People must always remember that Cryotherapy equipment is not FDA-approved for reducing weight.
- Moreover, the equipment also carries the oxygen deficiency risk due to nitrogen vapor initiation.
- Additionally, people using ice packs at home must not continuously apply ice on the affected part for longer than 15 to 20 minutes as the prolonged keeping of the ice packs might deteriorate the skin surface .
What are the Contraindications for Cryotherapy?
People with specific health issues must not undergo Cryotherapy. Some of them are listed below-
- People with wounds
- Cold urticaria
- Circulation issue
- Cold hypersensitivity
- Multiple myeloma (cancer of white blood cells)
- Raynaud’s disease (a condition with decreased blood flow to fingers)
- Hemoglobinuria (a situation when there is excess hemoglobin in urine)
- Cryoglobulinemia (a disease in which cryoglobulin protein in blood cluster together at cold temperatures, causing pain and swelling) .
What are the Complications of Cryotherapy?
Widespread use of whole-body Cryotherapy can cause serious complications. Some of them are as follows-
- Severe burns
- Frostbite (injury caused by skin freezing)
- Pimple formation
- Hemorrhage (blood coming out from damaged vessel)
- Alteration in sensation
- Frozen limbs .
Frozen limbs are intense frostbite with skin discoloration, pimples, and fierce burns after returning to average body temperature.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cryotherapy
Q. How often should you do cryotherapy for weight loss?
- To manage a healthy weight, individuals must take four to five Cryotherapy sessions in 7 days, with physical exercise and a balanced diet.
Q. Does Cryotherapy detox the body?
- Yes, whole-body Cryotherapy helps detoxify the body from free radicals that cause infections and diseases and assists in keeping the body fit.
Q. Can you do Cryotherapy for fat loss at home?
- No, one must not try Cryotherapy at home as it can harm health. Individuals must take it only under the supervision of a skilled professional.
Q. Does fat come back after Cryotherapy?
- The treated fat cells get destroyed and subsequently removed by the body’s lymphatic system, so fat cells never come back after Cryotherapy. However, the remaining fat cells can bulge and form new fat cells even after Cryotherapy. Hence, a healthy diet and exercise are a must to maintain the Cryotherapy effects.
- The lymphatic system is the collection of organs that combats infection. It collects the destroyed fat from the intestine and transfers it through blood to the kidneys to eliminate the waste .
Cryotherapy for Weight Loss: Consult with a Health Professional
Cryotherapy is the cold treatment to tackle specific health conditions viz; pain, swelling, and weight loss. Although most people believe that Cryotherapy can help in weight management, there is not enough scientific evidence to support the fact. Whole-body Cryotherapy is a new technique, and research studies are still ongoing to validate the multiple health benefits, including weight loss. Individuals willing to take up Cryotherapy for weight management must consult with a health professional to know if it is an appropriate procedure for them based on their health condition.