When you are ready to try whole body cryotherapy in the safety of a doctors office, turn to Dr. Timothy P. Spears in Arlington, Texas. At our clinic, we proudly provide whole body cryotherapy treatments for patients dealing with a number of different physical problems. This innovative approach along with chiropractic care is designed to deliver relief when you need it most.
Who Developed Whole Body Cryotherapy?
WBC was originally developed in Japan in 1978 by Dr. Yamaguchi. The benefits have been studied and refined in Europe since that time. While he initially set out on 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.
What is Whole Body Cryotherapy?
Whole body cryotherapy is the use of a brief and intense exposure to cold that triggers the body’s natural healing process. Originally developed for the treatment of inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis, whole body cryotherapy provides a wide range of benefits from sports recovery to weight loss, improved skin, better sleep and many more. The results are dramatically quick and surprisingly long lasting. With regular use of whole body cryotherapy, many who had experienced chronic issues found them to be permanently resolved.
How Does Whole Body Cryotherapy Work?
Whole body cryotherapy uses nitrogen gas to lower the client’s skin surface temperature from normal body temperature to 30 degrees Fahrenheit in 30 to 45 seconds. The dry cold air is blown on the skin surface, and it penetrates less than 0.5mm for a 2.5 minute time period. 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.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Whole Body Cryotherapy?
Whole body cryotherapy is certainly helpful to athletes seeking a possible faster musculoskeletal recovery after a strenuous workout, individuals with musculoskeletal strain and consequent uncomfortable symptoms, and those with chronic pain. It is also highly recommended for individuals who simply want to improve their health and appearance. People from a wide range of lifestyles and ages can be good candidates for this therapy. Although not indicated for weight loss, it is estimated that one burns up to 700 calories or more per session. A few conditions would preclude an individual from utilizing this therapy. Please refer to our list of contraindications below for more information. A physician's release is required if you have any contraindication. The minimum age is 14, and individuals under age 18 need parental consent.
Whole Body Cryotherapy Uses Nitrogen Gas. How Safe Is Nitrogen Gas?
Nitrogen is a safe, non-toxic, non-flammable gas. The air we breathe has approximately 78% Nitrogen, 20% Oxygen, and 2% other gases. Whether in its liquid or gaseous form, nitrogen (N2) is extremely stable and it doesn’t react with anything under standard conditions. Nitrogen has a National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA, fire hazard rating of 0, or no hazard. It's general inertness is due to the strong triple chemical bond that exists between the two Nitrogen atoms in the molecule. During the Whole Body Cryotherapy Session, however, your head is maintained above the nitrogen gas, in order to avoid possible fainting.
Who Should Not Use Whole Body Cryotherapy?
The following conditions are contraindications to whole body cryotherapy:
«Severe Hypertension (BP> 170/100)
«Acute or Recent Myocardial Infarction
«Unstable Angina Pectoris
«Symptomatic Cardiovascular Disease
«Peripheral Arterial Occlusive Disease
«Acute or Recent Cerebrovascular Accident
«Symptomatic Lung Disorders
«Cold Allergy (Being Allergic to Cold)
«Acute Kidney and Urinary Tract Diseases
Are There Age Restrictions?
Yes. Although the whole body cryotherapy chamber triggers normal body responses to cold, ours is only designed for an adult-sized body. It cannot hurt children, yet they are simply too small for our whole body cryotherapy chamber. We recommend clients be at least 16 years old with parental consent. For those clients who are between 14-17 years old, a parental consent form is required.
How Will I Feel Afterward?
There is an overall “feel good” sensation of comfort, soothing, and relief of some symptoms related to joint discomfort, as well as skin complexion and tone in most individuals after a whole body cryotherapy session. Patients have reported that the skin feels clean and tight. Most patients feel an increase of energy and flexibility and a decrease of inflammation within the first few minutes or hours.
Can I Work out Immediately before or after My Exposure?
Yes. In fact, it is recommended. If you work out 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.
How Can I Tolerate the Cold?
The air is very dry, and 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.
Can I Catch a Cold from the Effects of WBC?
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.
How Long Will My First Appointment Take?
The first appointment can take anywhere between 15-20 minutes. We like to fully educate our clients and help with any questions they may have. After the first appointment, sessions typically take 5-7 minutes.
How Does Whole Body 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. With 2-3 minutes of WBC, 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 WBC chamber, the skin is never penetrated, yet the body responds on a deeper level, even improving the skin’s overall condition.
Am I Required to Shower before or after a Whole Body Cryotherapy Session?
No, it is not necessary. This is a dry session, and you don’t get wet. In fact, your skin and hair must be dry before starting the session, in order to avoid freezing of the wet areas and possible consequent frostbit.
I Am Claustrophobic. Can I Use Whole Body Cryotherapy?
Yes, you can. The WBC 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. All of our treatments have a supervising member of our staff in the room in case you may need any assistance.
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. Men and women are required to wear underwear. Most people tolerate it very well.
Is There a Weight Limit?
We can accommodate clients up to 350 pounds in our whole body cryotherapy chamber. 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.
How Many WBC Treatment Sessions May I Have?
Most studies conducted involved one session daily, for a period of 1-2 weeks or longer. Online reports have indicated that if you have a chronic painful condition, you may benefit from periodic sessions for a longer period of time, or not. As long as you have no contraindications for WBC as depicted in our sign in sheet that you fill out when you sign up for the sessions, you may undertake a session frequently. Please consult your physician should you have any medical questions.
What Are the Risks of WBC?
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.
Do Professional Athletes Use WBC?
Yes. Many Olympic, professional, collegiate, and even high school athletes are taking advantage of the natural edge gained from whole body cryotherapy. We welcome local sports teams to call for group pricing and gain an edge over the competition.
A few pro teams using WBC include:
San Antonio Spurs
Texas Christian University
New York Knicks
Oklahoma State University
Contact us to undergo whole body cryotherapy treatments for a host of different issues. We are available to meet with patients throughout Arlington, Texas.