Cryotherapy has been gaining popularity as a weight loss treatment in recent years. The treatment involves exposing the body to extremely cold temperatures for a short period of time, typically two to three minutes. This can be achieved through whole-body cryotherapy, where the entire body is immersed in a chamber filled with liquid nitrogen or other cooling agents, or through localized cryotherapy, which targets specific areas of the body with a handheld device.
While there is some evidence to suggest that cryotherapy may have some potential for weight loss, the research is still in its early stages and the results are mixed. Here, we’ll take a closer look at what the science says about cryotherapy and weight loss, as well as some of the other potential benefits of this innovative treatment.
Cryotherapy used for Weight Loss
Cryotherapy is thought to promote weight loss by increasing the body’s metabolic rate. When exposed to extreme cold, the body has to work harder to maintain its core temperature, which can lead to an increase in calorie burning. However, the evidence supporting this claim is somewhat limited.
One study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that exposure to cold temperatures did increase the body’s metabolic rate, but the effect was relatively small and may not translate to significant weight loss. Other studies have had similar findings, with some showing no effect on metabolism at all.
Another way in which cryotherapy may promote weight loss is by reducing inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation has been linked to various health problems, including obesity. By reducing inflammation, cryotherapy may help to promote weight loss by improving overall health and reducing the risk of chronic disease.
In addition to these potential benefits, cryotherapy may also help to reduce cravings for unhealthy foods. When exposed to cold temperatures, the body releases endorphins and other feel-good hormones that can help to reduce stress and anxiety. This, in turn, may help to reduce the likelihood of emotional eating and other unhealthy food behaviors.
Other Benefits of Cryotherapy
While the evidence supporting cryotherapy as a weight loss treatment is somewhat limited, there are other potential benefits of this innovative treatment that are worth exploring.
Pain Relief: Cryotherapy has been shown to be effective in reducing pain and inflammation in a variety of conditions, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, and migraines. By reducing inflammation and promoting healing in the body, cryotherapy may be an effective treatment option for those dealing with chronic pain.
Improved Athletic Performance
Athletes have been using cryotherapy for years to help speed up recovery time and improve performance. By reducing inflammation and promoting healing in the body, cryotherapy may help athletes to recover more quickly from injuries and perform better in their sport.
Reduced Anxiety and Depression
As we mentioned earlier, exposure to cold temperatures can trigger the release of endorphins and other feel-good hormones in the body. This can help to reduce anxiety and depression, which can be a major contributing factor to poor mental health.
Improved Skin Health
Cryotherapy has also been shown to be effective in improving the health and appearance of the skin. By stimulating collagen production and improving circulation, cryotherapy may help to reduce the signs of aging and improve skin tone and texture.
Potential Risks and Side Effects
While cryotherapy is generally considered safe, there are some potential risks and side effects to be aware of. Some people may experience numbness, tingling, or skin irritation after the treatment. Others may experience dizziness or lightheadedness due to the extreme cold temperatures. To minimize the potential side effects of cryotherapy, it’s recommended that you start with shorter sessions, working your way up as you gain comfortability and see how your body responds.