For a metabolic boost and other major health benefits, take the plunge into a
subzero cryotherapy tank, or opt for hyperbaric oxygen therapy to promote immune health and wound healing.
Cryotherapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy are two cutting-edge advanced technology treatments going beyond fad status and gaining popularity for everyone from elite athletes, Olympians, brides-to-be and weekend warriors to those needing postoperative care.
“Cryotherapy is becoming popular because of its ability to treat and assist in many areas,” explains Erin Kemp of Thrive Drip Spa (thrivedripspa.com) in Houston, TX. “You are able to lose weight more quickly, recover faster, and increase your energy all through a single session. Cryotherapy can also help with strengthening your immune system, pain management such as back problems or arthritis, and even migraines.”
Here are the benefits of both therapies, and why they should be on the radar now.
WHAT Cryotherapy, or whole body cryotherapy, derived from the Greek word cryo meaning cold, is an alternative treatment to cold-water immersion. Individuals stand inside a specially designed tank or chamber and are exposed to cold, dry air (below -148º), using nitrogen, a non-toxic natural gas. Specialty gloves, undergarments and socks are typically provided.
WHY It’s used for weight loss, athletic recovery, to improve sleep, ease skin conditions, provide beauty and anti-aging benefits, enhance athletic performance and reduce pain and inflammation.
WHO “People from a wide range of lifestyles and ages are good candidates for cryotherapy,” says Kemp. “While it is exceptionally helpful to athletes and those with chronic pain, it is also highly recommended for clients who simply want to improve their overall health and appearance. Who doesn’t want to burn 500-800 calories in less than three minutes?”
WHEN “A single cryo session is beneficial, however we recommend two to three sessions per week for optimal results,” says Kemp. “Cryotherapy is safe to do two times a day (with a minimum of four hours in between each session). If you are treating a pain problem, we recommend cryotherapy every day for five to seven days, then continuing with two to three sessions per week.”
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
WHAT Hyperbaric oxygen therapy works by enhancing the body’s natural healing process with inhalation of 100 percent pure oxygen in a controlled and pressurized chamber. Inside the chamber, 15 times more oxygen is delivered to body tissues than breathing regular air at normal atmospheric pressure.
WHY For decades, wellness centers and hospitals including Long Beach Memorial Medical Center in Long Beach, CA, have used the therapy to treat patients with serious infections, decrease inflammation and promote growth of new blood vessels to speed wound healing. Some claim it helps with sleep and focus.
WHO For individuals with severe anemia, brain abscess, burns, decompression sickness, skin or bone infection, non-healing wounds and vision loss.
WHAT TO EXPECT While in the chamber, relax, listen to music, watch movies, or take a nap.
WHEN The frequency of treatments depends on the individual and the condition. Usually a prescription is needed.
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