Putting your body in a deep freeze has come a long way since Han Solo met carbonite in “The Empire Strikes Back.”
Today, cryogenic therapy, commonly called cryotherapy, is a huge trend in the health and wellness field. It’s not just athletes and movie stars turning to cryotherapy, but everyday people dealing with conditions like fibromyalgia.
Among those reported to have used cryotherapy are some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment. They include LeBron James, Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Aniston, Cristiano Ronaldo, Hugh Jackman, Kobe Bryant, Justin Timberlake, Daniel Craig, Mandy Moore, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Shaquille O’Neal.
Cryotherapy is also sometimes called cold therapy. Whole body cryotherapy has been growing in popularity. You go into a vertical chamber that is adjusted for your height, as your head remains above the chamber. Inside the chamber, your body is exposed to dry, cold (below -100 degrees Celsius) air for two to four minutes.
What draws athletes like James, Ronaldo and Mayweather to it? Belief that whole body cryotherapy may not only accelerate recovery from injuries, but provide relief from the everyday wear-and-tear that their sports do to their bodies.
Celebrities, being in a looks-driven industry, are using cryotherapy for anti-aging benefits. Craig reportedly used whole-body cryotherapy to help maintain his chiseled physique while filming his James Bond movie “Skyfall.” Cryo facials use cryotherapy and light therapy, with possible results including cell and collagen rejuvenation as well as plumping the face’s skin, which can help those famous faces keep looking younger. There is also the belief that cryotherapy may aid in weight loss.
Cryotherapy is also being looked into to treat conditions like fibromyalgia, migraines, anxiety, multiple sclerosis, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s.
In addition to whole body cryotherapy, the FDA in 2018 approved targeted cold therapy for doctors to use for pain relief in joints like the shoulders, hips and knees.
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