Cold is Smart!!! As many of our clients have observed during cryotherapy treatment—injured parts of the body feel the most “cold” during cryotherapy. Esteemed Chill Cryotherapy client Sabina Schuttevaer recognized this phenomenon during her first whole body treatment. “I’m feeling it mostly in my knees” uttered this accomplished Zumba instructor. I have since heard this statement from a number of clients. “I feel it most in my _____. And that’s funny because my _____ is where all of my pain and inflammation is…..” I became very curious as to why this is so.
Enter “reactive vasodilation” (also known as the Hunting or Lewis Reflex). During cold exposure, your body experiences vasoconstriction—a tightening of the blood vessels. Severe vasoconstriction can lead to tissue death (frost bite) and your body avoids this by triggering “reactive vasodilation”. The vasoconstriction in your blood vessels creates negative pressure in the capillary system. This leads to the pumping out of inflammatory and other metabolic byproducts from injured areas; and an influx of healing, pain-relieving macrophages, oxygenated blood and white blood cells. Aha!!! Reactive vasodilation is responsible for the extra sensations (and more pigmented red appearance) in our most injured, inflamed and painful body parts during cryotherapy. That’s the healing nutrient rich, highly oxygenated blood mobilizing to the areas you need it most.
And that is why these same parts experience the most relief from cryotherapy.
We have also been hearing from our seasoned, veteran clients–“I’m just so much more tolerant of the cold, the more I do whole body cryotherapy”. Hmmm….this is due to the same phenomenon discussed above. The more that you do whole body cryotherapy, the less inflammation exists in your body–locally and systemically. So, according to the Hunting or Lewis Reflex discussed above, you should feel the cold less throughout your entire body. So it’s definitely true–the more you reduce your systemic and localized inflammation through whole body cryotherapy, the less “cold” you will feel during your cryotherapy sessions. And bonus!! The less cold you will feel in your daily living too 🙂 It’s been proven that exposure to extreme cold (as found in whole body cryotherapy) increases tolerance to cold temperatures.
It’s real. It’s cold. It’s Chill Cryotherapy.