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Cryotherapy Terminology

  • Peter B. Marusich, CEO
  • Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy equipment owners and operators, manufacturers, and resellers often use different terminology to refer to their equipment and their list of treatments.

We have taken the time to lay down our own definitions of the different terms that pop up in the world of cryotherapy.

WBC - Whole Body Cryotherapy

CRYONiQ uses the term Whole Body Cryotherapy to refer to cryotherapy treatments in open-top cryosaunas. Throughout the procedure, the client’s whole body is exposed to the cold except for their head.

There are several long-established fields outside of cryotherapy, such as beauty and skin care often employing the word body to refer to the torso from the neck down, which has a similar basis for the use of the term whole-body cryotherapy in open-top cryosaunas.

Open top cryosaunas can be either nitrogen based or some hybrid systems.

PBC – Partial Body Cryotherapy

CRYONiQ refers to Partial Body Cryotherapy as the application of cryotherapy on select or limited areas of the body, such as the limbs or parts of the torso.

Some members of the cryotherapy community refer to treatments in open top cryosaunas as Partial Body Cryotherapy. However, the term partial body cryotherapy does not exactly characterize the extent of the treatment inside an open-top cryosauna.

The term partial encompasses two separate meanings that are not entirely suitable to refer to the treatment in open top cryosaunas and may be more fit for other cryotherapy applications. Those two meanings are “incomplete” or “certain parts/areas”. The word incomplete asserts a somewhat negative connotation of partial body cryotherapy which supposedly does not achieve the standard of enclosed cryotherapy chambers. However, the intended purpose of different cryotherapy equipment and systems varies and the exposure of the client’s head to the cold vapors is not necessarily the benchmark for the highest quality cryotherapy experience. The use of this term for open-top cryosaunas by large originates from the manufacturers and resellers of enclosed cryotherapy systems such as electric or nitrogen based systems (hybrids).

Partial Body Cryotherapy can be used to refer to cryotherapy applied on the limbs or select areas of the body, which then goes on to establish a whole different category of equipment.

FBC – Full Body Cryotherapy

Full Body Cryotherapy, also called enclosed chamber cryotherapy, is a form of cryotherapy in which the body is fully/entirely exposed to the extremely cold temperatures inside an enclosed treatment room. Full body refers to the entirety of the client’s body and it cannot be used interchangeably with other systems.

The cryotherapy systems that make use of this term include electric and hybrid systems.

Hybrid Cryotherapy | Hybrid Cryotherapy Chamber | Indirect Systems

Hybrid cryotherapy is used to refer to nitrogen-based cryotherapy systems that use LN2 to cool down breathable air that ultimately cools the client cabin.

This term can be used for single person cryochambers or multiple person cryochambers using liquid nitrogen internally, but not inside the client cabin.

Cryo chamber | Cryochamber | Cryotherapy chamber | Cryosauna | Cryo cabin

These terms are used interchangeably to refer to open-top cryosaunas and enclosed cryotherapy chambers.

Every market refers to cryotherapy devices and the cryotherapy treatment differently.

Cryotherapy Machine

The term “cryotherapy machine” or “cryotherapy machines” is used to refer to every single technology within the cryotherapy field that applies some form of cold treatment and requires electrical power to run.

Electric Cryotherapy | Electric Cryotherapy Chamber

Electric Cryotherapy is used to refer to enclosed cryotherapy equipment chambers cooled with the use of electric power that expose the client’s entire body to extremely cold temperatures for a set period of time. Electric cryotherapy chambers have a high consumption of electricity, but do not require any liquid nitrogen. Electric Cryotherapy chambers require a larger initial investment.

Open top Cryosaunas

The term open-top cryosauna is used to refer to cryosaunas/ cryotherapy chambers/ cryotherapy equipment that uses liquid nitrogen to cool down the whole system. Open-top cryosaunas expose the client’s body to an atmosphere with higher nitrogen concentration which causes the cooling effect. Open-top cryosaunas generally offer more flexibility in operation as well as immediate startup, they may offer lower efficiency if not operated back-to-back. To ensure the safety of all clients, all operators must follow a stricter safety protocol.

Direct | Indirect Cryotherapy Systems

These terms refer to the method that given cryotherapy equipment uses to cool the client cabin. Direct units are usually also referred to as open-top cryosaunas and those with an indirect system are generally called hybrid systems.

Localized Cryotherapy

Cryofacial, targeted cryotherapy, local cryo machine, spot cryotherapy. These are the many terms used to refer to cryotherapy that is applied in a single spot on the client’s body at a given moment. Cryofacials are primarily used to refer to the application of cryotherapy on the client’s face and neck, while targeted cryotherapy as well as spot cryotherapy allow the client to request more intense treatment in particular trouble areas caused by injuries, muscle damage, and other conditions.

Localized Cryotherapy – Nitrogen Based Systems

Nitrogen-Based Systems make use of the extreme properties of liquid nitrogen starting from -120°C / -180°F. This system requires the continuous supply of liquid nitrogen.

Localized Cryotherapy – Electric Based Systems

Electric Based Systems make use of refrigeration technologies. Temperatures are limited to -50°C/-60°F. This system only requires electricity.

Localized Cryotherapy – CO2 Based Systems

CO2 Based Systems operate at around -80°C/-110°F and require continuous supply of CO2.


Cryolipolysis also referred to by clients as CoolSculpting, uses cool temperatures to break down fat cells. This treatment takes advantage of the susceptibility of fat cells to break down under cold stress, compared to the durability of muscles and other tissue that remains intact.

Ice Bath

An Ice bath, also called cold water immersion, or cold therapy is a training regimen usually following a period of intense exercise. Ice baths are taken in a bath, tub, or ice-water for a limited amount of time. Ice baths are one of the oldest forms of cryotherapy. The procedure requires longer recovery times than modern cryotherapy techniques but has its charm and we highly recommend doing either modality when available.

Cryotherapy for Warts

Cryotherapy for warts, often called cryosurgery uses liquid nitrogen to freeze warts that can appear on the human body.  This type of cryotherapy is of purely medical background and is entirely separate from the type of cryotherapy that exposes people to extremely cold air looking for sports recovery and increased blood circulation.


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