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FAQ - For Users

The Basics

1. What is Whole Body Cryotherapy?

Whole Body Cryotherapy is the exposure of the human body to extreme cold, most often applied inside a cryosauna or cryochamber. The purpose of WBC is attributed to maximizing the potential for a rapid and improved response to injury, to long-term conditioning of the body and for the observed positive aesthetic effects it can have on the skin. Originally, the term cryotherapy derives from the Greek words “cryo” (κρύο) which means cold, and “therapy” (θεραπεία) which means cure.  The positive effects of cryotherapy have been recognized for hundreds of years, but its' absolute potential has only been discovered recently. Based on studies of medical responses to cryotherapy and safety in application, coupled with people's long-term experiences with cryotherapy, we can now take full advantage of the extreme conditions that are achieved inside the cryosauna/cryochamber. While in a session, the person's body is exposed to these extreme temperatures in order to get the impression that the body may be in an environment in which the body could experience hypothermia (a condition in which the body’s core temperature drops below the normal level of 36,7°C or 98°F). As a response, the brain acts accordingly to protect the body from hypothermia and it does so by constricting blood vessels and muscles mostly in the peripheral parts of the body, a process that is referred to as vasoconstriction. Once the session is over, and the body starts realizing the safe conditions it is in, it releases blood vessels and muscles in an act of vasodilation. Any risk of hypothermia with WBC is prevented by the time limit that a person can stay inside, which is 3 minutes. WBC in the short run has been seen to speed up recovery from injuries, but it has also contributed to improvements in some detrimental health conditions.

2. Is WBC safe?

WBC is performed in the controlled environment of our cryosauna and clients are monitored at all times by trained staff. Our equipment has complied with health and safety standards across dozens of countries. Our equipment complies with European norms as it is CE marked and has UL approval. For locations that use our equipment, the cryosauna or cryofacial, we recommend a risk assessment (particularly for LN2 storage and use) carried out prior to being opened to the general public or for everyday users, to assure that all regulations are fulfilled. All operators must follow the guidelines for safe operation. Our cryosaunas perform more than 10,000 cryotherapy sessions every day and apart from being tested by our safety and production standards, the safety of WBC performed in our equipment has also been tested with time.

3. Why do we use LN2 (liquid nitrogen), is it harmful?

Today, nearly all cryogenic-equipment will by large be based on a coolant called Liquid Nitrogen, as is our cryosauna. LN2 has several attributes that make it the perfect coolant for use in WBC. The first reason is its abundance in the atmosphere (about 77% of the atmosphere), as we can easily gather it from the air around us by compressing it into liquid form. Secondly, the liquid state of nitrogen allows simple storage of the necessary coolant. Its boiling temperature stands at -196° centigrade, which helps us to obtain extremely low temperatures very quickly. The third reason is its' accessibility and the number of distributors to choose from. The fourth reason are the existing guidelines for safety and convenient application and handling of LN2 in practice, which make it safe for use in almost any circumstances. That's why taking advantage of the extreme temperatures of LN2 (-196°C or -320°F) is so simple.

Before Entering

1. What are the risks associated with WBC?

Whole body cryotherapy is very well tolerated and has minimal risks. Risks include fluctuations in blood pressure during the treatment by up to 10 points systolically (this effect reverses after the end of the procedure, as peripheral circulation returns to normal), allergic reaction to extreme cold (rare), redness, and skin burns (only if exposed to low temperatures longer than recommended). The risks are most commonly observed in persons which can find their condition on the list of contraindications.

2. Who should not use WBC?

The following conditions are contraindications to whole body cryotherapy: Pregnancy, severe Hypertension (BP> 180/100), acute or recent myocardial infarction, unstable angina pectoris, arrhythmia, symptomatic cardiovascular disease, cardiac pacemaker, peripheral arterial occlusive disease, venous thrombosis (VTE), deep vein thrombosis (DVT), acute or recent cerebrovascular accident, uncontrolled seizures, Raynaud’s Syndrome, fever, tumor disease, kidney and urinary tract diseases , symptomatic lung disorders, bleeding disorders, severe anemia, infection, claustrophobia, cold allergy, , age less than 18 years (parental consent to treatment needed), acute kidney and urinary tract diseases. Clients should always check with their medical providers regarding their particular medical status.

3. Who should use WBC?

WBC is ideal for athletes seeking muscle recovery, people with chronic pain and inflammatory conditions, and those seeking weight loss and skin rejuvenation.  Cryotherapy is used post-surgery to accelerate healing and reduce pain without the side effects of pain medications.  Younger clients, ages 10 to 18, can  use WBC with parent’s consent.

4. Is WBC comfortable?

Yes.  WBC involves dry, hyper-cooled air flowing over the skin surface; so the process never freezes skin tissues, muscles or organs.  The result is only a "feeling" of being cold.   The body is being tricked into believing that this extreme cold is life threatening.  Cryotherapy is a dry cold with no moisture and tolerable even to those who aren't particularly fond of the cold.

The Session

1. What do I wear in the Cryosauna?

We provide you with dry socks and slip-on sandals for your feet.  We also provide light cotton gloves for your hands.  Men should have a dry undergarment; not required for women.  All jewelry, watches, chains, bracelets and earrings are removed.  The idea is to expose as much skin surface as possible so that the body's reaction is optimized.  

consider themselves cold intolerant.   Towards the end of the treatment, you may get a "pins and needles" sensation which will disappate after the treatment. 

2. What goes on during the session?

The cryosauna transforms liquid nitrogen into extremely cold gasiform air that enters the cabin with the aim of lowering the client's skin surface temperature over a period of 1,5 - 3 minutes. The skin reacts to the cold and sends signals to the brain which in-turn stimulates the regulatory functions of the body and releases anti-inflammatory proteins as well as endorphins into the bloodstream. The effects start taking place right after the client exits the cryosauna.

3. How does the client feel after the session?

WBC stimulates the body to release endorphins, the hormones that make us feel alert and energetic.  The buoyant effects from each session typically last for six to eight hours. WBC may alleviate pain in joints and injured areas. The client may also feel improvements in their sleep quality after WBC.

4. Is excercise recommended after the cryotherapy session?

Yes, an advantage of cryotherapy over ice therapy is that tissues and muscle are not frozen.  Ten to 15 minutes of light exercise post cryotherapy will induce more rapid vasodilation of the blood vessels and capillaries, and extend the period of analgesia.

5. Do I have to take a shower before or after a session?

Showering is not necessary before or after cryotherapy.  The entire procedure is dry and does not make your the skin wet.

6. How many treatments are needed to achieve optimal results?

Depending upon the condition being treated, it should initially take five to ten treatments in close succession (every other day).  After this initial loading period, maintenance treatments should be at least once per week.

Other Questions

1. What if I am often cold or get cold easily?

Since the cold from WBC only penetrates the surface of the skin, you will only experience a slight chill.   Cryotherapy improves circulation throughout the body and stimulates production of brown fat, so your future ability to tolerate cold should improve.

2. Can the client catch a cold from WBC?

No.  The immediate cold impact of the cryotherapy will raise the internal body temperature for a short period of time.  The stimulation of the immune system can help decrease the severity and frequency of future colds.

3. Can persons with claustrophobia do WBC sessions?

Yes. The clients head remains exposed to ambient air in the room and they are able to communicate with any persons in the room. The client's head will remain above the top rim at all times. The cabin door closes only with the help of magnets, therefore it cannot lock and a staff member is present throughout the entire process to watch over the client.

4. How does cryotherapy compare to an Ice Bath?

WBC treatment results in a very different response from the body than it would with an Ice Bath.  In the cryosauna, three minutes of extreme, dry cold will only reach the top layers of skin land cold receptors causing the brain to restrict blood flow to an internal cycle.  WBC causes the body to release anti-inflammatory proteins and endorphins resulting in super-charged blood.  In an ice bath, fifteen minutes of cold water initially causes the body to transfer blood to the extremities and results in lowering of the body's core temperature.

5. How can I speak to previous users or other clients?

If you would like to speak to users of WBC about the effects or equipment, please see our reference section or visit our map page for an interactive map with contact details for our customers.

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