Despite sounding like an outer-galactic counselling session, the meaning of Cryotherapy has much more simplistic roots. The word ‘Cryo’ in Greek literally means ‘Cold.’ When we are talking of Cryotherapy, we are referring to a mode of treatment that harnesses the remedial properties of freezing temperatures.
The origins of low-temperature treatments can be traced back to ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Chinese civilisations where ice baths were used to provide cure for injuries, inflammation, and pain. Fast forward to the 21st century and we are seeing something of a revival of ‘Cryo’ treatments with the celebrity-endorsed ‘Cryo-chambers’ making a regular appearance on Instagram.
There is no dispute that Cryotherapy is a valid and effective method of giving your body a boost. Whilst Cryo-chambers are increasing in popularity, they remain prohibitive pricewise to the average consumer. Luckily, there are now a variety of ways to take advantage of the health and aesthetic benefits of Cryotherapy. Here we will explain how Cryotherapy works and why it might work for you.
How does Cryotherapy work?
Historically, Cryotherapy could have involved applying any source of cold temperature e.g ice, water, air or gasses to the body to stimulate recovery and regeneration of the body. The basic principle was that by reducing blood flow to a particular site it could reduce swelling and pain. Super cold temperatures can also destroy abnormal skin cells which are useful for the removal of problematic surface skin tissues.
Nowadays it can also be used as a non-invasive, non-surgical alternative for many cosmetic enhancement procedures. Using new tools, cold treatments can be applied to localised areas for the purposes of fat freezing, cellulite smoothing or lifting. This is a fantastic alternative to facelifts and liposuction for example which may seem a drastic prospect to undertake for many.
The equipment used in aesthetic cryotherapeutic treatments creates a thermal shock to the body. This stimulates the body to respond in defence mode, kick-starting a wave of internal activity which brings about a whole host of aesthetic and general well-being benefits.
In a Cryo-facial, for example, blasts of intensely cold air are sprayed over the face and neck area. This helps to shrink pores, freeze off dead skin cells and restore the supply of collagen, elastin and hydration resulting in a brighter, tighter appearance. It is actually your own body that is doing most of the regenerative work itself. It has simply been given a reminder or prompt from the Cryo treatment to start working harder in a target area. This is often referred to as an ‘Ice Lift’ or ‘Frotox’ and is claimed to reduce the signs of ageing by years after treatment of just a few minutes.
Equally, Cryo-body sculpting applies the same principle to stubborn areas of body fat. By applying low-temperature stimulation to a target zone causes the blood vessels to constrict. One the cold air has been removed, the blood vessels expand once again causing a rush of oxygenated blood full of hormones, neurotransmitters and nutrients. This helps to breakdown the underlying fat cells which are then eliminated from the body thereby giving better definition and form without the need for surgery.
What is Cryotherapy used for?
Cryotherapy has a wide range of clinical, medical and aesthetic uses.
- Dermatology / Skin conditions: Cryotherapy has been used successfully for the elimination of non-cancerous skin lesions such as skin tags or warts using liquid nitrogen.
- Cancer: Cryotherapy can be used for the treatment of specific localised cancers by freezing the cancer cells to kill them.
- Injury recovery: In the sporting world, Cryotherapy is a common method used to speed up recovery times by reducing swelling and encouraging the body to activate its healing functions
- Weight loss: Cyrochambers are reported to burn 500-800 calories per session thereby accelerating weight loss
- Anti-ageing: By promoting the natural production of collagen, cyrotherapy can effectively slow down the signs of ageing without the need for surgery or needles
Who can perform Cryotherapy?
As mentioned, Cryotherapy can be used for both medicinal and aesthetic treatments, but in all cases, only a qualified medical professional should be used to administer the treatment. When it comes to the health and well being of our bodies, there should be no reason to take unnecessary risk. You wouldn’t take your car to be serviced by a plumber after all!
Delivering effective Cryotherapy treatments involves the use of specialist equipment such as Kaasen TruCryo. Only a skilled professional who has undertaken advanced training and understands the physiology of the body and its internal mechanisms is qualified to perform such treatment.
Nevertheless, in specialised clinics such as Banning Skin Clinique we are able to bring Cryotherapy treatments to your high street. With the peace of mind that you’re treatment is conducted by medically trained practitioners and the convenience of short, walk-in visits, achieving a transformation to the look of your skin or the contours of your body can be done in a quick lunchtime appointment.
Speak to us for more information about Cryotherapy or any of our face and body aesthetics procedures.