When it comes to cold therapy, the treatment involves using cold elements to help reduce pain and swelling caused by injury or muscle strain. At the same time, when the entire body is exposed to cold treatment, it allows for a gentle “surge-like” jolt to happen between the nervous system and the brain. This process induces the release of endorphins and encourages clarity and alertness.
It’s a breakthrough method of getting your body to speed up the healing process.
But don’t just take it from us, some of the leading athletes around the world use cold therapy in their exercise and recovery treatment sessions.
There are many types of cold therapy but in this post, we’re going to focus on cryotherapy versus ice baths.
Cryotherapy focuses on healing on a surface level while ice baths are an immersive, full-body experience. Both provide their own unique qualities.
The Differences Between Cryotherapy and Ice Baths
Cryotherapy comes from the Greek word “krýo” meaning “cold” and this is exactly what “cold therapy” is all about. There are different types of cold therapy. Each method uses cold elements and lowered temperatures to help revitalize the mind and body or reduce swelling and muscle pain. The cold is the most important part of this treatment.
Some people prefer cryotherapy at home which would call for the use of ice packs, or coolant sprays to help treat sore muscles. Others prefer taking a dip into an ice barrel for a penetrating and complete whole-body experience.
Cryotherapy uses cold “tools” applied directly to the skin to accelerate healing. This may include ice, ice packs and cooling gels. Cryotherapy is focused on skin surfaces and concentrated on specific sore areas of the body.
This method of cold therapy slows the blood from rushing to the injured area. An injury naturally becomes inflamed and starts swelling as the body tries to “restore” the affected tissue regions. By slowing down the blood flow when applying cold to the skin, it reduces the swelling and pain associated.
Cryotherapy may also involve exposing the whole body to cold temperatures wh
ile inside a cold chamber. This method is called “whole-body cryotherapy.” It uses liquid nitrogen, exposing the person to sub-zero temperatures for no more than five minutes.
An ice bath applies cold therapy through a full-body immersive experience. The bath or container is filled with icy-cold water. Its design is to penetrate deep within the muscles and the body. As a plus, this fully immersive cold therapy version also improves mental wellness.
Because the body is synchronized in all functions, when using an ice bath for a cold therapy session, the treatment goes deeper than surface skin levels. It allows the body to “reset” the nervous system as brain signals interact with each other.
Ice baths are also a therapeutic way to help lower stress levels and boost immune system function. When paired with breathing techniques and meditation, it can be an even stronger healing experience for the mind and body. Ice baths are beneficial for people in high-stress lifestyles as they also increase endorphins.
What Are the Advantages of Cryotherapy?
Cryo-chambers are excellent for speedy muscle recovery and also, to help individuals get a refreshing boost mentally and physically.
A hypothesis posted in a 2012 Pubmed article described cryotherapy becoming part of treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. This is because of the cold temperature’s ability to reduce inflammation and also improve brain function.
Cryotherapy also helps to reduce the effects of oxidative stress. This is because the cold treatment lowers the oxygen production in injured muscles. The theory is that multiple cryotherapy sessions using cryo-chambers could help improve the effects of oxidative stress on the whole body.
Cryotherapy is a quick process and works when applying ice-cold temperatures to the injured regions.
What are the Advantages of Ice Baths?
If you’re looking for a more holistic therapy session, then an ice bath is your solution. Ice bath benefits are plenty as they work on a deeper level. When taking the plunge in an ice bath, your entire body is submerged.
A cold plunge also works to experience the advanced benefits that extend beyond muscle recovery. Some of the advantages of using this form of cold therapy are that it may help with the following:
- Boosting mental clarity: Some people combine ice baths with holotropic breathing as it focuses the mind and body and assists with mental wellness, too. You can create a clear mind while concentrating on elevating awareness.
- Improving vigor and vitality: Being able to reset your body and mind will help to improve your vitality and vigor. With cold baths, you’ll feel and look great from the inside out.
- Reduces stress and anxiety levels: When practiced properly, it can also help to reduce stress levels. This is because of the positive effect on the body. There are signals moving along the nervous system from the brain all the time and the shift in temperature works on a deeper level. This is why cold showers are good for people in high-stress lifestyles as it also increases endorphins.
- Recovery and health – Cold therapy is one of the number one treatments for top athletes. It boosts recovery, health, and is a perfect remedy for holistic wellness. Even if you’re not an athlete, you can still enjoy the benefits of ice therapy for your personal wellness. It is also beneficial for boosting the immune system.
The process of incorporating cold therapy into your life changes everything. Some people experience a greater sense of acceptance that goes beyond being able to withstand the cold temperature.
Ice Baths are Cost-Effective and a Long-Term Health Investment
Maintaining your wellness regimen with ice therapy included can sometimes be on the steep side of things. Considering the health advantages and how much you can gain from the personal experience is a priceless investment.
If you calculate the expenditure for using cryo-chambers and saunas then you could easily pay around $30,000 up to $250,000 to purchase your own, and you can spend upwards of $100 per month for membership to a cryo-chamber facility. In essence, cryotherapy is the pricer option.
Ice baths, on the other hand, give you the freedom to enjoy your cold therapy session in the comfort of your home. Using a cold tub means that you can fill it with water and ice to the required temperature and then use it as needed.
If you are using an Ice Barrel, you’ll be saving so much more. It’s a one-time purchase with low maintenance and is easy to use.
Order Your Portable Ice Bath Today!
You can buy your Ice Barrel at an affordable price and start incorporating ice therapy as part of your wellness routine and training. It will help you improve and benefit with a full mind-body-wellness experience more often than had you gone to a cryo spa facility.
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