Cold therapy heating up as popular way to relieve pain

May 22, 2019 06:47 PM

Cryotherapy is heating up in the world of wellness. It involves very cold temperatures to relieve inflammation.

Athletes have been using cold therapy for decades to relieve the pain of playing hard. Now, cryotherapy spas are opening.

The treatment offered is far colder than old fashioned ice baths. However, the promise is much the same - to reduce inflammation which, in turn, relieves pain and increases well-being.

Linda Martuscello has been a regular client at iCRYO in Clifton Park since last July to alleviate persistent back pain.

"It helps me not able to take medication. It helps me with my inflammation. It gives me my life back. I'm able to move," she said.

That's the promise of cryotherapy - to target and relieve inflammation.

"It's actually tricking your body to think your body's under attack. Your body essentially thinks it's going into hypothermia, so it triggers its natural healing process," said Aric Lemon, the CEO and owner of iCRYO.

The cryotank is filled with liquid nitrogen - creating temps as low as -130 degrees. Clients first have their skin temperature taken and then spend up to three minutes in the cold - with the goal of reducing skin temperature by 30 degrees for maximum benefit.

"Cold therapy's been used for centuries. Actually, cryotherapy was created in the 70s by a doctor in Japan to treat rheumatoid arthritis," noted Lemon.

If you're not ready to take the full-body plunge, there are localized treatments for the neck, shoulders, knees and lower back - as well as a cryofacial. NewsChannel 13's Benita Zahn gave it a try.

Despite the cold, the 10 minute cryofacial is very soothing - and is geared to alleviating acne, rosacea and TMJ.

If you're looking for long-term studies into the effectiveness of cryotherapy in general, keep looking. There's some supportive research, but not all the claims - like cryotherapy helping to support weight loss, have proof.

The treatment isn't yet regulated by the FDA - a move Lemon would welcome as he encourages his staff to stay up to date on available cryotherapy training.

"I would say 90 percent of the people see instant relief. That could last for several days. It could last for a day or two. Again, it's all on how the body's going to react," he said.

Cryotherapy isn't cheap at $50 a pop for the full-body immersion. However, iCRYO offers package deals.



Benita Zahn

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