I was listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast the other day (I’m usually a few days behind as I download them and listen when I have time), and one of his guests talked about top level football athletes in the US taking a radical new treatment called Cryogenic Therapy in order to aid recovery. Listening to a description of the treatment on the podcast had me shaking my head in disbelief.
Apparently the process is one first strips off to wearing just a bathing suit, and gloves, earmuffs and surgical mask in order to protect from frostbite. Then there are three steps:
It’s actually a complex consisting of three rooms: in one the temperature is a constant -10, in the second -60 and in the third -110 degrees Celsius.
When parts of your body are sore, you apply an ice pack, because the sudden cooling creates a numbing sensation which overrides the pain. Entering the chamber can also work in the same way. If there is a nerve in your body which is causing a lot of pain, it can be desensitized by the effect of the cryogenic chamber. This is why many athletes and pro sportspersons use cryogenic chamber therapy in the process of recovering from injuries or recuperating after a hard season.
This can help in various conditions such as muscle and joint pain due to excess wear and tear and activity, fibromyalgia and psoriasis. The release of endorphins has a long lasting beneficial effect on the body and even inflammations have been seen to reduce quickly.
On the other hand, people suffering from age related problems such as rheumatism or chronic joint pains, can also benefit from spending time in a cryogenic chamber. They are reported to feel reinvigorated and more mobile after therapy in a cryo chamber.
Are there risks? One only spends a maximum of 3 minutes in the coldest chamber, to minimize the risk of hypothermia and permanent nerve damage, however there is some speculation that the destruction of cells through freezing may raise the risk of cancer – although no studies have been done.
Here is a great video of a center in Germany, explaining how it works:
Does it work? There are lots of athletes who believe so, and the study quoted above also demonstrated a definite benefit in recovery time.
Does it work for psoriasis? I’d like to see more studies on this or try it out myself. Unfortunately I don’t live near anywhere with a Cryogenic Chamber. If you live in Texas or Northern California though, you are in luck. Here is a good video of the one in Texas. If you try it out, let us know if it works!