Is there a right or wrong way to stand in the whole body chamber? When is it best to have a cryotherapy chamber?
We are often asked questions by our clients around when is best to have a whole body cryotherapy chamber? Is it better to have one before or after exercise? And is there a right or wrong way to stand in the chamber? Are there benefits to standing still over moving around? Here is what the research says to help answer these questions for you. (see our FAQ’s here)
Whole body cryotherapy after exercise?
Delayed onset muscle soreness commonly results after sports and exercise activity. Cryotherapy is used by many athletes to assist in the management of muscle soreness after exercise and to speed up recovery time (Bleakley et al., 2012).
When in the cryotherapy chamber after exercise the skin responds to the cold temperature and sends a message to the brain which then triggers a cascade of neurological, endocrine and immune regulatory functions around the body. This encourages an increase in white blood cell counts, which leads to an anti-inflammatory response, reductions in muscle edema, and enhanced waste transportation as well as possible desirable effects on immune function (Lateef., 2010).
The endocrine system also releases endorphins and nor adrenaline, providing an individual with a release of ‘feel good’ hormones into the blood stream, leading to reductions in stress and cortisol levels.
All of these positive effects would suggest jumping in the whole body cryotherapy chamber straight after exercise would be the optimal strategy for recovery. However, recent research suggests that ice cooling immediately after exercise may reduce your body’s response to training. During exercise your body enters and inflamed state, which is necessary to enable us to become stronger and get those adaptations we are looking for. By jumping straight in to ice cold temperatures can inhibit the function of out lymphatic system in clearing these inflammatory toxins, all part of the getting ‘stronger’ process (Yamane et al., 2015). So, it may be best to wait 45-60 minutes before stepping into the cryotherapy chamber. When used in this way it may help to encourage muscle repair, cell renewal and reduce excess inflammation helping you to recover before your next training session.
Clients who use our chamber also report that they experience improvements in the quality of their sleep on the days when they have used the cryotherapy chamber after exercising, which subsequently leads to enhanced recovery. And who doesn’t love waking up in the morning having had a wonderful nights sleep, feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day ahead.
Whole body cryotherapy before exercise?
Whole body cryotherapy before exercise may increase an individual’s pain threshold and muscle viscosity enabling them to train harder during exercise. Additionally, with the increase in endorphins and nor adrenaline you will experience and increase in energy levels before your work out. Using cryotherapy before exercise is also beneficial when training in warmer weather, reducing body temperature and therefore decreasing heat stress during exercise (Wegmann et al., 2012).
However, a systematic review of all the current available evidence suggests that there may be adverse effects on athletic performance if exercise is commenced immediately after being in the whole body cryotherapy chamber when the individual is still in the ‘cooled state’. These adverse effects may be overcome if progressive warmups are completed prior to exercise (Pritchard & Saliba., 2014) or if there is a short delay between exiting the cryotherapy chamber and commencing exercise allowing blood flow to return to the muscles.
Stand still or move when in the whole body cryotherapy chamber?
Many of our clients ask whether it is better to stand still in the cryotherapy chamber or whether they should move around. Currently there is no conclusive evidence to suggest one way is advantageous over the other. So, we suggest doing whatever feels most comfortable for you. Some clients say that when they move around, they feel colder than when they stand still. So, for now it is personal preference, if you want to move around go ahead, equally if you want to stand still that’s also ok. We would love to get your feedback after a chamber to see how you felt either way.
We hope this information has helped to answer some of your questions and given you some good advice about when is the best times to have a cryotherapy chamber around your workouts and look forward to see you at Cryojuvenate soon.
For more information or to book your appointment call +44 (0) 1732 449411Vist our FAQ’s here Book Now