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What is cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy is a therapeutic technique that involves exposing the body or specific body parts to extremely cold temperatures for a short duration.

It is derived from the Greek words "cryo," meaning cold, and "therapy," meaning treatment. Cryotherapy can be applied to the whole body (whole-body cryotherapy) or targeted to specific areas (localised cryotherapy).

What does cryotherapy do?

Cryotherapy offers two primary effects: reducing inflammation within the body and enhancing blood circulation. These effects have significant implications for various medical conditions and recovery processes.

The reduction of inflammation plays a crucial role in addressing medical conditions that involve inflammation, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), arthritis, fibromyalgia, eczema, and various mental health issues. Cryotherapy's ability to diminish inflammation can potentially alleviate symptoms and improve overall well-being for individuals suffering from these conditions, among many others.

Improved blood circulation, on the other hand, plays a key role in accelerating the recovery process following injuries, surgeries, or intensive training in the sports world. By enhancing blood flow to affected areas, cryotherapy supports the body's natural healing mechanisms, promoting faster healing, and facilitating the recovery process.

How does cryotherapy work?

Cryotherapy works by exposing the body or specific body parts to extremely cold temperatures – around 130°C - for up to three minutes. The process triggers various physiological responses within the body.

As part of the process, you will enter a specialised cryo chamber, which will expose your body to below-freezing temperatures using nitrogen. 

What are cryotherapy chambers?

Cryotherapy chambers, also known as cryo saunas or cryo chambers, are specialised enclosures designed for delivering whole-body cryotherapy. These chambers provide a controlled environment where individuals can be exposed to extremely cold temperatures for a short duration. 

They can be categorised into three main types based on the cooling method: 

Electrically cooled chambers: Uses electric refrigeration systems to cool the chamber and maintain the desired temperature. The cooling mechanism is powered by electricity, and the chamber's temperature is regulated through this system. These systems are usually employed in spa environments rather than medical or professional centres as electrically chilled systems generally can't reach the lower temperatures needed for therapeutic purposes.

Direct nitrogen cooled chambers: Utilise liquid nitrogen directly to cool the chamber's environment. Liquid nitrogen is pumped into the pod which then closes around the body where it evaporates to create the extremely cold temperatures required for cryotherapy. The nitrogen gas released from the evaporation process cools the chamber. Although these pods can reach the required temperatures for therapeutic purposes, they can't involve the head otherwise the patient would suffocate in the nitrogen gas. As many of the reactions you need from the body depend on the brain being challenged by the cold this doesn't happen with these systems so again, they are not used in the medical or professional centres. They are also seen as a health and safety risk by the major nitrogen suppliers as the client is directly exposed to nitrogen gas so for this additional reason, we would never use them at CryoLabs.

Indirect nitrogen cooled chambers: Also rely on liquid nitrogen for cooling but in an indirect manner. Instead of pumping the liquid nitrogen into the chamber, it is circulated through a heat exchanger outside the chamber. The air is then cooled in the heat exchanger and the cooled air then enters the chamber, creating the desired low temperatures for cryotherapy. it 9s there indirect nitrogen chilled chamber that we use at CryoLabs as we have the safety element and the low temperatures we need for therapeutic purpose. 

How cold is cryotherapy?

The exact temperature used in cryotherapy can vary depending on the specific method or equipment employed however the optimum temperature for therapeutic purposes is around minus 135°C. As such it is only the indirect nitrogen chilled systems that can provide both these temperatures and the safety required.

Is cryotherapy painful?

When performed correctly, cryotherapy is typically painless and there is no reason why is should be.

However, it is important to adhere to recommended treatment times to avoid potential issues such as freezer burn. Our cryotherapy chambers are equipped with alarms that signal the completion of a session, ensuring that both users and operators are aware when the appropriate session time is nearing its end.

How long are cryotherapy sessions?

A standard cryotherapy session lasts around 3.5 minutes. The treatment begins with the user spending about 30 seconds in a pre-chamber set at temperatures ranging from -65°C to -75°C for acclimatisation. The remaining time is then spent in the main chamber, where the temperature drops to approximately -135°C.

How much are cryotherapy sessions?

View our cryotherapy session prices and membership packages.

What do I wear during cryotherapy?

During cryotherapy sessions, it is recommended that you wear minimal clothing to allow for better exposure to the cold temperatures.

Required clothing for users includes:

  • Cotton shorts or similar for men 

  • Bikinis, Swimsuit or shorts and a sports support top for women (no underwired bras) 

  • A face mask 

  • A hat or head band (to cover ears)*

  • Gloves or Mittens*

  • Knee length socks*

  • Rubber crocks or similar footwear*

* Supplied by CryoLabs

How often will I need cryotherapy?

The frequency of cryotherapy sessions can vary depending on several factors, including the individual's goals, specific needs, and the recommendations of the healthcare professional or cryotherapy provider.

For example, we find that most inflammatory based medical conditions, including arthritis, fibromyalgia and normal eczema see the best result when you have 3 - 4 sessions within a period of 7-10 days to give the body a good base and thereafter once a month is usually sufficient to keep the condition under control.

In cases of severe eczema, such as steroid withdrawal syndrome, we generally recommend a 2 - 3-month membership with attendance 3 - 4 times a week during that period to achieve clarity of the skin.

Our team will be able to advise you further, so don’t hesitate to get in touch

Why is cryotherapy good for you?

Cryotherapy offers several key benefits, including reducing inflammation, enhancing blood circulation, and lowering cortisol, a stress hormone, which can lead to an improved sense of well-being.

In addition to these primary advantages, cryotherapy provides several other valuable side benefits. It promotes healthy skin, aids in sleep, strengthens the immune system. Athletes can also benefit from cryotherapy as it increases testosterone levels, thus enhancing performance.

Can I get cryotherapy when pregnant?

It is generally advised that pregnant women refrain from undergoing full-body cryotherapy treatments.

However, depending on the specific area being targeted, localised cryotherapy may be considered safe. Nonetheless, it is crucial to consult with your doctor before proceeding with any cryotherapy treatment during pregnancy to ensure the well-being of both you and your baby.

Can I get cryotherapy if I have an underlying health condition?

There are a number of instances where cryotherapy may not be appropriate or recommended. In some cases, prior approval from your GP may also be required. If you are unsure, don’t hesitate to call us for clarification and we will be happy to help.

We require all our clients to complete a medical questionnaire prior to undertaking a cryotherapy session with us.

Will cryotherapy help with back pain?

Cryotherapy may provide relief for back pain as it is very effective with several types of chronic pain.  Here are a few ways in which cryotherapy might help with back pain: 

  1. Pain reduction due to numbed nerve endings

  2. Inflammation reduction which can reduce swelling in the affected area

  3. Muscle relaxation to decrease painful spasms

Is cryotherapy dangerous?

Cryotherapy, when performed under appropriate supervision and following safety guidelines, is generally considered a safe practice. However, if you have an underlying health condition, such as diabetes, Raynaud’s or claustrophobia it is important that you make this known to our team before undertaking treatment so we can take additional precautions (such as additional under gloves for Reynard’s or ensure that you know you can exit at any time where you suffer from claustrophobia).

Is there an age limit for cryotherapy?

So far, we have had patients go through our chambers between the ages of 8 and 90! We generally ask for GP’s consent for those under 10 or over 85.

Can cryotherapy help arthritis?

Cryotherapy can provide relief for arthritis symptoms by reducing inflammation and pain. However, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised treatment recommendations.

Can cryotherapy help you lose weight?

The exposure to extremely cold temperatures during cryotherapy stimulates the body's metabolism as it works to generate heat and maintain core temperature. This increase in metabolic activity can lead to calorie burn, though the amount burned will vary between individuals.

How long do the results of cryotherapy last?

The duration of cryotherapy results can vary depending on various factors, such as the symptom you are trying to treat. However, the effects are typically temporary between days and months and some conditions may require regular sessions for sustained benefits.

To find out how many sessions you may require, don’t hesitate to contact our team.

What should I avoid after cryotherapy?

Following cryotherapy, there are no specific activities that need to be avoided. After the treatment, you are free to resume normal activities immediately.

However, we generally recommend avoiding hot showers, baths, saunas, or similar heat sources for a couple of hours to allow the body to gradually warm itself up instead of experiencing a sudden temperature change. Whilst it won't cause harm, letting the body naturally warm up tends to yield better results. Many sports teams incorporate cryotherapy either before or after training sessions, so exercising after cryotherapy is perfectly fine.

What happens after a cryotherapy session?

Following a cryotherapy session, your skin temperature typically decreases by approximately 6°C but your core temperature is generally unaffected, so it normally only takes a couple of minutes for your body to recover that drop in skin temperature.

We recommend taking a brief recovery period, either by sitting or walking around our gym area, before resuming normal activities.

After this, you are free to do whatever you like, although we suggest you wait a couple of hours before taking a hot bath, shower, sauna or the like.

Can cryotherapy harm your skin?

Cryotherapy is intended to benefit your skin rather than harm it, provided you adhere to operational guidelines and follow the recommended chamber time.

By creating the perception of outer skin damage due to extreme cold, cryotherapy stimulates the production of additional collagen when you exit the chamber. This collagen boost can be particularly beneficial for skin conditions like eczema.


However, it's important to note that disregarding the recommended treatment times and prolonging your stay in the chamber can potentially lead to issues such as freezer burn. To ensure the safety and effectiveness of cryotherapy for your skin, it is essential to respect the prescribed treatment durations and guidelines.

Can cryotherapy help with cellulite?

Cryotherapy's skin-tightening and collagen-boosting effects contributes to the improvement of overall skin quality and tightness, which can reduce the appearance of cellulite.

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