In last week’s Musings, I talked about the health value of sweating. I mentioned that I make sure I go to hot yoga 5-6 times a week. And I talked about Whole Body Hyperthermia as a treatment for cancer. One of my readers wrote back, and said that she is currently in Mexico having Whole Body Hyperthermia. I wanted to update that this treatment is not limited to Germany, but is also available closer to our own shores.
But, as well as heating up my body, I also have been making it frigidly cold. Today, I am going to talk about the benefits of being VERY, VERY cold for a short burst of time. I have been going into a chamber that is 260 degrees below 0 (Fahrenheit). This process is called Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC), and is offered now in NYC. The maximum length of time in the chamber is 3 minutes. For my first two sessions, I made it to 2 ½ minutes. Yesterday, I broke the 3 minute barrier.
I do notice that my essential metabolism seems to have changed since I have been doing the cryotherapy. Last week, when frigid weather finally hit New York, I was walking around in a light coat, and truly enjoying the cold air. Today (temp 25 degrees), I bundled up my trunk for my morning Lilly-dog walk), but went out with bare legs (shorts to knees), and the cold air actually felt rather exquisite to me. I FELT the cold, but it felt like an interesting sensation, rather than a discomfort.
WBC was first used in Japan in 1978 by Dr. Yamauchi. He found that it reduced pain and inflammation in his patients for whom no other treatments were working. In the two decades since, technology has allowed us to perfect the application through sophisticated equipment. And, we have seen that the healing impact is not just limited to inflammation, but affects the endocrine, immune and nervous systems.
This is how it works: as you enter the cryo-chamber, the sudden drop in heat stimulates the temperature receptors of the body, prompting the brain to transmit messages throughout the body. The skin temperature has dropped to 32 degrees; as the brain processes this new development, it sends signals to the body to protect itself, and activates an immune response that produces a host of benefits.
This process is what I have been speaking and writing about for several years now: The Hormesis Effect. Hormesis is the application of a stressor that stimulates the phenomenon that I call BOUNCEABILITY: the resilience to recover from the stressor and actually come to a better, healthier state (better adaptability, stronger, more fertile, less pain, less inflammation, longer life, etc.) than before the stressing agent was applied.
When you exit the chamber, blood is pumped vigorously around the body, which in turn enhances the oxygen supply and removal of toxins. The cold also triggers the nervous system to release feel-good endorphins. As well, the body’s natural anti-inflammatory reaction to extreme cold results in pain reduction.
The procedure has been especially embraced by athletes. The world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, used a cryosauna at the 2012 London Olympics. Alberto Salazar used it when coaching Olympic medalists.
These are the results you can expect:
BEAUTY AND ANTI-AGING
*Boosted metabolism promoting weight loss
*Skin conditions ameliorated – including psoriasis, blemishes and acne
*Collagen production – skin toned evened, visible signs of aging reduced
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
*Pain relief from joint disorders, rheumatoid diseases and fibromyalgia
*Decreased muscle soreness, spasms and inflammation
*Improved post-surgery recovery
*Alleviation of depression, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, migraines and the effects of stress
*Lowered incidence of colds and flu
*Prevention of conditions like osteoporosis
SPORTS AND FITNESS
*Faster recovery from stress of competitive sports or training
*Reduced inflammation, swelling and pain
*Enhanced energy and endorphin release
*Improved muscle and motor unit activation
*Greater testosterone levels in men
The NY center is called Kryolife. Owner Eduardo Bohorquez sent me home with a packet of papers: world-wide studies on WBC. They are serious studies on a wide range of health benefits documented by WBC. Their website is KryoLifeHealth.com
La Casa clients will receive a 10% discount for the treatments.
Jane G. Goldberg Ph.D.
*Stone Carrier Medicine Woman, Native America Traditional Organization