What can cryotherapy do for you? Ask some people, and they’ll say it can cure pretty much anything. From sore muscles to healing your hangover, cryotherapy can make you feel like a whole new person. 

Cryotherapy has become increasingly popular these days. Maybe you heard about it on your favorite athlete or celeb’s Instagram. But it isn’t just for the rich and famous–cryotherapy can benefit anyone. And now, it’s more accessible than ever. 

This article is for you if you’re on the fence about trying cryotherapy. We’ll explain the basics of how cryotherapy works, its benefits, and what you can expect before and after your own cryo experience. 

What is Cryo, Anyway? 

Cryotherapy, oftentimes referred to simply as “cryo,” is a low-temperature treatment that uses nitrogen gas to heal the body. It can eliminate inflammation in the joints, muscles, and other tissue. Oftentimes, cryotherapy is used to treat injuries like sprains, strains, arthritis, tendonitis, and joint pain. 

Cryotherapy works by using an incredibly cold temperature to constrict your blood vessels. This constriction is what reduces inflammation and swelling in your body. Once you return to a normal body temperature, the experience will have increased blood flow to injured areas so your body can heal more effectively moving forward. 

Is Cryo For You? 

People choose cryo over other methods of healing for a variety of reasons. For one, it’s quick. Most sessions last less than three minutes, and some can be as short as 30 seconds! Secondly, it’s safe. Cryotherapy eliminates the need for injections, needles, or drugs with allergens or nasty side effects. 

It may be worth considering cryotherapy if you have chronic pain from injuries or illnesses like arthritis or fibromyalgia or if you’re recovering from surgery. Folks with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder have found success with cryotherapy as well. Perhaps you’re an athlete nursing a sports injury, like a sprained ankle or twisted knee. If that’s the case, you might love cryotherapy, too! 

The Cryo Experience

Getting into a cryotherapy machine is like jumping into an ice bath. The cold air will hit you immediately, and you may need a moment to catch your breath. Don’t be scared–you’ll get used to it quickly, and soon you’ll feel the cold begin to numb your body. 

A cryo session won’t necessarily feel pleasurable, but it won’t be painful either. It can be described as an intense tingling sensation. After the time of your session (just a matter of minutes inside the chamber), you’re all done and can head back into the world as normal. 

After the first session, some people experience immediate relief from pain or swelling. It may take a couple of sessions to start seeing your benefits, and that’s okay. Your immune system is still catching up! Be sure to drink plenty of fluids for the first 24 hours after your cryo session because your body is in mega-healing mode. 

If you have the opportunity to try cryotherapy, don’t hesitate. It can have some real health benefits, and you may even find that it becomes a favorite part of your routine. And if you have further questions, reach out to your healthcare provider. They can help you determine whether cryotherapy is the right wellness activity for you.