Used by a laundry list of elite athletes including everyone from professional bodybuilders to olympians, UFC fighters, and even entire NBA teams, cryogenic chamber therapy is building a reputation as one of the most effective new recovery therapies currently available to athletes. With its growth in popularity WBC (Whole Body Cryotherapy) is becoming more accessible to the general public as more and more clinicians are adding chambers to their practices to use as a more effective alternative to cold water immersion or ice packs.
For bodybuilders? Quicker recovery means that you can lift heavy things more often. When you can prevent DOMS and quickly alleviate other aches and pains, that means you can train harder and more often with less downtime. But are these chambers the real deal, or just another fad?
What is cryogenic chamber therapy, anyways?
Cryogenic therapy is like The Jetsons equivalent to jumping into a garbage bin filled with ice water. Whole body cryotherapy was invented in Japan in the late 1970′s, but only started to gain traction stateside in the last few years with clinics opening up all over the country.
More and more weightlifters are starting to swear by it. A three minute session costs about as much as dinner for two at a mid-tier restaurant so you don’t have to be a pro athlete to afford it either, you just have to have your priorities in order.
How does cryotherapy work?
Once you’re inside the chamber, you’ll get a burst of nitrogen gas every thirty seconds or so. The freezing gas surrounds your entire body which causes your blood to rush away from your limbs and towards your core in an attempt to warm and protect your vital organs from an icy funeral. It puts you into survival mode, and fills your blood up with oxygen. When you step out of the chamber, your blood immediately rushes back to your arms and legs and you’ll feel a warm, almost tingly sensation. That means it’s working.
If you have a sports injury, whether it’s a contusion or a strain, the blood running to the core and then coming back to the limbs with oxygenated blood redevelops injured cells and helps you heal faster.
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