Cryogenic Chamber Therapy / Cold Adaptation

Doug

The Force is Strong With This One
Well today I tried cryogenic therapy for the second time as I have the great fortune of living quite close by to a cryogenic chamber therapy center.

Initial thoughts? I felt moderately energized and relaxed after my first session. I went ahead and purchased a month long membership for the modest price of $300 so that I could see how I felt after an extended trial period and report back. The membership also includes unlimted use of Normatec compression boots (NormaTec | Sports Website) which I am also excited to trail as my legs are in some pretty bad shape from working and walking around on a concrete floor 40-50 hours a week. I plan to use it 5 days a week in the morning before work.

My main question I suppose is what is the difference between a cryo-tank and cold water submersion? I also have the fortune of living relatively close to a clean-cold-mountain-pool (estimated slightly below 50 degrees Fahrenheit) and have gone the past 2 days. From my experience I would say the the cold water submersion seemed more intense than cryo which rather surprised me. I never felt in deep 'shock' although definitely cold and anxious while in the cryo tube like I usually experience with cold bathing but the deep bone chill I'm used to feeling with a longer cold dip was considerably less than what I felt with my first cryo treatment. Perhaps that is a good thing?

To try and answer my own question: "The effects of whole body cryotherapy are systematically different from those of an ice bath. Whole body cryotherapy is a completely dry process. The nitrogen never penetrates beneath your skin. Whole body cryotherapy constricts peripheral blood vessels and pulsates blood to your core, between your heart and lungs. In an ice bath, your body is submerged in frigid, icy water (which can never dip below freezing, as it will penetrate the skin, causing your heart to pump blood away from your lungs. With ice baths, you leave with sore muscles and less oxygenated blood. Whole body cryotherapy works in the opposite manner, oxygenating the blood and pumping to vital organs. " (FAQ – Valley Cryo)

I've noticed several people already mention that IF sauna treatments have greatly improved their ability to tolerate cold and I just like to say Ditto.
 

Doug

The Force is Strong With This One
Just a update.

So after having done Cryo therapy 5 days a week for a month I would say I definitely recommend it. I'm one of those people who can have ice cold hands and feet in 90 degree weather. I still think that I have a ways to go in the cold-therapy department but after one month of treatment I can say that my 'internal heater' has significantly improved! I have since moved from the area where I have access to the cryo-chamber so now the question is how to buy one of these $50,000 bad boys (Vacuactivus Cryo v2 chamber) :scared:

If I could afford it I would use this treatment every morning for the rest of my life. That's how good it felt.
 

nature

Jedi Council Member
Thank you Doug for your update.
I have some questions:
- cold water immersion: what frequency? what duration? It would be interesting to compare with cryo, based on same data.
- I've done and still do (when I have the courage), cold showers, but I don't have bathtub to compare cold water in shover vs in bathtub. have you experimented the two, and did you see a difference?
- what about a freezer? the idea seems weird, but at least for the sake of discussion. There are freezers with a horizontal sliding lid, one can keep the head out of the freezer. Will it do the trick? or the nitrogen (from cryo-chamber) is really mandatory?
I ask all these questions because I always opt for simplest and cheapest solutions.
 

Doug

The Force is Strong With This One
Nature,

1. If I remember correctly the C's recommended doing cold water immersion 5 days a week for 3 minutes as 'maintenance' and to avoid doing so when sick.

2. Cold water bathing is way more intense than a cold shower simply because the degree of surface area of your body increases the thermal transfer by quite a bit. I enjoy cold showers in the mornings and I think it has been slightly effective in increasing the capacity of my 'internal heater' but I believe total immersion is recommended over showers if you are looking for results.

3. What about a freezer? You mean turning a chest freezer into a cold water pool for yourself? Or simply just the cold air of the freezer? I don't think the latter would be very effective because the thermal conductivity of air is something like 18x less efficient than water. If you are handy the former might be a 'cool' option.

4. Is the cryogenic chamber necessary? I think if you have access to one it is probably the best option if fast results are your goal. Cryogenic therapy is just simply different than cold water immersion. The liquid nitrogen drops the air temperature around your body to around negative 200 so the bodies response to that environment is, "I'm going to die" and in turn creates all sorts of adaptive responses including (but probably not limited to) vaso-dilatation, anti-inflammatory compounds, protein alteration and, increased metabolism. The same sort of thing happens in cold water immersion but as I posted above (taken with a grain of salt because I'm no expert):
The effects of whole body cryotherapy are systematically different from those of an ice bath. Whole body cryotherapy is a completely dry process. The nitrogen never penetrates beneath your skin. Whole body cryotherapy constricts peripheral blood vessels and pulsates blood to your core, between your heart and lungs. In an ice bath, your body is submerged in frigid, icy water (which can never dip below freezing, as it will penetrate the skin, causing your heart to pump blood away from your lungs. With ice baths, you leave with sore muscles and less oxygenated blood. Whole body cryotherapy works in the opposite manner, oxygenating the blood and pumping to vital organs. " (FAQ – Valley Cryo)
If you are looking for cheap I'd recommend driving to your local mountain spring if you have one available or if you don't buying an ice machine and putting it in your bathroom. If you are lucky enough to have a cryogenic chamber nearby I would recommend trying it out for a month and see what option might be best for you.
 

nature

Jedi Council Member
Thank you very much for these explanations, Doug!
So, icy water baths have the inconvenience to penetrate skin thus body, with side effects. Maybe a trick would be to put a towel in the freezer the day before and wrap into it :-D ? Sure, it will not be as effective as cryo,

I agree with you, I have to try and see the effect on me. I have same issue as you about cold extremities and I don't enjoy cold showers. Will look if there are cryogenic chamber nearby. If not, doing it myself : an out freezer and a nitrogen bottle :lol: . I'm kidding, better not playing with that.
 

Goemon_

Jedi Master
Nature,

1. If I remember correctly the C's recommended doing cold water immersion 5 days a week for 3 minutes as 'maintenance' and to avoid doing so when sick.
...
Note exactly what I remember.

From Session 30 August 2014:

Q: (Carlisle) In the last session, you mentioned cold protocols as an aid to help fight off Ebola and strengthen the immune system. We were wondering what kind of temperature, duration, and frequency of cold exposure is optimal for this?

A: Ten to fifteen C, and same number of minutes. Daily is best initially, but four times weekly for maintenance. The approach can be gradual.
 
Now that it's getting colder, I've been seeing some clear results of about 9 months of cold adaptation. The temperatures have been around 10°C lately, and I decided to make a point of wearing only short sleeves for as long as possible. I cycle to work, which makes it much colder than walking, but so far I've managed to do it in a T-shirt every day, which is pretty cool for the end of October. Today when I got home from work, the temperature outside was 5°C. I checked my skin temperature with an infra-red thermometer and got 24°C on the arms and 15°C on my fingers. Yet I hardly feel any serious discomfort. It takes me about 15 minutes to get to/from work, so when the temperature is this low, my ears freeze a bit, but the rest of the body is fine. I'm having fun watching all those people in winter jackets, many of whom still seem to feel cold.

I definitely wouldn't have been able to do this last year (or ever before). And the training wasn't even that harsh. In the last 4 months, I rarely felt like dedicating 10-15 minutes to a bath, so mostly it's just 2-3 cold showers every day, starting with one first thing in the morning. The water in the shower wasn't even that cold during Summer - usually around 13-15°C, five degrees warmer than in Winter. I'm looking forward to doing some more experiments later in Winter, when it's freezing and there's snow.

Not sure if I'll ever be able to keep my hands warm, though. My fingers are usually about the same temperature as the table in front of me. But the feeling of being able to do something every day that most people wouldn't dare is warming enough. I'm really glad I started doing this, and I'm grateful to Wim Hof for providing some instructions and much of the motivation.
 

itellsya

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Interesting tidbit from Science mag, apparently human body temperature in men, and similarly in women, (in the US?) has been declining for the past 160 years, dropping 0.6C since the Civil War.

The article claims that this may be due to lower inflammation levels, vaccines (of all things...) and so on, as well as modern tech like central heating and air con. Thing is, people don't seem healthier, even if they may be living longer.

And if a higher overall body temp is more effective at fending off viruses, could this be contributing to a weaker immune system for people overall?

Either way, one would think that this drop from what may have been the norm is unlikely to be a good thing, one only need look at the general health of most modern populations to suspect it isn't.

So it would seem that therapies that help raise body temp may be more necessary than ever ☃

Human body temperature has declined steadily over the past 160 years
It's a number everybody knows by heart — our bodies are supposed to be an average 37°C. But that number may be outdated, according to a new analysis of body temperature records going back to 1860. The study suggests the body temperature of the average U.S. man has dropped by 0.6°C since the Civil War, KQED reports. (A similar drop was found in women.) Other studies had already established these newer, lower baselines, blaming faulty thermometers for the discrepancy.

But the new research suggests the original number — established in the 1850s — was correct, and that body temperature has declined gradually ever since. That drop may be a product of lower overall levels of inflammation, thanks to antibiotics, vaccines, and improved water quality, the authors report this week in eLife. Modern technologies, such as central heating and air conditioning, could also help explain the trend.
 
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Breo

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
That`s awkward conclusion the author makes to say 1. there are nowadays lower inflammation levels and 2. that a decline of body temperature is a sign of health..:huh:

A study by the American Diabetes Association found that type 1 diabetes increased by 23% between 2001 and 2009.

Another study (2015) says "The World Incidence and Prevalence of Autoimmune Diseases is Increasing" by 19% where 30 studies from the last 30 years were identified using Medline, Google, and Cochrane Library databases. Only long-term regional or national follow-ups are reported. Results: The means ± s.d. of the net % increased /year incidence and prevalence of autoimmune diseases worldwide were 19.1:
"Conclusions: Despite multiple reports on autoimmune diseases frequencies, long-term longitudinal follow-ups are scarce. Incidences and prevalences have increased significantly over the last 30 years."

I second, itellsya: "a higher overall body temp is more effective at fending off viruses." as eg. fever is often the first defense of the immune system if there is an infection.
 
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