A therapeutic process of using cold temperatures for health reasons is referred to as cryotherapy. In the 1700s, the cold temperature application to muscle spasms to reduce pain became an effective form of therapy, as well as improving health and recovery, slow cell aging. It was in Japan in the 1970s that the cold temperature therapy was further improved by putting the whole body into a special chamber using liquid nitrogen and was called cryotherapy.
Another process of cold temperature application is performed in a surgical setting where extreme cold temperature is applied to kill diseased tissues, such as cancer, and this process is known as cryoablation, while other cold applications are done to injured body parts to reduce inflammation. In addition, ice baths or thermogenesis were recommended to regulate hormones and increase leptin levels.
Whole body cryotherapy is used for the following benefits: faster recovery from exercise, a boost in the immune system, increased energy and metabolism, reduced inflammation, treats nerve conditions.
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Some studies show that application of WBC to delay the onset muscle soreness among athletes has proven effective that this application is now being referred to as a cold sauna, although some researchers the validity of these studies. Another benefit is that cold therapy is an immune system boost, which anchors on the theory that rapid exposure to extreme cold triggers the leptin level which is connected to the immune system.
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It was also found out that WBC can cause the release of catecholamines, adrenaline and noradrenaline, as well as other neuro-peptides, and, thereby, increasing energy and metabolism in the body.
In clinical settings, doctors have also seen the beneficial effects of cryotherapy to help inflammatory conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis and chronic pain conditions.
Cryotherapy can also be used to treat nerve conditions, such as benign nerve growths (neuromas) and pinched nerves (nerve entrapments).
This is a unique medical procedure which makes use of cryotherapy and is called cryosurgery. Abnormal tissues, like tumors, can be destroyed by cryosurgery. The procedure uses liquid nitrogen or carbon dioxide or argon at a very low temperature of -346 degrees F and -320 degrees F, wherein at this temperature level freezes anything that is in contact with it. There are illnesses, like cancers or precancerous lesions on the skin, and liver diseases, are better treated with cryosurgery than using conventional surgery, which is risky to do so. Cryosurgery is also considered an alternative treatment for recurring cancer.
When an internal area in the body is going to be treated with cryosurgery, the surgeon will first use a scope, which is a flexible tube that can fit into openings in te body, such as urethra, rectum, or a surgical incision. Using an imaging equipment to locate the area where the target cells are found, liquid nitrogen is fed, after which, due to the extreme temperature, the target cells freeze, die, and gradually absorbed by the body.