Where did WBC originate?
WBC was first utilized in Japan in 1978 as a modality to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
How does WBC work?
Individuals stand in the chamber (with head and fingertips exposed) and are instructed to slowly turn while gasiform nitrogen circulates, lowering skin surface temperature to approximately 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The skin’s cold receptors rapidly signal the brain to activate the body’s most powerful survival mechanisms, including a release of ‘feel-good’ endorphins.
Is nitrogen harmful?
No, nitrogen is a non-toxic gas that accounts for approximately 78% of the air we breathe. However, when directly inhaled, it can cause hypoxia and fainting. Hence, the head is exposed during the treatment for breathing purposes.
Is the treatment uncomfortable?
Despite the seemingly unbearable temperatures, the treatment surprisingly tolerable. Unlike ice baths, WBC is a ‘dry’ treatment that does not penetrate deeper tissues. While your skin feels cold, you remain warm inside, as core temperature is maintained during exposure.
What do I need to do after?
Absolutely nothing. There are no precautionary recommendations. However,WBC is a very energy costly treatment as the body is producing heat to return to homeostasis. Athletes may require additional calories to replenish fuel stores prior to competition.
How many treatments should I do?
Recommended treatment frequency depends on each individual’s health and fitness goals. Generally, one course of treatment consists of 8 to 10 sessions separated by 1-2 days, or 3 times a week.
Who can NOT do WBC?
The following conditions are contraindications to WBC: pregnancy, severe hypertension (BP> 180/100), acute or recent myocardial infarction, unstable angina pectoris, arrhythmia, symptomatic cardiovascular disease, cardiac pacemaker, peripheral arterial occlusive disease, venous thrombosis, acute or recent cerebrovascular accident, uncontrolled seizures, Raynaud’s Syndrome, fever, tumor disease, symptomatic lung disorders, bleeding disorders, severe anemia, infection, claustrophobia, cold allergy, age less than 18 years (parental consent to treatment needed), acute kidney and urinary tract diseases.
What are the risks of whole body cryotherapy?
The treatment is very well tolerated and involves very few risks( when procedure protocol is followed). Fluctuations in blood pressure during the procedure by up to 10 points systolically (this effect reverses after the end of the procedure, as peripheral circulation returns to normal), allergic reaction to extreme cold (rare), claustrophobia, redness, and skin burns (only if exposed to low temperatures longer than recommended).