If you’ve been hanging around the health and wellness water cooler, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the word “cryotherapy” being thrown around. But what exactly is it?

Cryotherapy, also known as “cold therapy,” is a unique treatment that began in Japan around 1978 to help people who suffered from severe cases of arthritis, muscle recovery, and inflammation. The hype for this treatment quickly picked up, spreading to Europe and eventually becoming a staple for athletes, trainers, and the like. Today, it is used in the United States by numerous athletic teams, and can be found in some chiropractic and physical therapy offices to treat muscle aches and reduce bodily pain. It can also be used to speed up recovery time from surgeries.

During cryotherapy, the body is exposed to very cold temperatures for a few minutes at a time. Over the course of a minute or two, the cold temperatures trigger the body’s survival mechanisms. As a result, the body releases endorphins and increases blood flow. You can have cryotherapy delivered to one area or you can do whole-body treatments — it’s ultimately up to you. If you opt for the whole-body treatment, you will immerse your body in an enclosed chamber that has an opening for your head at the top. The chamber will drop somewhere between 200 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit, where you’ll stand for two to five minutes.

There are many benefits that come with cryotherapy. We’ve outlined some of our favorites below.

Helps With Nerve Sensitivity

Cryotherapy has been used among athletes for many years because it can numb bodily pain and irritated nerves. For example, if a soccer player pinches a nerve in his or her leg, it may take weeks, even months, for the discomfort to subside. With cryotherapy, you can target specific areas of the body to reduce sensitivity and speed up recovery time.

Can Reduce The Symptoms of Migraines

Cryotherapy is a wonderful option for people who suffer from frequent headaches or migraines. It is believed to work by cooling the blood that passes through your intracranial vessels.

Reduces Arthritic Discomfort

If you or someone you love suffers from arthritis, you may want to consider a cryotherapy treatment. According to the Arthritis Foundation, one of the least expensive methods of arthritic pain relief is cold therapy, especially for acute pain.

If you’re interested in trying cryotherapy for yourself, stop by Ona Skincare in Belle Meade or East Nashville today.