A Guide to Cryotherapy & Cold Therapy: Benefits, Techniques & More...

✓ Medically Reviewed by Jack Cincotta


The benefits of cryotherapy have been well documented in the academic literature. Cryotherapy is the process of exposing our bodies to sub-zero temperatures. Cold therapy is closely related to cryotherapy and ice therapy, which involves subjecting your bodies to cold temperatures.

But what is cold therapy? And what are the benefits of cold exposure? In this article we will use the terms cryotherapy, ice therapy and cold therapy interchangeably as the benefits are all similar.

What is the difference between Cryotherapy and Cold Therapy?

Whilst having very similar benefits, there is a difference between cryotherapy and cold therapy.

Cryotherapy is the brief exposure to sub-zero temperatures for health and wellness outcomes.

Cold Therapy is the brief and/or constant exposure to cold temperatures for health and wellness outcomes. 

What are the Health Benefits of Cryotherapy? – Top 5 Cold Therapy Benefits

  • Weight loss is one of the main cold therapy benefits. Cold therapy can turn white fat into brown fat which is exceptional for weight loss. A study in 2018 showed that fat loss was more pronounced in people who undertook cryotherapy by showing an increase in metabolism.

This brief exposure of cold temperatures is a good compromise for fat loss.

Cryotherapy for fat loss is gaining incredible popularity as studies are increasingly showing how effective it is.

  • Inflammation: Studies have also indicated that ice therapy is excellent as an alternative treatment for medically diagnosed mild arthritis. Cold temperatures can provide temporary pain relief to people suffering from this condition, which makes it one of the most powerful medical cold exposure benefits.
  • Muscle recovery is another amazing benefit of cryotherapy. By utilising a cold therapy machine or a cold and heat therapy massage gun, you can recover faster from aches and pains from working out or strenuous exercise. Another great healing benefit of cold therapy is that it can be used to treat swelling and help reduce pain from injuries. 
  • Stiffness can be significantly reduced using ice massage. To soothe tired muscles, you can use an ice roller or ice massage ball. Ice rollers are also great for reducing puffiness in your face.
  • Lymphatic drainage is an amazing benefit of cold therapy and massage. The key to maintaining a healthy immune system is good diet and exercise. However, studies have concluded that lymphatic drainage may also be a good option.
  • Mood Improvement has been long associated with cold temperatures. This study supports that claim.

This can be done using the cold therapy principles found in massage guns. By applying localised massage combined with cold therapy, you can drain the lymph nodes and help boost your immune system.

Beauty Benefits of Cryotherapy Treatments

The beauty industry has known about the benefits of cold therapy for years. Models and beauty experts have been using cryotherapy to help slow down ageing, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and depuff their faces.

You can achieve these amazing benefits by using an ice roller for 5 minutes per day.

Circadian Benefits of Cryotherapy

Cold exposure therapy can release more endorphins which are closely related to sleep and relaxation. People have reported getting superior sleep quality when having a cold shower prior to bedtime. Whilst this practice may seem counterintuitive, the circulation of endorphins released will help relax your body ready for sleep.

How Much does Cryotherapy Cost?

To undergo cryotherapy usually costs between $80-$150 per session. The price of cryotherapy can be very expensive. By using cold therapy products at home, you can save on the cost of expensive cryotherapy treatments in salons and enjoy the long list of cold therapy benefits for less money.

Types of Cryotherapy and Types of Cold Therapy – Top 6 Ways

There are many ways to get cold therapy, some more extreme than others. In fact, some are so extreme that they’re referred to as “freezing therapy”. Our advice is that you should start with the one you feel most comfortable with, then work your way up. Check out these top 6 methods:  

  1. Ice baths are often used by professional athletes who are looking to recover faster. By contracting the blood vessels you can get temporary pain relief.
  2.   Cold showers are a great way to administer cold therapy. It’s a good cryotherapy technique as you can work your way up, unlike ice baths. Start with a hot shower and once you have finished your shower you can slowly turn the hot faucet down and cold faucet up. 
  3.     Face dunks, the technique of placing your head into icy water is gaining popularity. The way to conduct a face dunk is to fill a bowl with cold water and ice cubes and dunk your face into it for a few minutes. This will not only invigorate you, but it may also help with better skin.
  4.     Cryotherapy chambers are the most extreme form of cold therapy, cryotherapy chambers administer icy cold temperatures of -230 to -160 Fahrenheit. Just 2-3 minutes in a cryochamber can be beneficial for your health and to reduce inflammation. They often use liquid nitrogen to fuel the extreme cold.
  5.     Cold therapy products are a great at home alternative. If the thought of icy showers and baths send shivers down your spine then you can always opt for cold therapy products. BON CHARGE offers an amazing cold therapy massage gun to assist with applying massage with cold therapy principles. Cold therapy products are great for localized cryotherapy. Ice packs and other products can also be used.
  6.     Cold therapy machines are gaining popularity. By administering a constant flow of icy water through an electrically powered pumping system, cold therapy machines are an excellent way of administering cold therapy at home to significantly reduce inflammation and provide relief to muscle soreness.

Final Thoughts

Cryotherapy has many benefits that have been documented in the peer reviewed academic literature. The best way to commence cold cryotherapy is to start with cold therapy products and work your way up to ice baths over time so that you can enjoy the full range of cold therapy benefits.

If you are interested in cryotherapy you may be interested in learning about Red Light Therapy

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