Ice Bathing vs. Cryotherapy

If you’ve been to any of our locations, you may have seen our big cryotherapy machine (cryosauna). Whether you are an athlete, a coach or trainer, or even an average person, you’ve probably seen someone in a cryosauna. Simply put, more and more people are talking about cryo and sharing the benefits they receive from it. But what exactly is cryo? And how does it differ from ice bathing? There seems to be some skepticism between the new age recovery process,
cryotherapy, and the traditional recovery process, ice bath. Let’s dive in and see what they both have to offer!

What is Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy is a process of exposing your body to extreme cold for 2-3 minutes. Unlike ice bathing which is done in a cold tub of ice water, cryo uses nitrogen cooled air to help trigger the body’s natural healing mechanisms. This super cold air often reaches temperatures of -230 degrees fahrenheit. So yes, it’s VERY cold. But how does this help the body kick off its healing process? During the 2-3 minutes of healing therapy using cryotherapy, your brain stimulates the body’s several organ regulatory functions resulting in energy increase, cell upgrading, immune system lift, increased
endorphins and adrenaline, including an overall system of self-healing. Seems complicated but it is everything you want your body to go through when initiating the natural recovery process of your body.

The Difference Between Ice Baths and Cryotherapy

The major difference between ice baths and cryotherapy is the usage of extremely cold air versus extremely cold water. When are submerged in an ice bath, your body triggers warning that you are actually freezing. Muscles begin tensing in a way to combat the freezing cold water, and because you are in the bath for an extended period of time the recovery process does begin once you step out, but takes longer to unwind those muscles due that long ice bath.

On the flip side, using cryotherapy, the cold air is used instead of the extremely cold water, which causes the body to respond to triggered cold sensors in the skin’s surface instead of the deeply penetrating cold of the ice bath. And because the temperatures are near -200 as opposed to 40 degree water, the process only takes 2-3 minutes allowing the body a proper recovery team without having to regenerate muscle elasticity from the ice bath.

The main difference between the two however, is what each process targets. The cryotherapy process targets the outer body, allowing the mind to generate a recovery process that isn’t associated with freezing. While the ice bath reaches the inner core which is natural trigger with freezing and takes the body longer to get out of that state. In addition, cryotherapy treatment is more comfortable than using an ice bath. It also increases the production of collagen, responsible for keeping your joints strong and protected by strong cartilage. And we all love being comfortable.

Cryotherapy Wins!

While ice baths have long been a process of recovery, scientists are constantly finding new things about the body. With these new things, new waves of treating the body must be done. Cryotherapy is one of those processes that is slowly sweeping the world. Now why does it reign supreme, let’s take a look one more time at all that cryotherapy does:

Simply put, if you want to treat your body the best way you can, cryotherapy machines are the best option for that. While machines are pricey, they are worth it. Because at the end of the day, you can’t put a price on making sure you live the best life you can possibly live. If you’re in the Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, Carolina Forest, Conway, Litchfield Beach, Pawleys Island, Murrells Inlet, Little River, or Aynor, stop by at one of cryotherapy locations to find cryotherapy near you.