Cryotherapy & Mental Health: The Surprising Connection

In recent years, mental health has been at the forefront of conversations across the country. In 2020, an estimated 52.9 million adults in the US experienced at least one episode of mental illness within the year. This represents over 20% of adults in America. As more research is conducted into treatments for mental illnesses, one surprising treatment option is making headlines: cryotherapy. 

Cryotherapy & Mental Health: The Surprising Connection

What is Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy is a cold treatment where the body is immersed in a hyper-cold environment, with temperatures as low as -30 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast to traditional ice baths, cryotherapy is a dry air process that only lasts three minutes. Because cryotherapy is quick and does not involve soaking in water, the process is often preferred to other cold-therapy methods. Traditionally, cryotherapy has been used to reduce inflammation, boost metabolism, and speed up the healing process of injuries. 

The Connection Between Cryotherapy and Mental Illness

In 2008, the first study connecting cryotherapy and mental health was released. Although researchers were initially skeptical about the results, further studies have confirmed cryotherapy is an effective adjunctive treatment method for depression and other mental illnesses.

When your body experiences the extreme cold introduced during cryotherapy, your system floods the brain with endorphins. These endorphins block pain receptors and create a general sense of well-being throughout the body. Inflammation and pain decrease, while serotonin and norepinephrine increase.  Regulation of these endorphins and neurotransmitters lowers the effects of depression, and can even prevent future mental illness. Overall, cryotherapy shows much promise in the treatment of mental illnesses. 

Closing Thoughts

Cryotherapy is a simple treatment option for a very diverse range of ailments and injuries. Everything from joint pain to muscle injury to depression and stress can be treated using this cold-therapy method.  

For more information or to book your cryotherapy appointment, contact us today!

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