Updated: Jun 7
How could Cryotherapy and cold exposure benefit your mental health?
Im sure the last thing that you'd want to do if you're suffering mental anguish such as depression, anxiety, poor sleep, racing thoughts, just going through a "hard time" and the list goes on is freeze for 3 minutes. Trust me I get it but thats for another blog post.....but you'd be surprised at the benefits on your mind
Delight in the cold
Some people like the cold but cryotherapy goes well beyond your typical cold day. With temps ranging from -150 to even much colder. While that sounds absolutely unbearable our bodies are suited for survival being endothermic we are always generating heat. Cryotherapy is an ever popular method for workout recovery and chronic pain management. But its been studied that its not just for our physical well-being-- its an exceptional treatment for the mind as well.
Numerous studies have linked inflammation to depression and anxiety. Just like inflammation in the joints causes pain, inflammation in the brain and the receptors can cause issues such as depression and anxiety. Cryotherapy not only decreases bodily inflammation but brain inflammation. Cryotherapy has a great potential for treating stress disorders including generalized anxiety and depression but also potentially PTSD and OCD.
Cryotherapy has way of inducing sharp focus and mindfulness. It induces feelings of euphoria. So that anxiety you might have is gone, those depressive thoughts suddenly go away. Now cryo won't fix whatever is going on in your life but it can be a healthy way to manage it. Takes the weight of the world off your shoulders and lets you think clearly. The feelings of euphoria are something that people with depressive thoughts strive for (I know exactly how difficult it can be when the world seems to be crashing down around you) In studies it has been shown to promote better sleep. So in turn reducing oxidative stress, restoring the body. Cryotherapy can be a way to re-train your mind to break the hold of depression patterns and release some healthy neurochemicals
Cryotherapy stimulates the body's natural restoration process. So whether you're seeking relief from mental illness or simply want to bio hack your mind and see what happens, Cryotherapy is a fantastic way to do it. 3 minutes could drastically change your life!!
Peer Reviewed studies, Not just hypotheticals
Published in 2008 a study carried out at the Dept of Psychiatry of Wroclaw Medical University found that a control group of 34 and study group of 26. The aim of the study was to assess the efficacy of cryotherapy as an experimental method of treating depressive and anxiety disorders. In short, after 3 weeks they found a decrease of at least 50% from the baseline scores.. The findings suggested a possible role of cryotherapy as an adjuvant treatment for mood and anxiety disorders.