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Cryotherapy - Cold But Worth It?

biohacking boost metabolism cold plunge cryo cryo chamber cryotherapy fat loss healthy weight loss ice bath Jan 07, 2024

by Phil Kaplan

THE FIRST QUESTION: DOES CRYO BURN FAT?

If a 47-year-old woman who has an uncomfortably high percentage of bodyfat comes into Infinite Impact and asks me, “does Cryotherapy burn fat?”  My answer is no.

If a 45-year-old muscular individual with an athletic build asks me the same question I provide a different answer.  “Yes, and I can prove it.”

Why two different answers to the same question?

I’ll explain shortly but first, for those who aren’t yet familiar with Cryotherapy, let me share a bit about the concept and the benefits.

Cryotherapy has its etymology in ancient Greek, “Cryo” referring to cold, and “therapeia” representing “cure.” 

It may be more of a treatment than a cure when considered in and of itself, but I’ve seen enough people dramatically reshape their bodies, eliminate pain, and reverse inflammation using Cryotherapy to know it’s a key player in a thrilling outcome.

 

BRRRR . . . SAY THE FEARFUL . . . BUT THAT SHOULDN’T BE A DETERRANT

 

“I don’t like cold” are the four words we hear almost every time we introduce someone to our “cryo-chamber.” 

The words are uttered with a mix of dread and apprehension.  If we allow people to allow the momentary fear to shut them down, we’re doing them a disservice, so we have a fairly good track record of getting people to “try it.”

Nobody likes cold.  Well, maybe a few Eskimos and people who grew up in Buffalo or Minnesota (it reminds them of home). 

I live in Florida.  Whether they’re simply not acclimated to temps below 70 (they break out their Uggs and earmuffs when the thermometer drops to 67) or they moved here to escape Winter, the people who come into our facilities JUST DON’T LIKE COLD.

Liking cold is not a prerequisite for stepping into the Cryo chamber knowing it’s a 3-minute commitment (yes, it’s ONLY 3 minutes).  You do it for the payoff, for the benefit, for the extraordinary “feel good” and “get better” capacity of this therapeutic experience. 

In fact, nobody ever walked into Infinite Impact, consiered Cryotherapy, and said "I Love Being Cold."  NOBODY!  EVER!!!!

I'll go a step further.  Nobody who ever came into Infinite Impact and had a Cryo experience walked out without a massive smile from ear to ear.  NOBODY!  EVER!!!!

 


 

Nobody ever walked in and said "I Love Being Cold."

Nobody ever walked out without a massive  smile from ear to ear.

 


 

YOUR  FIRST CRYO EXPERIENCE

 

Your first time requires nothing more than a step up and into the chamber. 

You’re guided and monitored by a Health Optimization Coach the entire time.

The first minute you feel cold.  We talk you through it. 

You’re kind of surprised by how tolerable it is, and you find yourself starting to laugh.  It’s a mix of a sort of tingling feeling and a subtle boost of endorphins. 

As you near the halfway mark, you begin to shiver a bit.  This is good.  It’s activating thermogenesis, a cellular condition that amplifies fat oxidation.  We coax you to move around, so you bounce, dance, and rotate a bit feeling surprisingly good. 

At about 2 minutes 30 seconds you start anticipating your exit.  You’re feeling it now but you know it’s a short journey back to warmth.

“How much longer?” you utter through slightly chattering teeth. 

“28 seconds.  27.” 

Before you know it, we get to 3, 2, 1, and you exit feeling unexpectedly alive, jubilant, and vibrant.

We then put you in front of a full spectrum red light, dopamine warmly floods your brain, and the entire experience becomes blissful, and while I know you don’t believe this (if you haven’t tried it yet), you can’t wait to do it again.

 

NOW, THE BENEFITS

 

Here’s an abbreviated list of the benefits of “cryo.”

 

  • Alleviate Pain
  • Reduce Inflammation
  • Reduce Muscle Soreness
  • Speed Post-Exercise Recovery
  • Increase Circulation and Cellular Oxygenation
  • Reduce Anxiety and Symptoms of Mood Disorders
  • Restore Balance and Homeostasis
  • Boost metabolic activity resulting in Fat Loss

 

That’s far from a complete list, and when you come in for a visit I can explain the mechanisms by which these benefits take place, but for now, let’s zero in on the last one.

 
“Boost Metabolic Activity Resulting in Fat Loss.”

 

I started this article suggesting I’d answer a question related to Cryo’s ability to rid the body of fat differently based on who was before me asking the question.

A research study published in the Journal of Obesity, May 2018, clearly demonstrated that 6 cryotherapy sessions safely and effectively resulted in the loss of fat.  And there’s an extensive body of evidence to support that conclusion.

Here’s the citation for the study.

Loap S, Lathe R. Mechanism the Underlying Tissue Cryotherapy to Combat Obesity/Overweight: Triggering Thermogenesis. J Obes. 2018 May 2;2018:5789647.

And here’s an excerpt:

“We report that single sessions of cryotherapy lead to significant loss of tissue volume in the time frame of hours and multiple daily procedures lead to a cumulative decline in AT (Adipose Tissue = Fat Tissue)”

A glance at this study and the above excerpt would lead to the answer "YES, Cryo reduces body fat," and while that's a great answer for inquiring scientists we live in a world where people frame and receive ideas, thoughts, and promises differently.

The athlete with a bodyfat percentage of 10 – 16% will notice subtle fat loss, will find it significant, and will in all likelihood integrate the procedure with energy output through exercise.  The fat loss over the course of 8 sessions will be discernible.  The question of “does it work” goes away forever.

The overweight individual who has not yet committed to a “metabolic lifestyle” will not find a minimal degree of AT oxidation satisfying in the quest for leanness.  If that individual is used to yo-yo dieting and start and stop workout plans, Cryotherapy will not “fix” the problem.”  For that reason, I steer away from presenting Cryotherapy or any single modality as a fat burner. 

In all cases I’ll explain the following:

 

The synergistic integration of strategic exercise, supportive nutrition, and biohacks such as Cryotherapy will work together to create significant “re-contouring,” a quantifiable shift in body composition that shows itself in health markers, clothing, and in the mirror. 

For a dramatic result, all pieces of the puzzle must be in place.

 

With all of that said, both science and anecdote clearly evidence that among its other benefits, Cryotherapy can contribute to the fat loss people experience on any sound exercise and eating program and amplify overall outcomes significantly in a myriad of positive changes.

 


 

Q: SHOULD I TRY CRYO?

A: Ummm. Yes. Period.

 

Q: WHAT'S BETTER, CRYO OR COLD PLUNGE (ice bath)?

A: There is a community online and in the PodcastVerse committed to ice baths. Cold therapy has value and many of the potential benefits are the same in comparing immersion in freezing water to immersion in freezing air.  For athletes, adventurers, and those who thrive on extreme challenge, there seems to be more of a figurative badge of achievement with an ice bath.  It’s far more uncomfortable, longer duration, and the sudden immersion can prove to be a shock to the autonomic nervous system (much like diving into an ice cold pool in nature).  There are arguments to be made that ice baths will prove superior in terms of muscle recovery and fat burning (due to shivering during and after immersion).  In my market, with our clients, Cryotherapy is quick, recovery is near instant, the quick movement to red light amplifies benefit, and the entire process is highly controllable.   There’s no risk of hypothermia or cardiac rhythm irregularity.  I know this topic can be polarizing among hard core Biohackers and I won’t engage in the argument.  If anyone reading this prefers cold plunge, you won’t hear a word of criticism from me.  While I’ve done both, and will likely try varied ice baths in the future, Cryotherapy  is my preference.  It’s an easier” first step” for anyone trying cold therapy for the first time and you’re never asked to commit to one over the other.  It’s purely a matter of informed preference.

 

Q: CAN I TRY IT?

A: Yes, if you live in South Florida, call or email me at 844 IMPACT9 or [email protected] and we'll set you up for a Cryo Experience at Infinite Impact.  Warning: whether you believe me or not, it's addictive (and of all the addications you can have, this one comes with a whole lot of benefit).

 


 

SCHEDULE AN EXPERIENCE INCLUDING CRYO AND RED LIGHT ONLINE NOW!

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