5 Benefits of Cryotherapy

Heighten your holistic well-being with icy temperatures
13 Jul 2022
Words by: Bridget Barnett

Ice therapy offers a holistic approach to wellness and beauty. Backed up by some cold, hard research, explore how extremely low temperatures can heighten your health and well-being.

You’ve probably heard the terms “cryotherapy”, “cold therapy”, “ice therapy”, and “cryo” thrown around to describe everything from whole-body cryotherapy (which involves jumping in a chamber chilled to -128 to -184°C), to using a refrigerated jade roller, or simply grabbing a bag of frozen peas and icing an ankle. All are vastly different, but all fall under the classification of freezing treatments.

Read on to discover just some of the reasons why succumbing yourself to icy temperatures might be worth the initial discomfort.

Woman and her back, holding and craning her neck forward
Photograph by Klara Kulikova

1. Improve mood

Ice therapy can reduce mood disorders, such as depression, and cause the brain to release a higher-than-normal level of “feel-good” hormones such as endorphins, after a session in icy cold water.

2. Ease muscle pain

Cyro is a popular recovery exercise amongst the world’s top athletics for good reason. As long as the sessions in iced water are short (under 10 minutes), wickedly cold water has been proven to decrease post-workout muscle soreness and pain.

3. Numb migraines

Those who know the agony of migraines – painful headaches without a known cure – will try pretty much anything to help numb them, and research suggests that icy temperatures might help. The science shows that freezing temperatures cool down the blood passing through the neck arteries to our head, in turn reducing discomfort – particularly if the therapy is applied at the onset of symptoms.

Cryotherapy image by Henadzi Pechan. Folded legs veiled with a blast of cool and icy air
Photograph by Henadzi Pechan

4. Reduce Inflammation

Research shows that extreme cold can lower inflammation by constricting blood vessels, which drives excess fluid out of the body while enhancing its natural healing mechanisms. These specific inflammatory conditions include fibromyalgia, psoriasis, and arthritis.

5. Rejuvenate Skin

While there’s less research surrounding the benefits of cold skincare treatments, many beauty brands are building their product offerings around the belief that extreme cold equals radiant, refreshed skin. Cold beauty – which spans anything from in-clinic ‘ice lift’ facials to simply putting cool spoons on your eyes – is rooted in the premise that cold temperatures support cellular regeneration, tighten sagging skin, reduce the build-up of toxins, and replenish skin with natural nutrients and minerals.