According to a recent article in EIN News, Fibromyalgia sufferers find much needed pain relief through Whole Body Cryotherapy. Research identifies that six whole body cryotherapy sessions at -130 °C can significantly reduce pain and disease activity in sufferers of Fibromyalgia. A recently published scientific research article[i] has highlighted the beneficial use of whole-body cryotherapy for sufferers of fibromyalgia.
The research involved 23 fibromyalgia sufferers and 30 healthy controls participating in six sessions of whole-body cryotherapy at -130 °.
I have written a few articles before on cryotherapy which started in Japan and uses a device called a cryosauna. For the procedure, a patient stands in a chamber with their head sticking out the top, and they wear socks and gloves. Volunteers are exposed to extremely cold (-110c -140c) air for up to three minutes. The delicate body parts like the hands and feet are protected while the rest of the body experiences a sudden drop in temperature. After a few sessions, the body experiences measurable changes that can help to relieve pain. It is stated that it is not suitable for people who suffer from claustrophobia and no-one should undertake it until a full medical history has been taken.
The analgesic (pain-relieving) effects of cryotherapy are related to three specific changes in the body. First, the nerve signal transmission is slowed. Reducing a number of nerve signals getting through to the brain might relieve pain in some individuals. Second, nor-epinephrine levels increase after cold immersion. This stress-induced chemical reduces pain sensitivity as a protective mechanism in times of life-or-death situations. And lastly, cryotherapy can reduce pain intensity and frequency by reducing inflammation. All of these potential benefits can be measured in the lab, but how does cryotherapy measure up in the real world?
Basically, the fact that you are cold, then warm apparently makes the blood swirl into action to help heal.
I’m not sure if I’d fancy this and wonder if ice packs, followed by warm packs, would hit the spot just the same?