The Science Behind Cryotherapy


Explore How Localized Cryotherapy Works, and Its Benefits for Recovery, Health, and Wellness.

What is Cryotherapy?

The Definition of Cryotherapy 

Cryotherapy is defined as ‘the therapeutic use of cold‘. It is a cutting-edge approach that leverages the power of extreme cold. The therapy is thought to help support and enhance physiological processes that aid in recovery and wellbeing. 

Cryotherapy can be applied in a whole-body or localized way. Whole-body is when the entire body is exposed to extreme cold whereas localized cryotherapy involves exposing only a certain area of the body. 

INSTANTCRYO™ is a localized cryotherapy device that allows the therapeutic effects of cryotherapy to be targeted on specific areas of the body.

A localized cryotherapy device

How Does Localized Cryotherapy Work?

Cryotherapy works by exposing the body or certain parts of the body to extreme cold to stimulate and enhance natural physiological responses which aid in wellbeing and recovery. The INSTANTCRYO™ device achieves extreme cold exposure in a localized way reducing skin surface temperature to 39°F (4°C) within just 30 seconds.

Below are the physiological effects stimulated by localized cryotherapy:


Extreme cold triggers vasoconstriction, blood vessels in the cooled area constrict reducing in diameter. Blood is redirected to vital organs, where it attains heightened oxygen and nutrient density. The decrease in blood flow reduces swelling & inflammation in the cooled tissues and prevents further build-up of excess fluids.

Post-treatment, vasodilation occurs to warm the cooled tissues back up to normal skin temperature. Smooth muscle relaxes and blood vessels expand, increasing in diameter. Blood enters the treated area at an increased volume. Oxygen, collagen & other essential nutrients are delivered to tissues for repair & recovery, while toxins and other waste substances are removed. Muscle elasticity and flexibility are improved, reducing tightness and increasing mobility.

The initial reduction in blood flow to the cooled area reduces swelling and inflammation. The accumulation of excess fluid is reduced, along with the amount of inflammatory substances and immune cells reaching the site.

There’s also research to suggest extreme cold reduces the production of certain pro-inflammatories and increases the production of anti-inflammatories.

Research indicates extreme cold has both an analgesic and anesthetic effect, decreasing pain and feeling. Nerve transmission and activity in pain fibers are believed to reduce which heightens pain threshold and tolerance.

In addition, the reduction in inflammation and swelling, along with the later increase in blood circulation, helps relieve muscle tightness, discomfort, and pain.

Current science indicates that cryotherapy may help enhance lymphatic drainage. The Lymphatic system relies on muscle contraction to push lymph fluid through lymph vessels.

Extreme cold exposure causes muscles in and near lymph vessels to contract forcing lymph fluid through the nodes enhancing lymphatic drainage. There’s also research to suggest that pressure further increases the flow rate of lymph fluid.

Efficient lymphatic drainage helps reduce inflammation & swelling, eliminates toxins, improves immunity, and contributes to a revitalized skin appearance.

Cryotherapy may help to reduce muscle spasms by slowing down nerve impulses, which can decrease the frequency and intensity of muscle contractions.

Muscle cramping, general soreness, and discomfort are eased.

The research proposes that cold exposure triggers the release of hormones such as adrenaline, epinephrine, and noradrenaline (also known as norepinephrine). These chemicals help elevate mood, improve alertness, and boost energy levels. They can have positive benefits for reducing stress and improving mental well-being.

The shift from a sympathetic to a parasympathetic state may also help promote relaxation by increasing melatonin production, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle.

INSTANTCRYO™ provides these effects on a localized level, however, treatments can be performed to gain the systemic effects of whole-body cryotherapy. Specific protocols are provided in the training & support that comes with every purchase.

The Key Benefits of Localized Cryotherapy Treatments
Faster & More Efficient Recovery 
  • Reduce inflammation & swelling. 
  • Increase blood circulation, delivering more oxygen, collagen, anti-oxidants, and other essential nutrients to muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Performance & Prevention
  • May reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
  • Increased blood circulation to muscles can aid in recovery after hard training sessions.  
  • Can encourage better joint mobility and health.
  • Cryotherapy may help strengthen immunity & aid in injury prevention. 
Pain Relief & Management
  • Reduction in inflammation & swelling may relieve pain.
  • Decreased nerve transmission and activity in pain fibers can increase pain threshold and tolerance.
  • Effective for pain relief & management of acute & chronic injuries/conditions.
Healthier & More Youthful Skin
  • Reduce skin inflammation & swelling.
  • Numbing of nerve endings may reduce skin itchiness and irritation.
  • Increases the circulation of blood containing high amounts of oxygen, collagen, and other essential nutrients that aid in skin rejuvenation & repair.
  • Enhance lymphatic drainage 
Improved Overall Wellbeing
  • Exposure to cold can stimulate the production of hormones such as endorphins, adrenaline, and norepinephrine.
  • Endorphins contribute to stress reduction and an improved sense of wellbeing.
  • Norepinephrine increases alertness, attention, and energy.

Research continues to expose the many benefits cryotherapy can have for the health & wellbeing of humans & animals.