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:

Anti-inflammatory effect. Research indicates extreme cold triggers vasoconstriction, causing blood vessels in the cooled area to constrict. Consequently, blood is redirected to vital organs, where it attains heightened oxygen and nutrient density. The resultant reduction in blood flow to the cooled area alleviates pressure which may reduce inflammation and swelling.

Enhanced lymphatic drainage. Current science indicates that cryotherapy may help enhance lymphatic circulation, which relies on muscle contraction. During initial vasoconstriction, muscles in and near lymph vessels contract forcing lymph fluid through the lymph nodes. There’s also research to suggest that pressure further increases the flow rate of lymph fluid. Efficient lymphatic drainage reduces inflammation, eliminates toxins, and also contributes to a revitalized skin appearance and better immunity.

Analgesic (pain-relief) effect. Research indicates extreme cold affects nerve activity in a way that may diminish pain perception. The cold is believed to reduce nerve transmission and activity in pain fibers at the treated site which heightens pain threshold and tolerance allowing for more effective pain management. In addition, the reduction of inflammation and swelling may also aid in pain relief.

Increased blood circulation. As the body initiates the warming-up process, vasodilation occurs. Blood vessels expand, facilitating the return of blood to affected tissues with increased volume. This promotes enhanced blood circulation, delivering oxygen, collagen, and other vital nutrients to the tissues which may aid in repair and recovery, and improve mobility while simultaneously removing toxins and metabolic waste substances.

Reduced stress & improved mental wellbeing. Research proposes that cold exposure induces stress reduction, positively impacting mental health. The production of hormones such as endorphins and norepinephrine elevates mood, alertness, and energy levels, showcasing the diverse benefits of cryotherapy beyond its physical effects. INSTANTCRYO™ can be used to provide whole-body cryo sessions. Specific protocols are provided in the training & support that comes with every purchase.

The Key Benefits of Localized Cryotherapy Treatments
Faster & More Efficient Recovery 
  • Vasoconstriction can help reduce inflammation & swelling. 
  • Vasodilation increases blood circulation, delivering more oxygen, collagen, anti-oxidants, and other essential nutrients to muscles, tendons, and ligaments which can allow for more efficient repair & recovery.
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.
  • Cryotherapy can be an effective tool for pain relief & management of acute & chronic injuries/conditions.
Healthier & More Youthful Skin
  • Vasoconstriction reduces skin inflammation & swelling.
  • Numbing of nerve endings may reduce skin itchiness and irritation.
  • Vasodilation increases the circulation of blood containing high amounts of oxygen, collagen, and other essential nutrients that aid in skin rejuvenation & repair.
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.