Does the new ice age really make it beautiful? No, it’s not about climate change! It’s about a brief period in freezing cold, a stay in a cryochamber. At minus 110 degrees, supposedly annoying fat pads are supposed to disappear.
Among Hollywood stars such as Jessica Alba, Demi Moore or Lindsay Lohan, cryotherapy has long had a reputation as a modern variant of body forming. But in itself it has nothing to do with losing weight. Let’s take a closer look at this.
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What is cryotherapy?
Actually, the procedure comes from the medical field and is used there mainly as a complementary thermal treatment against rheumatism, arthritis and other joint and autoimmune diseases. Competitive athletes also use the cold chamber to support muscle regeneration and the healing of minor injuries such as bruises or sprains.
It was discovered by chance that fatty tissue also regresses due to the cold. This is because fat cells crystallize at a temperature of about 4 degrees Celsius, die off and the annoying fat pads disappear.
In fit people, cryotherapy melts the last fat reserves. © Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com
How does cryotherapy work?
The cold chamber is slowly cooled down to minus 110 degrees with liquid nitrogen. This cools the skin surface of a person inside, for example yours, very much. As a result of the resulting temperature difference to the environment, your brain perceives a life-threatening situation. To protect you from freezing, your body begins to regulate the temperature. The muscles contract – you tremble. Well, hello.
This increases your energy consumption and the body draws on the stubborn fat reserves. Depending on your physique, up to 700 calories can be burned during one session. Because even hours after your visit to the cold chamber, your metabolism continues to run at full speed.
What is cryolipolysis?
Cryolipolysis is a modern, non-invasive procedure. It was developed in the USA was developed as a bodyforming procedure to treat small and moderate fat deposits on the abdomen, thighs, buttocks and hips. And all this without OP .
This procedure is offered, for example, by CoolSculpting, a clinically tested cryolipolysis system. Here, applicators are placed on the respective treatment zone, which suck in the fatty tissue underneath with a slight vacuum.
The procedure tries to take advantage of certain properties of our body in a local, skin-friendly way. It is based on the assumption that fatty tissue is more susceptible to cold in comparison to the rest of the tissue. Sensitive fat cells should die off through extreme cooling and be eliminated through the body’s lymphatic system.
For whom is cryotherapy suitable?
Sounds great? Yes, but very slowly: You should only plan a visit to the cold sauna if you are completely healthy. If you suffer from a circulatory disorder, Renaud syndrome or a cold allergy, you should avoid a visit. You should also refrain from shock freezing during pregnancy.
The application is best suited for already fit people who cannot get rid of annoying bacon rolls despite exercise and diets. Overweight people who want to lose a lot of weight should not expect miracles from cold therapy, but can use it as a supplement to a change of diet and training.
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What is the benefit of cryotherapy?
In addition to weight loss, cryotherapy promises to increase your well-being, improve your performance and strengthen your immune system. You should feel more relaxed and energetic overall. By the way: The trembling is also said to be ideal for tightening the connective tissue and thus help to prevent unloved cellulite.
However, little is known about the actual long-term effects of cryotherapy. Treatment results simply vary too much from individual to individual and studies are often conducted with too few test subjects to draw conclusions about general effects.
Is cryotherapy dangerous?
During the treatment, a slight feeling of tension or numbness may occur in some areas of the body, followed by a slight re-warming pain. However, cryotherapy is considered to have few side effects, provided that it is used correctly and that the equipment is functioning properly. The cold does not promote any illnesses such as colds or cystitis, because the body core temperature remains constant throughout the entire time in the chamber.
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How much does cryotherapy cost?
To benefit from the positive effects of cryotherapy in the long term, you would need to repeat the visits regularly. “It’s the same as exercise,” explains Anna Weißbeck from Cryopoint. She recommends combining the visit to the cryochamber with sports units. One treatment at Cryopoint costs 39 euros. However, the price varies depending on the supplier.
How does a visit to the cold sauna feel?
In order to get to the bottom of the cold trend, our employee Karoline Steinbock dared to do the self-test. Here she reports about her experiences in the freezing chamber.
Don’t get cold feet – Karoline climbs into the freezer with gloves and slippers. © Karoline Capricorn
Self-test: Trainee Karoline gets shock-frozen
Only in underwear, with gloves and thick slippers on my feet I stand in front of the ice box of the Cryopoint branch in Hamburg-Winterhude. To be honest, I feel a bit queasy at the thought of being shock-frozen for 3 minutes. Owner Anna Weißbeck is already preparing the ice box. The nitrogen wafts out of the top of the box as steam while the box is cooled down to its operating temperature of -110 degrees. The temperature then settles somewhere between -105 and -120 degrees.
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After half the time comes the icy feeling
Here we go. In the box, I climb on a small stool so that my head can stick out at the top. At regular intervals new nitrogen is fed into the chamber to keep the temperature constant. Contrary to my expectations, however, it is a pleasant cold that feels neither wet nor stinging. At the beginning of the 3 minutes I also feel only slightly cool, but this changes abruptly after half of the time.
3 minutes can be pretty damn long.
Because suddenly I’m getting really cold. I get goose bumps and I feel a slight, stabbing cold pain in my thighs. Anna explained to me that the body gets coldest where the most fat is. Well, now I know where that comes from. Shortly before the end the cold becomes more and more unpleasant and my need to leave the box gets bigger and bigger. Three minutes can be so damned unbelievably long!
The cold acts like a mood booster
When the door of the box opens again, I immediately get a warm and comfortable feeling. I still have goose bumps, but my body slowly warms up again. In fact, I also notice how my mood is rising. Only my thighs remain cold. “Tonight you might get tired because your body has been working so hard”, Anna tells me.
Cold but happy – the cold chamber acts as a good mood booster. © Melina Kersten
“Your body will now also try to trick you by telling you it’s hungry even though you’re not hungry at all.” With this he wanted to compensate for the calories burned. That’s right! My stomach actually announces itself on the bus on the way home. Don’t give in now!
Shock freezing is worth it
After the first application I still don’t feel any tighter skin or less fat on my body, but I feel fitter, happier and more balanced. In the evening my thighs even feel as if I have a slight muscle ache. In addition, I am really tired and fall asleep deeply and relaxed – a super feeling.
Whether a visit to the cold sauna is worthwhile or not, you will have to decide for yourself in the end. The desired slimming effect is controversial from a scientific point of view. For some people, the cold – in addition to sufficient exercise and a balanced diet – is a good supplement to body tuning. But a cold bath is also a wonderful way to switch off after a stressful day.