Hi Freeze-y Friends – over the last four years, we have loved getting to know our Knoxville clients! Like us, they are dedicated to achieving optimal recovery and peak performance by adding whole body cryotherapy to their weekly routines. We have a diverse network of clients within our Ice Up family and so, in 2019, we’d like to share more medical and scientific information on how whole body cryotherapy and other complementary wellness approaches can help reduce inflammation, and how this can aid in physical recovery.

(Oops, is it February already? Forgive me, I’m a Mom and there was a science fair emergency.)

It’s February, and that means Valentine’s Day! All this talk about love makes me want to start with one of the unexpected but highly beneficial side effects of whole body cryotherapy (WBC) – increased libido. This was definitely a surprise to me as a physician – what’s the science behind this juicy energy boost? On the surface, the answer is easy – feeling good helps you relax and enjoy your life – and celebrate your body. Since you may be interested (😈) here are a few scientific reasons why WBC might light your fire:

  1. It gives you a Fresh Perspective – Brain connections, called synapses, are created when you have a new experience. Every time you repeat a behavior, your brain makes that connection stronger, like deep tracks in a muddy road. Sometimes those ruts are healthy (brushing your teeth) and sometimes they aren’t (scrolling through your phone in bed). Not everyone likes to try new things, but trying something new can get you out of your “synaptic rut” and give you a fresh perspective on life and whatever has you stuck. It’s based in neurophysiology – just like limerence (the pervasive rush of making a close connection with a new friend), trying whole body cryotherapy for the first time will probably give you a rush of feel-good brain chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. This initial short-term response lasts 4-6 hours and may not be strong after a few months if you’re freezing every day, which is one reason we recommend a maintenance program of 3-4 sessions per week, at least a day or two apart. On the other hand, if it’s been a while, a “double-dip” day (freezing twice on the same day, at least 4 hours apart) can serve as natural brain-boost without impacting the whole-body benefits of freezing.

  2. It will make you holler like Hanky Panky – If excitement and resolution are the yin-yang of love and arousal, so is the thrill and finish of whole body cryotherapy. Your vascular system is made up of more than 60,000 miles of smooth muscle (that’s two times around the world)! WBC is a three minute wake up call to get those muscles flexing. (And honestly, mirrors a “quickie” in several ways: For the first 90 seconds, you won’t quite know what you’ve gotten yourself into. Things get a little intense in the next 45 seconds – your breath quickens and the blood is leaving your extremities (vasoconstriction). Flight or flight is setting in, but in a good way – flooding your body with energy-lending adrenaline without the normal trade-off of the stress hormone cortisol. This is usually when I get vocal (it’s cold!). In the next 45 seconds, your peripheral blood vessels are max-flexing their strength while your brain and kidneys get the lion’s share of your blood circulation. Now you’ve only got 45 seconds left, and who can’t hug a bear for that short of a time? As soon as you’re done and grab that robe, your body has already started reperfusing all the far-off spots, and with more vigor and intensity than before.

  3. It’s not a quickie – Use it or Lose it – My favorite musical duo is The Indigo Girls (Are you surprised? Mid-90s, I practically bankrolled Lilith Fair), and I really resonate with their songs, especially “Share the Moon”:

    “I can go one day without calling / Two days without bawling / Three days without missing / But a lifetime of no kissing you…is something that I just can’t do.”

    After more than three years of WBC, I realize it’s a lifestyle change – you can’t let your passion for cryotherapy perish. You see, WBC, just like a rock-your-world “O”, isn’t something you want to put in the one and done category. While you’ll probably sleep like a rock and have more pep in your step for several days, the benefits of feel good chemicals created during whole body cryotherapy start to taper off after a few hours. After that, you’ll need to come back for another dose of feel-good freeze. Unlike your college ex, going back for more is good for you! WBC will be there when you need it.

WBC is definitely something you can do with one you love or for the one you love – what better time to get started than Valentine’s Day? So, I hope you’ll give it a try – this month we have a great special for you and your Valentine. For one day only, on Feb 14th, clients who buy a session (or have an active package) can bring a friend for free. You know what they say…. couples who freeze together, please together!

Come chill out with us!

Xoxo,  Dr. Jena