(Exercising your Body with Heat and Cold)
Those of us reading this article likely live in a comfortable, temperature-controlled environment. Unfortunately, from an evolutionary aspect having no temperature challenges MAY ages us, make our bodies’ systems lazy, and possibly build up toxins contributing to all manner of issues such as cancer, arthritis, and sagging skin.
Cryotherapy is a huge industry, particularly in the sports world of professional athletes and Hollywood Stars. Here’s the call to action: What if, in 3 minutes just a few times each week, you could gain/regain:
- More radiant and firmer skin
- Easy Weight Loss – burn up those fat cells thru freezing them
- Give your Immune System a HUGE Boost
- Improved circulation and cardiovascular health
- Lessen or eradicate pain
- Get a Fitness Boost: More and stronger muscles
- Acquire Happy Endorphins that last for days?
Well, you could be in luck. The practices of Cryotherapy and Heating methods such as Saunas are both modern & old…from ancient Greece and even earlier. But do they really work…is there science behind them? Read on…
BRRRRRR As an Anti-Aging Strategy:
In the list above are claims of results from Cryotherapy, the technology of short bursts of freezing on the body, acquired by the ancients in icy waters and now available via high-tech spa chambers. It’s the new, “cool” thing to do in Hollywood because it is reputed to restore and maintain youth, inside and out. Actors such as Demi Moore use it, and she certainly doesn’t seem to age much.
How cold is it?
The cryotherapy machines give a 3-min, -140 Celsius blast. Mind you, that converts to -220 Fahrenheit, and some systems drop to -300 Fahrenheit! I’ve heard from people who tried the machines that it is surprisingly gentle and quick. That’s good to know. The liquid nitrogen has no moisture, so it doesn’t feel so cold.
The Cryo sessions generally range from $40 – $75 per treatment, and you can get packages, e.g. $250 per month. But, never fear, there are “free”, ancient and simple ways to do this for yourself. Use cold showers and swim in unheated pools 2-3 times per week to kick start your youth, healing and happy-mood treatments!
Here’s a Cryo Center in NY. Their video is explanatory of how the process works and why it doesn’t hurt as one would expect.
Dr. Oz says it helps with the inflammation of injuries. I say cold packs can be good, and perhaps it’s best locally rather than taxing the whole body. Then, of crouse, there is other science that addresses immunity boosting. In any case, it’s certainly controversial!
CAUTION: Not for people with heart conditions, seizures, cancer, hypertension, pregnant, thrombrosis, lung, kidney or other chronic organ diseases.
ONE RESEARCHER’S ATTEMPT TO VALIDATE CRYOTHERAPY
After spending many hours researching the science, an intelligent science-based “layman” who works in the field of optic science, concluded the following:
“While many of these papers draw conclusions that are negative, it is important to remember that the authors of these papers almost uniformly complained about the insufficient number of high-quality randomized controlled trials, which precludes reaching a very firm conclusion one way or the other. These are the same deficiencies that have left us scratching our heads when it is claimed that whole-body cryotherapy is capable of curing your depression, based on a single point of “evidence.” It would be totally dishonest to make the opposite claim that it “doesn’t” cure depression based on the same deficient evidence.
Does whole-body cryotherapy work? Does icing a sore muscle help? Maybe, maybe not. There probably isn’t enough high quality evidence to support either in clinical practice and it is dishonest to state otherwise.”
So, onward in our quest for another Anti-Aging Strategy….
HEAT IT UP
On the opposite end of the spectrum, and supported by more science, we have heat saunas and exercise. While heat is more associated with immunity boosting and healing, it isn’t usually thought of as an anti-aging strategy. However, one can argue that it’s a component. (BTW, It is important to note that while some exercise boosts immunity, too much exercise actually suppresses immunity.) Done safely, the heat created inside your body improves blood flow, relieves stress and relaxes you. The heat expels toxins, kills viruses and provides beauty-related benefits.
IMPROVE YOUR FITNESS BY SITTING AROUND
Well, apparently “yes” you can, if it is in a sauna or hot tub. Hyperthermic conditioning, or acclimating yourself to heat, boosts exercise endurance, increases blood flow, and produces human growth hormone (HGH) via heat-shock proteins generated inside your body. The use of saunas in conjunction with exercise is most effective. Be careful not to dehydrate yourself in the sauna. Take plenty of clean water with you.
SOAK IT UP!
I love to sit in a hot tub of water. I like mine clear of the toxic chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride because our skin absorbs everything quickly. What goes on your skin is in your bloodstream within seconds. (A salt hot tub would be fine, yes?!) Sitting in hot water is a first-aid for colds and flu viruses, because many viruses cannot live long above 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. (Note: Coconut oil kills many viruses too. )
REDUCE YOUR TOXIC LOAD
Your sweat glands are one of four ways your body eliminates toxins. Men and larger bodies typically sweat more than women and smaller body masses. (However, the greatest detoxifier is BREATHING, which is a constant. We literally move hundreds of pounds of toxins by breathing, so breathe deeply and often!)
Sweating helps free your body of toxic hallides such as bromine found in baked goods, soft drinks, pesticides, and fire retardants. Bromine affects the thyroid by taking over the natural receptor sites for iodine, leading to various thyroid disorders. Sweating also helps eliminate heavy metals such as mercury, lead and cadmium. Find a good sport you like. Come dancing with us. Just do it.
The bigger you are, in general, the easier it is to sweat. But you can condition your body to do so more easily by using heat therapy. It will certainly cleanse your skin of blackheads and blemishes too! Plus, banish constipation, dry skin and boost energy. Heat it up!
For more information on the benefits of heat, see Dr. Mercola’s article on the subject.
ARE THESE IDEAS TOO EXTREME?
In Chinese Medicine, we often do use pyrogenic herbs when the patient is strong and facing the early onset of a pathogen such as a virus. We want to create heat in the body to kill the virus. However, we typically do not recommend excess heat or cold. Actually, both excess heat and cold are considered pathogenic. So if you do participate in these extreme heat and cold therapies and you do not feel well, remember that we have treatments to help you recover!
Dr. David and Deb Martín and Staff
Serving the Greater Fort Myers area, including Cape Coral, Estero, Lehigh, Bonita Springs & Naples