When inside the cryo-chamber, where ambient temperature is usually around -170C/-274F, the human body is rapidly exposed to extremely low temperatures and the skin’s surface is quickly cooled to approximately -10C / 32F for a short period of time (2.5 to 3 minutes).
When the skin surface temperature reaches freezing for even a few moments, cold sensors in the skin send a very strong signal to the brain that the organism’s life might be in danger. In an innate response to protect the body from the critically low temperatures that could lead to hypothermia and death, the brain gives orders to all peripheral parts of the body to constrict the muscles and tissues in order to send blood to the core of the body.Why does this happen? Because the temperature in the body’s core must be constant and equal to 98.6F, as even slight changes to this temperature could eventually cause death.
So upon receipt of signals from the skin’s cold sensors of the freezing temperatures in the cryo-chamber, the brain center has a clear warning that maintaining the necessary core body temperature will be impossible if blood circulation in the outer layers of the skin is allowed to continue. Therefore, all survival resources are mobilized, and blood is sent into the body’s core to begin circulating in an internal cycle to protect the vital organs.
One immediate effect is that arterial blood pressure increases by about 10 points. For example, if the systolic pressure (upper number) was 130 points (or millimeter of mercury) before the treatment, it may reach 135-140 afterwards for a short time. But much more is happening as the blood circulates in the internal cycle. It is also being enriched with oxygen and all the necessary enzymes and nutrients to boost the bodies chances of survival. Several successive treatments will even lead to an increase in hemoglobin count.
The blood becomes enriched in accordance with the best capabilities, as all resources and reserves are activated to ensure the functions of life while the body does its best to survive under the perceived critical conditions. What else is happening at this time? As the internal organs are surrounded and nourished by the enriched blood, all crucial life processes are accelerated. In other words, during WCT, if the performance of any of the organs was low or impaired, these deficiencies are remedied as much as possible with all the required components, so the bolstered organs can begin to recover. And if, in the body’s normal, non-survival mode of operation, some deficiency was not considered critical, this new, unusual and perceived-as-dangerous environment mobilizes the body for self-defense, and it identifies and seeks to address any and all deficiencies.
Accordingly, all internal organ problems are reduced or eliminated under the strong, rich blood flow effects. We also know that in a specified period of time the whole range of body cells are replaced with new ones, and the dead cells are eliminated through the lymph system. Extreme cold also contributes to the efficient elimination of the dead cells which would otherwise make sluggish many other workings of the body. After 1.5 to 3 minutes of WCT, when clients step out of the cryo-chamber into the warmer air, signals to the brain indicate this new temperature change, and all peripheral tissues then expand, including blood vessels, muscles and skin tissues – as opposed to the constriction that occurred in the beginning of the treatment when the skin surface temperature was rapidly cooled to -10C /32F.
What is happening at this point? Under the temporary higher blood pressure caused by WCT, blood is now released from the internal cycle and flows back out to the peripheral tissues, filling all the remote corners of the body from which it was withheld during the low temperatures. When this enriched blood reaches peripheral tissues, they are enhanced in the same beneficial way as the internal organs were during the treatment. In fact, this beneficial process continues in the body for 6 to 8 hours after the treatment.
In summarizing, we can say that the enriched blood creates favorable conditions for internal organ regeneration, for expelling of toxins from subcutaneous layers, for the cell renewal process, replacement of damaged cells and elimination of dead cells from peripheral tissues – i.e. rejuvenation of the body at the cellular level. While these processes are initiated by brief exposure of the skin surface to extremely low temperatures, it is important to understand that tissue is not actually frozen during the procedure.
Only the illusion of a severe cold impact is created when very cold air temporarily touches the skin where our cold sensors are located. This is one of the essential differences between the Whole Body Cryotherapy and the Ice Bath. This is very important to understand so let’s go in a bit more detail.