Football Injury? Here's How To Return To The Field

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Are you dealing with an injury as we head into the playoffs? Determine what type of injury you have, then seek the appropriate therapy treatment to return to the field! It is 'Win or Go Home' time and your team needs you!

Some Common Sports Injuries

Sprains. Injuries to ligaments, the fibrous connective tissues that connect one bone to another. In first-degree sprains, the ligament is stretched; in second-degree sprains, some fibers are torn; in third-degree sprains, most or all of the fibers are torn. In general, first-degree sprains produce only pain and swelling, second-degree injuries are often accompanied by weakness and bluish discoloration due to bleeding, and third-degree sprains produce severe weakness and decreased mobility.

Strains. Injuries to muscles or tendons, the fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones. Commonly known as muscle pulls, strains also come in first-, second-, and third-degree varieties. Like sprains, strains are usually caused by a misstep or fall that places excessive force on a tendon or muscle, so that fibers are stretched or torn.

Tendinitis. Inflammation of a tendon, often caused by overuse or poor body mechanics. Pain is the major symptom, but warmth, swelling, and redness may occur. The pain is typically most severe at the start of exercise; it eases up during exercise, only to return with a vengeance afterward.

Fasciitis. Inflammation of the layer of fibrous tissue that covers many muscles and tendons. Overuse is often to blame. A common example is plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the sole of the foot, which plagues many walkers and runners.

Bursitis. Inflammation of the small, fluid-like sacs that cushion joints, muscles, or bones like miniature shock absorbers.

Arthritis. Inflammation of a joint (arthritis) or the membrane that surrounds it (synovitis). Like bursitis, joint inflammation often occurs without being triggered by exercise, but both problems can also result from overuse or trauma. Pain and swelling ("water on the knee," for example) are common symptoms.

Dislocations. Dislocations occur when bones slip out of their proper alignment in a joint. A deformity is often visible, and the joint is unable to move properly. Although some athletes attempt to realign (reduce) a dislocation themselves, it should be done by a physician or highly experienced trainer or therapist.

Muscle cramps and spasms. Unduly strong and sustained muscle contractions that can be very painful.  Stretching will help relieve cramps; hydration and good conditioning help prevent them.

PRICE it Right!

PRICE is the tried-and-true protocol for dealing with injuries and is an acronym for: Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

Protection. Injured tissues must be protected against further injury.

Rest. Injured tissues need time to heal. It's an obvious principle, but once you're hooked on exercise you may be tempted to ignore it. Don't!  Rest selectively and pursue alternative sports/exercise.  Injuries can often be blessings in disguise, forcing you to diversify your workouts and acquire new skills.

Ice. It's the cheapest, simplest, yet most effective way to manage many injuries. Ice is an excellent anti-inflammatory, reducing swelling and pain. For best results, apply an ice pack for 10 to 15 minutes as soon as possible after an injury. Repeat the ice treatment each hour for the first four hours, then four times a day for the next two to three days. Protect your skin with a thin cloth.

Compression. Pressure will help reduce swelling and inflammation. In most cases, a simple elastic bandage will suffice; it should be snug but not too tight. Remember that swelling may develop slowly hours after your injury, so you may have to loosen your wrap.

Elevation. Enlists the force of gravity to drain fluid away from injured tissues, reducing swelling, inflammation, and pain. You can simply prop your injured limb up on a pillow above heart level.

Therapies to Speed Your Recovery

If you have a major injury — or if your nagging woes don't clear up — get help.  Primary care physicians can handle many exercise-induced problems, but more difficult issues require orthopedists, physical therapists, massage therapists and chiropractors.  You can also speed your recovery through innovative, natural therapies that activate your body's natural healing mechanisms.

Cold Laser Therapy.  Cold laser therapy has been used for years to speed recovery, because it activates cellular healing and regeneration.

Whole Body Cryotherapy.  Cryotherapy works at the cardiovascular level, prompting the body to cleanse the blood of inflammatory enzyme and toxins, and replenishing the blood with oxygen, nutrients, anti-inflammatory enzymes and red blood cells.

Soft Tissue Work.  Sports Massage Therapists, Airrosti practitioners and some Physical Therapists perform the role of breaking up scar tissue, restore function, improve mobility (helping stretch muscles and regain range of motion).

Chiropractors. Primarily concerned with structural integrity of your spine and joints, Chiropractors can help realign and balance your high-performing body.

Your body is amazingly resilient and has the capacity to self-heal, provided you give it the appropriate time and attention.  Pay the right PRICE and seek the right help to get back on the field as quickly as you can!

Resources:

Harvard Health Newsletter

Sports Injury Clinic

Can You REALLY Freeze Yourself Fit?

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Can you really freeze yourself fit?  Or freeze the pain that burdens you?

The Dallas Mavericks did when they won their NBA Championship in 2011, calling it their “secret weapon.”

Usain Bolt did during his quest for gold in 2012, using it to relieve a back injury.

LeBron did—and still does—calling it his “secret to longevity.”

Michael Phelps did and won numerous Gold Medals.

Floyd Mayweather did and scored numerous KO’s and boxing championships.

Cristiano Ronaldo does and scores numerous soccer goals.

Jordan Spieth does and wins numerous PGA golf tourneys.

The Denver Broncos do and won a Lombardi trophy.

Even nationally acclaimed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who repairs the knees of elite professional athletes, does it—and he even endorses it.

And now countless college athletic departments and pro sports franchises are installing these in the training facilities, having realized the competitive advantage it gives their athletes.

So I tried it, and now I can play with my sons again.  At half-a-hundred years old, I could not do what I most loved doing—playing sports with my sons.  I was becoming the old man who couldn’t. After dealing with shoulders that couldn’t throw without pain, I am now once throwing with my sons.

Imagine you are playing your favorite sport again . . . you are moving without pain . . .you are sleeping without tossing . . . you are focused and energetic . . . you are burning more calories from an increased metabolic rate . . . you are even getting compliments about your younger looking complexion.  That’s what I experienced for myself.

Is it the Holy Grail?  No, it’s a divine chill called whole body cryotherapy (WBC).

What is WBC?  Quite simply, WBC is a Rheumatologist-invented, research-proven cold therapy which stimulates your body’s pain and inflammation fighters.  Chill in a cold air sauna for 3 minutes, and your body activates its natural restorative process.  The results are relief from pain and inflammation, accelerated muscle recovery, boosted energy levels and vitality, increased metabolic rate, enhanced complexion and overall elevated well-being.  In a word, it's G-E-N-I-U-S.

Champions chill for one reason—it works.  Now you, too, can thrive again just by chilling!

5 Natural Remedies For Joint Pain

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Do you reach for the Ibuprofen when your joint pain first flares up? You should probably consider natural remedies, especially if you're concerned about side effects or interactions with other drugs. Here are 5 natural remedies to fight inflammation and relieve your pain.

Nutritional Remedies for Joint Pain

We blogged about this important tool to fight inflammation (Top 9 Natural Inflammation Fighters), because nutrition is one of the most important weapons in your arsenal. You need to pay attention not only to those foods you should avoid, but as importantly to those foods that fight inflammation. Additionally and probably obviously, adequate hydration is also critical. Electrolytes including sodium and potassium assist the body fight inflammation (sodium supplies nutrients and water to cells, while potassium assists in flushing toxins and other wastes out of cells).

Supplementation To Reduce Inflammation

Our members are experiencing relief by adding some key supplements to their diets: turmeric (curcumin), proteolytic enzymes, omega-3 and omega-6, chondroitin and glucosamine, ginger, coconut oil and chia seeds.

R&R: Take To The Bath For Pain Relief

Relieving stress as a root cause of inflammation helps both the mind and body. One great relaxation method is soaking in an epsom salt bath. High in magnesium and sulfates, Epsom salts are easily absorbed through the skin to provide quick relief as they lower inflammation, reduce muscle spasms and relax tense areas.

The Right Exercise--The Right Way

Swimming and other aquatic activities "promote flexibility and strength without high impact," says Mark Karadsheh, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI. A 2014 review in the journal Physical Therapy found that exercising in water reduces pain and improves physical functioning in people with osteoarthritis of the lower limbs. Meanwhile, a 2015 study from The Netherlands found that a 45-minute aquatic circuit training session helped relieve the pain of knee osteoarthritis.

Natural Therapies Fight Inflammation

Research is showing how natural therapies activate our bodies systemic pain and inflammation fighters. Cold therapies like whole body cryotherapy (What Is Cryotherapy), light therapies light cold laser therapy (How Does Cold Laser Help), and compression therapies like NormaTec compression therapy (How Does Compression Therapy Help) have been research proven and widely adopted. Read the links to learn how these amazing therapies can help you!

Sources:

Dr. Axe

Healthline

The Arthritis Foundation

 

What You Should Know About Cold Laser Therapy

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Doctors have been leveraging the power of laser therapy for healing and injury rehab for decades, so why are you just now hearing about it? Ever heard of the pharmaceutical lobby? For those who are looking for natural therapies and just now discovering cold laser therapy, here are 5 things you should know about it:

1. Cold Laser Therapy Reduces Pain and Inflammation With No Side Effects

When cells are stressed, nitric oxide (NO) inhibits oxygen consumption by mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase. This reduces production of ATP and causes oxidative stress leading to increased inflammation and reduced production of ATP. Laser light displaces NO from cytochrome c oxidase thereby reducing inflammation and restoring ATP production, helping tissues heal more quickly. This interaction triggers a biological cascade of events that leads to an increase in cellular metabolism and a decrease in both pain and inflammation. Unlike medications, laser therapy reduces pain without undesirable side effects.

2. Cold Laser Therapy Can Be Used For Acute and Chronic Injuries

Treating acute conditions with laser therapy is particularly effective when it is administered as soon as possible following the injury. The faster the inflammation is reduced and the healing process can begin, the better.

With chronic conditions, laser therapy is used most often to help combat persistent pain and inflammation. Cold laser is especially well-suited for treating chronic conditions because it so effectively relieves pain and inflammation.

3. Treatment Protocols Are Doctor-designed For Each Specific Condition/Injury

Although laser sounds high-tech, you cannot just "shine the light" and be healed.  Doctors have designed protocols for each specific injury/condition, and each protocol uses laser probes in four different areas to accomplish four specific objectives: 1) activate cellular repair and regeneration at the injury site; 2) stimulate lymph nodes to reduce inflammation and edema; 3) de-activate trigger points; 4) initiate analgesia via spinous process to relieve/reduce pain.

4. Cold Laser Therapy Activates Your Body's Natural Recovery Mechanisms

Laser light is used to stimulate the cells in your body that repair tissue, reduce inflammation and relieve pain. In biological terms, this photo-therapy (like photosynthesis in plants) reduces oxidative stress which causes cell death, and enables your cells to increase ATP production (which produces cellular energy).  When cells can produce ATP, the result is cellular repair and regeneration.

5. Cold Laser Therapy Treatments Are Quick and Painless

Laser therapy sessions usually last 10-20 minutes depending on the size, depth, and acuteness of the condition being treated. For people with packed schedules, these fast and effective treatments are a benefit.

6. Cold Laser Therapy Treats Many Conditions

  • Muscle/tendon strains and ligament sprains
  • Back and neck pain
  • Joint pain/osteoarthritis
  • Nerve pain (e.g. from disc injuries)
  • Post-operative recovery
  • Wounds and burns

Now that you've "seen the light" regarding cold laser therapy, which road would you prefer to travel: the natural therapy route that activates your body's systemic healing, or the pharmaceutical road with it's many potholes?

References

Hamblin MR, Demidova TN. “Mechanisms of low level light therapy.” Proc. of SPIE Photonics. 2006; 6140: 614001-01-12. doi: 10.1117/12.646294

Kingsley JD, Demchak T, Mathis R. “Low-level laser therapy as a treatment for chronic pain.” Frontiers in Physiology. 2014; 5(306): 1-3. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2014.00306

How Does Compression Help Injury Recovery?

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If you've had an injury, then you've heard of the acronym RICE.  This is the common prescription proven to facilitate healing of musculoskeletal injuries and stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.  While all of these components are essential for tissue repair and injury recovery, some of them have been enhanced to make the recovery process even faster.

Rest and elevation can not be improved with technology, but technology has greatly enhanced cold therapy and compression therapy. We've already written extensively about Whole Body Cryotherapy as the most effective cold therapy (Top !0 Reasons to Try Cryotherapy), because cryotherapy is a vital component of how we get athletes back on the field.

Today we will dive into Compression therapy, and specifically NormaTec Compression therapy. Combine a physician bio-engineer + technology and the result is active, pneumatic pressure that creates a pumping effect at the injury site to provide several health benefits.

How Does Compression Therapy Accelerate Injury Recovery

NormaTec Pulse Compression employs compressed air to massage your limbs, mobilize fluid, and speed recovery with a patented NormaTec Pulse Massage Pattern.  The pulsating effect that mimics the body's natural muscular movements provides the following injury recovery benefits:

  1. Less swelling - Inflammation and swelling are not only uncomfortable, they can also inhibit the healing process. Compression therapy is proven to help reduce swelling, especially in combination with cold therapy.
  2. Less edema - Excess fluid buildup can also slow down the healing process and inhibit range of motion. Compression combined with elevation can help reduce this excess fluid in the body.
  3. More nutrients - Compression helps stimulate the flow of lymph fluid, which carries vital nutrients, to the damaged tissues surrounding the injury. Lymph fluid is also important for removing waste from cells and body tissues, an important function during the tissue regeneration process.
  4. More oxygen - Compression helps improve blood flow, thereby enhancing the delivery of oxygen to damaged tissue.
  5. Faster tissue repair - The combination of reduced swelling and delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the injury site enables more quicker tissue repair and injury recovery.

If you are trying to recover from an injury, you can greatly reduce your recovery time with cryotherapy + NormaTec compression therapy. There is no reason to let an injury sideline you longer than absolutely necessary--and now, with these technologies, necessary is much shorter!

Cold Laser Therapy For Injury Recovery

Do you have an acute or chronic injury keeping you off the field?  Unfortunately, injuries are a natural consequence of training, competing . . . or even just life. When people come to us to accelerate their recovery from injury, we always use Cold Laser Therapy + Cryotherapy.

Cold Laser Therapy: How It Works

The combination is so effective because cryotherapy works at the cardiovascular level (http://championcryotherapy.net/what-is-cryotherapy/), while cold laser therapy works at the cellular level.  The cold laser is a safe, non-invasive, drug free accelerator for recovery of injuries with a treatment that is simple in science and application: Light is used to stimulate the cells in your body that repair tissue, reduce inflammation and reduce pain. In biological terms, this photo-therapy (like photosynthesis in plants) reduces oxidative stress which causes cell death, and enables your cells to increase ATP production (which produces cellular energy).  When cells can produce ATP, the result is cellular repair and regeneration.

Cold Laser Therapy: Benefits

What does all this mean to you?  Here are the resulting benefits of cold laser therapy:

  • ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ACTION: Laser light reduces swelling, leading to decreased pain, less stiffness, and a faster return to normal joint and muscle function.
  • RAPID CELLULAR HEALING: Laser light accelerates cellular reproduction and healing.
  • QUICKER WOUND HEALING: Laser light stimulates fibroblast development and accelerates collagen synthesis in damaged tissue.
  • REDUCED FIBROUS (SCAR) TISSUE FORMATION: Laser light reduces formation of scar tissue, leading to more complete healing, with less chance of weakness and re-injury later.
  • INCREASED VASCULAR ACTIVITY: Laser light increases blood flow to the injured area.
  • STIMULATED NERVE FUNCTIONS: Laser light speeds nerve cell processes, which may decrease pain and numbness associated with nerve-related conditions.

Cold laser therapy: Who can benefit

With over 400 randomized clinical trials supporting it's efficacy, Cold Laser Therapy (also Low Level Laser Therapy, LLLT), has been research proven to be safe, painless and effective in treating both acute injuries and chronic pain of various kinds: muscle strains, ligament sprains, back painneck painarthritisplantar fasciitis and other musculoskeletal conditions

Not only are these therapies highly effective, but the beauty is that they are natural therapies that activate your body's recovery systems.  The combination of cryotherapy and cold laser therapy has allowed us to cut recovery time in half for many of our customers, so if you want to get back on the field or return to what you love to do, then you should consider this natural, drug-free route to recovery.

Is Inflammation The Key To Aging?

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Often we discover a great source of wisdom/research that we feel we must share.  This article was originally published by Deepak Chopra, Special to SFGate on Monday, July 10, 2017 (http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/chopra/article/Is-Inflammation-the-Key-to-Aging-11276864.php).

By Deepak Chopra, MD, William C Bushell, PhD, Ryan CastleDavid Vago, PhD, Mark Lambert, Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D.

Ten years ago researchers began to focus on inflammation as a link to disease. They stood out in that they did not emphasize the acute redness and swelling that accompanies the site of a wound or burn as it heals, which is known as acute inflammation. Rather, they discovered clues were leading to something more subtle – a low-grade, chronic inflammation that has few if any overt symptoms. This kind of everyday inflammation has now been linked to an overwhelming majority of serious lifestyle disorders, including hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and most cancers. What was an intriguing trend ten years ago is now being recognized as major global epidemic, all the more dangerous because it is invisible.

We encourage you to read the first post we wrote last week in order to gain more basic knowledge about chronic inflammation. Going past lifestyle disorders, chronic inflammation may be the key to aging. In addition, numerous inflammation-related genes have been linked to susceptibility to most age-related diseases, such as those mentioned above. The chemical markers in the bloodstream that serve to indicate inflammation are associated with the aging body and cellular death. Already some gerontologists are floating the idea that inflammation may be the largest contributor to aging. If this turns out to be right it will greatly simplify a complex subject, because two aspects of aging have traditionally made it very hard to grasp medically.

First, the deterioration of the body over time is not a straight line but an unpredictable set of changes that look different in everyone. Second, no single process can be pinned down as “aging” by itself. The common signs of aging, such as losing muscle strength, defects in memory, and moving more slowly - not to mention medical conditions like arthritis and dimmed eyesight – are related to many different processes and don't appear in every elderly person. In fact, there are at least a few cases where these changes are at least temporarily reversed; there are even people who get stronger and have better memories as the years go by. Chronic inflammation has the possibility to simplify this scenario, in part by exploring the common factor that so many seemingly unrelated aging processes share.

Another connection with aging is centered on the immune system. When you were young, your immune system was very specific, precise, and targeted as it met invading pathogens (i.e., bacteria and viruses). This precision sets human beings apart from lower rungs on the evolutionary ladder where immunity is very general and diffuse. Instead of being precise, a diffuse immune system sends the same chemicals in various doses to spots of injury and disease. There is no precise targeting. As we age, our immune system loses the precision of youth, and because inflammation is the most general type of response to pathogens, the body begins to indiscriminately secrete inflammatory chemicals that injure its own cells rather than healing them. If this goes on long enough, damaging feedback loops are set up that turn diffuse immunity into a pattern. This exacerbates the damage to cells throughout your body, accelerating cellular death. This complex syndrome has been labeled "InflammAging." The glia cells in the brain that normally nurture and support nerve cells can instead attack nerve cells in bouts of neurology-inflammation.

Chronic inflammation takes years or even decades before visible damage or disease symptoms appear. This means that to reverse the process individuals must dedicate significant time. No one can do that without turning anti-inflammation into a lifestyle that feels as easy and natural as their present lifestyle. The most basic changes involve going down the list of things that create inflammation and doing the opposite instead. The result looks something like the following:

  • A balanced lifestyle without extreme changes.
  • Good sleep.
  • A natural whole foods diet.
  • Paying attention to everyday activity, including walking and standing.
  • Reducing stress.
  • Absence of emotional upset, anxiety, and depression.
  • Solid family and community support.
  • Feeling loved and wanted.
  • A calm, unconflicted mind.

Nothing here is a surprise, but the distinction lies in understanding these changes are not just positive in some general way, they could literally save your life. It would appear that stress is extremely important because our response to everyday stress directly leads to stress on cells, and stressed cells produce the biochemicals that indicate inflammation. It is now well known that psychosocial stress may also significantly exacerbate many forms of disease pathology, including psychological disorders like anxiety and depression. Stress can actually produce chemicals that are toxic to nerve cells in the brain, such as cortisol. It has been theorized that the most serious form of depression, Major Depressive Disorder, could be considered an inflammatory disease.

This and other clues relate to aging, in that it takes smaller stresses to agitate older people, and they recover from them more slowly. What if this is the result of longstanding inflammatory feedback loops? There are numerous psychosocial causes for increase inflammation in the elderly, and there are age-specific types of depression. Being able to trace these conditions to a single cause would be very beneficial.

If stress and inflammation are the joint villains in aging and disease, the top priority in making lifestyle changes should be anti-stress. It is ironic that millions of people who willingly undertake improving their diet and exercise put a low priority on everyday stress, enduring routine pressures at home and work. In an exciting development, a growing body of literature has suggested systematic forms of mental training associated with meditation practice, good diet and sleep habits, and daily exercise, may improve clinical outcomes through an anti-inflammatory mechanism. It has been suggested previously that specific forms of meditation practice can indeed engage and modulate vagal tone through what has been coined, the “relaxation response” - a volitional state in which physiological recovery from psychosocial stress is facilitated. Much progress has been made in the last decade to identify potential neuroanatomical and network- based physiological changes due to mindfulness and other styles of meditation training.

We've outlined the main points of a new picture of aging and disease. Research is ongoing, and by no means do aging researchers all agree on inflammation as the root cause of aging. For one thing, inflammation, being necessary for the healing response, is a beneficial process as well as a harmful one, and discriminating between the two is complex. Second, the presence of inflammatory markers in the bloodstream, some would argue, is a symptom of stressed, dying cells, not the cause. However these issues resolve themselves in the future, the damaging effects of low-grade chronic stress are indisputable already. More in-depth research into the complex systems of the body and its inflammatory response are needed to determine these surprisingly fundamental questions.

A lifestyle aimed at countering inflammation has been described in detail in the book, Super Genes, and is a central part of the upcoming book by Deepak Chopra and Rudy E. Tanzi, The Healing Self. There you will find an in-depth discussion as well as a lifestyle program that addresses this vital topic.

Deepak Chopra MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation and co-founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Chopra is the author of more than 80 books translated into over 43 languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His latest books are Super Genes co-authored with Rudy Tanzi, Ph.D. and Quantum Healing (Revised and Updated): Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine.  www.deepakchopra.com

William C BushellPhD, Biophysical Anthropology, MIT is the Director of Research at ISHAR and has been researching mind-body phenomena for over three decades, focusing on the field of consciousness studies around the world as a biological, medical, and psychological anthropologist affiliated with Columbia, Harvard, and MIT.

Ryan Castle, Executive Director of ISHAR, specializes in research analysis and whole systems integration. He is an advocate for open-access science and multidisciplinary approaches.

David Vago, PhD, is Research Director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Associate professor, department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation; Associate professor, department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences; Research associate, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Mark Lambert, Project Manager and Director of Innovation for the Center for Bioelectronic Medicine, Karolinska Institute, and supported Dr. Kevin Tracey as Chief of Staff for the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.

Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D. is the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University and Vice Chair of Neurology at Mass. General Hospital. Dr. Tanzi is the co-author with Deepak Chopra of the New York Times bestseller, Super Brain, and an internationally acclaimed expert on Alzheimer disease. He was included in TIME Magazine's "TIME 100 Most Influential People in the World".

What You Must Know About Cryotherapy

Are you just hearing about cryotherapy for the first time? Considering whether this natural therapy would help you with your aches and pains? Here are the most important things you must know about cryotherapy.

What Is Cryotherapy and How Does It Work?

Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) is a research-proven, doctor-designed cold therapy that activates your body’s natural pain and inflammation fighters.  Knowing our bodies are designed to systemically heal themselves, a Japanese Rheumatologist designed cryotherapy in 1978 to activate those natural healing systems.  How? You simply chill in a cold air sauna for 3 minutes, and your body activates it's restorative process.  The cold air causes blood to flush from the skin surface, muscle tissue, and joints to the vital organs.  Your body's cardiovascular system naturally eliminates toxins and replenishes the blood with oxygen, nutrients, red blood cells and anti-inflammatory enzymes. The end result is relief from pain and inflammation, accelerated muscle recovery, boosted energy levels, increased metabolic rate and enhanced complexion.

The Benefits of Cryotherapy

Dr. Joe Tatta, a chiropractic doctor and author of the book Heal Your Pain Now,explains that "Whole-body cryotherapy is a treatment that has been used for decades in sports medicine. It is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-analgesic, and antioxidant effects to decrease inflammation, speed recovery, and prevent excessive exercise-induced inflammation and soreness." According to the experts and those who use cryotherapy, the real benefits are relief from pain and inflammation, accelerated recovery after a workout, and reduced healing time after injury or surgery.

Does Cryotherapy Really Work?

There have been very few randomized clinical trials completed in the U.S. since cryotherapy migrated over here in 2011, so according to most doctors will tell you the current research is inconclusive.  However, if you talk to professional athletes--whose careers depend on their ability to recover--or speak to those using cryotherapy to manage their chronic pain, you will hear about the efficacy of cryotherapy.  High school, college and professional athletes are trading out ice baths for cryotherapy because it's more effective, it's quicker (only 3 minutes), and it's much more comfortable!

Is Cryotherapy Safe--And Will It Hurt?

Those with healthy bodies who get cryotherapy at a clinic/spa with professionally trained recovery specialists and medical directors face little if any risk.  Provided you do not contra-indicate (those with heart conditions, untreated high blood pressure, diabetes, pregnancy and/or Reynaud's can not use cryotherapy), then the only risk you face is cold burn on your skin.  And that risk is near zero provided you do not take a cryotherapy session with damp skin/damp clothes.

Additionally, cryotherapy is just a 3-minute treatment in a stand-up, cold air sauna.  The air is certainly cold (-200 degree F), but because it is dry air it does not penetrate beyond skin level. Unlike an ice bath, which is quite long (15-20 minutes done properly), uncomfortable and penetratingly cold, cryotherapy users describe the cold sensation as "invigorating."

Should You Try Cryotherapy?

If you are dealing with chronic pain/inflammation, or desire to accelerate your recobvery in pursuit of athletic goals, then it takes just 3 minutes in a cryotherapy session to see what all the talk is about.  Do you have 3 minutes?

Does Cold Laser Therapy Work?

Cold Laser Therapy - Too Good To Be True?

Cold Laser Therapy (aka Low Level Laser Therapy and Photobiomodulation) appears too good to be true because it seems to do many things, but it's primary effect simple and profound: It reduces oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is accepted as the underlying trigger for most diseases and degenerative conditions. It is also a component in the inflammatory phase of acute and chronic injuries. Extensive research during last two decades has revealed that oxidative stress can lead to chronic inflammation, which in turn contributes to chronic diseases including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders and pulmonary diseases.

The use of visible and near-infrared (NIR) light for reducing pain, inflammation and edema, has been known for almost forty years. The effects of photobiomodulation, as it is known scientifically, are photochemical – just like photosynthesis in plants. With the correct dosage (requires the correct power, frequency and application time), light reduces oxidative stress and increases ATP (cellular energy). This in turn improves cell metabolism and reduces inflammation. Light is absorbed at the cellular level, targeting the cause of inflammation by reducing oxidative stress.

Cold Laser Therapy - Benefits

The ultimate benefits include tissue repair and regeneration, reduced pain and inflammation, reduced scar tissue formation, and accelerated healing time from injury.  Cold laser therapy is indeed too good--but not too good to be true.  If you have doubts, then listen to these testimonials.

Cryotherapy vs. Inflammation: Freeze the Cause of Disease

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Inflammation is a healthy body response to stress, but chronic inflammation causes diseases.  Abundant medical research now focuses more on addressing chronic inflammation, to both prevent and treat health conditions. You'll understand how cryotherapy works once you understand how inflammation causes disease.

How inflammation causes diseases

When we get hurt, the body triggers an immune response where the body sends a crew of immune cells and calls blood vessels to action to repair the damage and start the healing work: that’s the inflammation process. This process remains activated as long as it takes for the body to repair the damage (e.g. for a cut the body needs to stop the bleeding, regenerate tissues, scab and heal).  Interrupting the mission of inflammation would eventually lead to a body that never heals itself.

When the body is unable to regulate the immune response, problems arise.  What started as a healthy mission turns into its own enemy and becomes chronic inflammation.  Eventually, chronic inflammation causes diseases and conditions such as allergies and asthma, arthritis, eczema, heart problems and cancer, to name a few. Contrary to its initial purpose, inflammation causes diseases because it reduces autoimmune reactions, destroys cells, causes muscle tension and compresses nerves and damages tissues.

How cryotherapy can help

Whole body cryotherapy was developed in 1978 by Dr. Yamauchi, a Japanese rheumatologist, after he discovered how effectively sudden cold exposure relived his rheumatoid arthritis patients pain and inflammation.

The genius of cryotherapy is in it's simplicity: the cold air so rapidly cools the skin that the mind activates "survival mode," whereby the body protects it's core temperature through peripheral vasoconstriction and redirection of the blood supply to the core.  The cardiovascular system has a natural cleansing/replenishment process during which it removes inflammatory enzymes and toxins, and replenishes the blood with oxygen, nutrients, anti-inflammatory enzymes and red blood cells.  After the short 3-minute cryo-session, this replenished blood is released back to peripheral tissues where it goes to work to combat inflammation.

The fact that chronic inflammation causes diseases is well recognized and accepted, although the reasons for its presence is still open for discussion. Stress, lifestyle, environment chemical stimuli, nutrition all some factors that lead to excessive inflammation.  

With the trend towards non-pharmaceutical therapies that activate your body's natural healing mechanisms, perhaps it's time to dip your toe into cryotherapy--especially since it takes only three minutes to receive so many health benefits!

    How To Recover From Sports Injury

    "What's the best way to recover from my injury?" is a question we get asked all the time.  This obviously depends on the injury, and since we are not doctors we always recommend you get a professional diagnosis.

    Here are some of the most common injuries for which doctors send their patients to us:

    Some Common Sports Injuries

    Sprains. Injuries to ligaments, the fibrous connective tissues that connect one bone to another. In first-degree sprains, the ligament is stretched; in second-degree sprains, some fibers are torn; in third-degree sprains, most or all of the fibers are torn. In general, first-degree sprains produce only pain and swelling, second-degree injuries are often accompanied by weakness and bluish discoloration due to bleeding, and third-degree sprains produce severe weakness and decreased mobility.

    Strains. Injuries to muscles or tendons, the fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones. Commonly known as muscle pulls, strains also come in first-, second-, and third-degree varieties. Like sprains, strains are usually caused by a misstep or fall that places excessive force on a tendon or muscle, so that fibers are stretched or torn.

    Tendinitis. Inflammation of a tendon, often caused by overuse or poor body mechanics. Pain is the major symptom, but warmth, swelling, and redness may occur. The pain is typically most severe at the start of exercise; it eases up during exercise, only to return with a vengeance afterward.

    Fasciitis. Inflammation of the layer of fibrous tissue that covers many muscles and tendons. Overuse is often to blame. A common example is plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the sole of the foot, which plagues many walkers and runners.

    Bursitis. Inflammation of the small, fluid-like sacs that cushion joints, muscles, or bones like miniature shock absorbers.

    Arthritis. Inflammation of a joint (arthritis) or the membrane that surrounds it (synovitis). Like bursitis, joint inflammation often occurs without being triggered by exercise, but both problems can also result from overuse or trauma. Pain and swelling ("water on the knee," for example) are common symptoms.

    Dislocations. Dislocations occur when bones slip out of their proper alignment in a joint. A deformity is often visible, and the joint is unable to move properly. Although some athletes attempt to realign (reduce) a dislocation themselves, it should be done by a physician or highly experienced trainer or therapist.

    Muscle cramps and spasms. Unduly strong and sustained muscle contractions that can be very painful.  Stretching will help relieve cramps; hydration and good conditioning help prevent them.

    PRICE it Right!

    PRICE is the tried-and-true protocol for dealing with injuries and is an acronym for: Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

    Protection. Injured tissues must be protected against further injury.

    Rest. Injured tissues need time to heal. It's an obvious principle, but once you're hooked on exercise you may be tempted to ignore it. Don't!  Rest selectively and pursue alternative sports/exercise.  Injuries can often be blessings in disguise, forcing you to diversify your workouts and acquire new skills.

    Ice. It's the cheapest, simplest, yet most effective way to manage many injuries. Ice is an excellent anti-inflammatory, reducing swelling and pain. For best results, apply an ice pack for 10 to 15 minutes as soon as possible after an injury. Repeat the ice treatment each hour for the first four hours, then four times a day for the next two to three days. Protect your skin with a thin cloth.

    Compression. Pressure will help reduce swelling and inflammation. In most cases, a simple elastic bandage will suffice; it should be snug but not too tight. Remember that swelling may develop slowly hours after your injury, so you may have to loosen your wrap.

    Elevation. Enlists the force of gravity to drain fluid away from injured tissues, reducing swelling, inflammation, and pain. You can simply prop your injured limb up on a pillow above heart level.

    Therapies to Speed Your Recovery

    If you have a major injury — or if your nagging woes don't clear up — get help.  Primary care physicians can handle many exercise-induced problems, but more difficult issues require orthopedists, physical therapists, massage therapists and chiropractors.  You can also speed your recovery through innovative, natural therapies that activate your body's natural healing mechanisms.

    Cold Laser Therapy.  Cold laser therapy has been used for years to speed recovery, because it activates cellular healing and regeneration.

    Whole Body Cryotherapy.  Cryotherapy works at the cardiovascular level, prompting the body to cleanse the blood of inflammatory enzyme and toxins, and replenishing the blood with oxygen, nutrients, anti-inflammatory enzymes and red blood cells.

    Soft Tissue Work.  Sports Massage Therapists, Airrosti practitioners and some Physical Therapists perform the role of breaking up scar tissue, restore function, improve mobility (helping stretch muscles and regain range of motion).

    Chiropractors. Primarily concerned with structural integrity of your spine and joints, Chiropractors can help realign and balance your high-performing body.

    Your body is amazingly resilient and has the capacity to self-heal, provided you give it the appropriate time and attention.  Pay the right PRICE and seek the right help to get back on the field as quickly as you can!

    Resources:

    Harvard Health Newsletter

    Sports Injury Clinic

    8 Steps To Prevent Sports Injuries

    Because we help people recover from their injuries, we get asked this question all the time: "How can I prevent sports injuries?"

    According to our medical director, Harvard Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medicine and EXOS, here are the top 8 things you can do to prevent injuries:

    Exercise Prehab (Warm-up): If you're going to invest time training, then you need to invest time in what is called "prehab." To get started, use Floor Y's and T's to help protect your upper body, mini band walks for your lower body, and pillar bridges for core stability.

    Movement Prep (Dynamic stretching): Movement Prep prepares your body for movement. It’s a series of innovative and dynamic movements that increase your core temperature, prepare your nervous system for physical activity and strengthen your body.  Try these!

    Proper exercise technique: Does this need further explanation?  How many friends do you know who've injured their backs or shoulders with improper lifting techniques?  Or head injury from poor tackling form?  You must practice perfect form to prevent injuries.

    Proper protective gear: My cycling coach once told me, "If you have a $10 dollar head, buy a $!0 helmet." 'Nuff said.

    Proper hydration and nutrition: Just as you cannot drive a race car without high-octane gas, you cannot drive your body without proper fuel.  Think in these terms: Refuel, Rehydrate, Rebuild.  Ideally you should consume a smoothie, energy bar, piece of fruit, and/or sports drink immediately following a workout or race, with a carbohydrate:protein ration of 2:1 (~0.8 gram of carbs per kilogram of body weight and 0.4 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight). To learn more, read "The New Science of Recovery Nutrition."

    Adequate rest and recovery: Probably the most important AND neglected aspect of injury prevention. Youth should get at least 9 hours of sleep, while adults need at least 8 hours of sleep.  Recovery is a topic unto itself and in addition to what's been discussed also includes myofascial work (rolling), cryotherapy, compression therapy, massage therapy and chiropractic.  Read this!

    Cross-train and use variety of exercises/motions to reduce repetitive/stress injuries: Change up your workouts, include multi-planar exercises and build diversity into your routine to limit the stress to ligaments, tendons and joints created from single sport/workout regimen.

    Stretching/Cool-down: After reviving the engine to red-line, spend 5 minutes at the end of your workout to cool down.  During this time, perform static stretches to enhance your flexibility and range of motion.

    Sources:

    EXOS Performance

    American Academy of Pediatrics

    Johns Hopkins Medicine

    Recovery for Ironman

    Matt Dixon, IRONMAN Master Coach (and author of The Well-Built Triathlete) is known as the "recovery coach" for the importance he places on restoring your body between workouts. Our friends at Life Time Fitness' Experience Life magazine put together this Q&A with Dixon; we think it offers the best bang for your buck in terms of recovery education. 

    Experience Life: In your book, you discuss the "four pillars of performance." Can you explain what they are and why they’re important?

    Matt Dixon: The four pillars of performance are: endurance training, recovery, nutrition, and functional strength. This explanation is a driver to retain a more balanced approach to training and performance. By shifting the training emphasis away from simply training, and placing equal emphasis on all four of the pillars, we enable athletes to retain a logical and smart decision-making process in their daily life.

    The four pillars are really an educational tool to help athletes gain and retain a strong vision and framework of decision making as they undergo their own journey of performance. Too many highly motivated athletes are driven only by accumulating training hours and lose sight of the big picture of performance evolution.

    I believe in aiming to make complex areas of performance simple, so by teaching athletes to focus on the four pillars, this ensures that the essential areas such as recovery, eating and fueling well, and maintaining a specific functional strength program, will never become afterthoughts. Instead, they become a part of the comprehensive plan.

    The beauty of this approach is that is provides athletes with a basic fallback to allow perspective when making daily decisions. I find this helps achieve the magic word of performance evolution: consistency.

    Each of these pillars relates to each other and can have great positive impact if practices are put into place—as well as negative results if ignored or approached incorrectly.

    Are all four of these pillars essential and equal—or can you make fitness gains without giving your body time to recover from training, for instance?

    Any successful long-term performance evolution should absolutely include focus on all four pillars of performance.

    As individual performance improves, the required focus becomes greater, since the marginal gains become tougher to achieve. While there are plenty of athletes who have improved or achieved solid results while compromising one or more of these areas, this doesn’t mean that any of them are not essential; many short-term gains have ended in future roadblocks of performance, or even declines, due to insufficient focus on one or more of the areas.

    There is nothing revolutionary about this, yet athletes consistently struggle to make smart decisions and apply required focus on these areas. The result is typically either declining or plateaued performance over time, or a lack of results relative to effort put in.

    It’s important to understand that shifting one’s lens to truly focus on all pillars of performance does not equate to a short cut to success or less work. Triathlon is a challenging sport that rewards hard and consistent work. The key is to make this effort effective, and ensure that athletes are able to achieve long-term results and rewards, and continue to improve year after year. My record of athlete development is an area I am very proud of, and am sure that a strong part of the reasons of our success is the commitment to both specific and progressive workload, as well as a heavy emphasis on our four pillars of performance.

    What are the benefits of recovery?

    The simplest benefit of recovery is that it enables you to maximize the results of your training.

    Many athletes and coaches make the mistake of thinking of recovery as a short cut or a route to do less. But the truth is that properly integrated recovery enables you to do more training that will yield positive results. Instead of viewing recovery as laziness or a short cut, I encourage athletes to view it as a part of the plan that allows more work.

    The benefits of properly integrated recovery are that you can create an incredibly consistent training approach that maximizes the results from your hard work and enables you to arrive at your races both fit and prepared to perform.

    I think athletes should remember that our goal is not simply fitness; it is about preparation to race well. That subtle shift in focus can evolve the athlete’s relationship with recovery and how powerful of a tool it can become.

    What does "recovery" mean?

    Recovery is not "taking time off." In fact, some of my athletes seldom have a complete day of no exercise. I segregate recovery into three main areas:

    Training recovery encompasses building lower stress training or breaks into the architecture of the training plan. Beginning at the 10,000-foot view, this can be season breaks, multiple days of recovery and rejuvenation, or simply workouts that are design to facilitate recovery from the harder foundational sessions.

    Lifestyle recovery includes the all-essential sleep and downtime, nutrition, fueling, hydration, and other life activities that can help, such as meditation or naps. Post-exercise fueling—or the lack of it—is one of the major contributors to poor endurance performance, and hence a massive component of recovery.

    Recovery modalities include, if I am being cute, the "recovery you can buy." In other words, modalities are all of the secondary recovery tools, such as massage, compression gear, and foam rollers, which can be important, but pale in importance when stacked against training and lifestyle recovery.

    With this established, it becomes clear that there is no single recipe or strategy for recovery, as individual athletes require different amounts of these different types of recovery. This is why recovery needs to be established as a part of a program, and a strong pragmatic mindset needs to be retained.

    If you are keen for some rules of thumb, I like to get in front of fatigue with shorter and more frequent mini-blocks of recovery. I typically have athletes take two to three lighter days of lower-stress training about every 10 to 14 days. Some athletes bounce back after a single day; others require two to three days.

    One thing that we know is least effective is to load for three continuous weeks, then spend an entire week recovering from the efforts. This classic build-build-build-recover schedule makes little sense and is certainly not the most effective method of designing a training plan.

    How important is it to listen to your body, versus setting an arbitrary recovery schedule?

    The key is setting the mindset and education. Once athletes shift their relationship with the recovery process and its role in the training process, they can make less emotional decisions and actually track and listen to their body. This has wider implications than simply understanding when it is time to rest.

    With the advent of so many training "tools," such as GPS and power meters, many of today’s less-experienced athletes have poor self-regulation and poor understanding of how they feel during and following the workout. We call this "athletic IQ"—a term coined by coach Gerry Rodrigues of Tower 26 training. Development of your athletic IQ is a powerful tool for all athletes to have.

    Why do some people fail to embrace the need for recovery?

    It takes courage to recover. Nearly all athletes fight a natural emotional battle with the concept of recovery. Nearly all athletes know how to train hard, yet few can truly embrace recovery with the same vigor. Hence, a lack of confidence is the typical reason athletes skip recovery.

    It is easy to understand how this occurs. The first piece of the puzzle is the relationship that most athletes establish with recovery. They tend to view it as a time of laziness or decline, instead of viewing it as a performance booster and facilitator of more effective work.

    The other reason recovery fails is a lack of understanding of how to effectively apply it. Remembering the three areas of recovery—training, lifestyle, and modalities—many athletes simply don’t know how the recovery recipe is woven together, and end up only focusing on the easily accessible and fancy modalities, while missing out on the foundational lifestyle and training recovery protocols.

    Does recovery mean less training?

    Quite the reverse. It means more training that is more effective.

    To think that recovery equates to less training is to set a very short term and myopic lens on the overall training plan. Just retreating to a slightly wider lens and viewing training over a week, or a few weeks, let alone a month, is an easy way to see how recovery is a key part of the overall plan. Unfortunately, too many coaches and athletes make immediate decisions for today, even if it means a negative impact on tomorrow. This is a lack of smart discipline.

    Does recovery mean sitting at home on the couch watching TV?

    In the same way that "training means exercising.' You may choose to include some TV time in your recovery, but this would be a slither of the recovery puzzle.

    As mentioned previously, recovery is made up of training recovery, lifestyle recovery, and recovery modalities. All three play a role in the training approach, and cannot be discussed without consideration of the roles the others play.

    What are the biggest mistakes people make during recovery?

    If we consider recovery periods being lighter workouts, or multiple days of lighter workouts, the biggest mistakes include:

    Going too hard: Shifting emphasis mid-session and evolving the session into a workout that is tougher than anticipated. Many athletes struggle with too small of a divergence in intensity and load between easy workouts and key foundational sessions.

    Under-fueling: Many athletes fail to follow proper fueling protocols on lighter sessions and days, and certainly fail to eat enough daily calories to maximize recovery. They tend to fall into the old trap of "calories in, calories out," which doesn’t work for training athletes.

    Filling up the day: I see many amateur athletes filling the free time with lighter or shorter workouts with other chores and activities, but still fail to sleep and rejuvenate. You don’t want to remove a training stress, and simply replace it with a different life stressor.

    What is the difference between overtraining and under-recovering?

    Over-training occurs through repeated chronic poor practices—either too much load, or under-recovery from the load. The term "over-training" is thrown around too much in our sport; it’s very challenging for athletes to drive themselves to over-training.

    On the other hand, many athletes tend to under-recover, which I view as an athlete failing to maximize the yield from training. They are failing to train and yield positive adaptations, either from too much training load, or a failure to properly recover due to poor fueling, rest, sleep, or any other component.

     

    Cryotherapy Relieves Chronic Pain?

    Could whole body cryotherapy relieve your pain and inflammation?  Since the days of Hippocrates, athletes, warriors and everyday people all over the world have used cold (cryo) for health benefits.

    American researchers have been studying the potential health benefits of whole body cryotherapy (WBC) since its arrival to the U.S. in 2011, but WBC was developed in 1978 by a Japanese rheumatologist to treat his rheumatoid arthritis patients.  The genius of cryotherapy is it's natural and simple application: Patients are exposed to extremely cold (-175F to -202F) air for three minutes, which triggers a physiological response that activates the body's natural cardiovascular cleansing and replenishment.

    Dr. Christina Lasich, M.D. wrote, "The analgesic (pain-relieving) effects of cryotherapy are related to three specific changes in the body. First, the nerve signal transmission is slowed. Reducing the amount of nerve signals getting through to the brain might relieve pain in some individuals. Second, nor-epinephrine levels increase after cold immersion. This stress-induced chemical reduces pain sensitivity as a protective mechanism in times of life-or-death situations. 1 And lastly, cryotherapy can reduce pain intensity and frequency by reducing inflammation. All of these potential benefits can be measured in the lab, but how does cryotherapy measure up in the real world."

    She continues, "Arthritic joints, frozen shoulders, muscle injuries and other types of painful conditions have all been found to benefit from cryotherapy.2, 3, 4 People with these conditions experience less pain and are able to return to normal activities sooner. How much cold is necessary and for how long are still questions being worked out. Not everyone has access to expensive cold air chambers, but a little cold could go a long ways towards helping those with chronic pain."

    Don't you think pursuing a natural therapy that takes only three minutes is worth the try?

      Sources:

      http://www.healthcentral.com/chronic-pain/c/240381/159043/cryotherapy/

      1. Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 2008;68(2):145-53
      2. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Jan;94(1):9-16
      3. Sports Med. 2010 Jun 1;40(6):509-17
      4. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2006 May-Jun;24(3):295-301

      How Does Cryotherapy Reduce Inflammation?

      howdoescryotherapyreducepainandinflammationchampioncryotherapy.jpg

       

      You've probably heard about how professional athletes are flocking to whole body cryotherapy (WBC) to accelerate their recovery and help them perform at their maximum thresholds.  But were you aware that cryotherapy was developed by a Japanese rheumatologist to treat his patients suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis?

      CRYOTHERAPY REDUCES INFLAMMATION

      How does cryotherapy reduce inflammation?  As with many discoveries, the genius is in the natural and logical approach.  Cryotherapy simply activates your body's natural pain and inflammation fighters by tricking the brain.  As you chill for 3-minutes in a dry, cold air cryosauna, the air so rapidly cools your skin that your brain signals the circulatory system to shunt blood supply to the extremities in order to maintain core temperature.  This activates your cardiovascular system's natural cleansing process (removal of inflammatory enzymes and toxins) and replenishment process (restores oxygen, nutrients, red blood cells and anti-inflammatory enzymes).  After the 3-minute cryotherapy session your super-charged blood is now released to your extremities and brain.  Those anti-inflammatory enzymes, nutrients and red blood cells nourish inflamed joints, connective tissues and muscles, bring relief from pain and inflammation.

      CRYOTHERAPY RELIEVES PAIN

      As we discussed in a prior Blog post, you need not fill your body with pharmaceuticals to find relief from pain and inflammation.  Our bodies have an amazing capacity to self-heal, so the trick is to find natural foods, natural supplements, and natural therapies which activate those self-healing mechanisms.

      Cold therapies like whole body cryotherapy, light therapies like low level laser therapy (LLLT), soft tissue therapies like HyperIce vibration and massage therapies all activate your body's self-healing mechanisms--without any side effects.

      You can find relief from chronic pain and inflammation without pharmaceuticals.  Treat your body naturally--you deserve it!

      Sources:

      Nature: http://www.nature.com/articles/srep18525

      For podcast click here: http://traffic.libsyn.com/foundmyfitness/cryotherapy_solocast_1.mp3

       

       

       

      Cryotherapy for Skin Care?

      cryotherapyforskincarechampioncryotherapy.jpg

      Does cryotherapy really enhance skin complexion?  Demi Moore and many other celebrities have credited whole body cryotherapy as the secret to their youthful complexion.  To understand how, let's begin with some basic understanding.

      First, most skin care products are focused on stimulating collagen, which is the protein behind strong cartilage, joints, skin and hair.

      Second, your skin is the largest organ of your body and a barrier of protection from the environment.  Comprised of several layers, the dermal (middle) layer is supported by an intricate collagen matrix that gives skin its strength and resilience. As we age, collagen production slows down and the collagen matrix in the skin is not as ‘tight’ as it used to be, leaving the skin more vulnerable to damage from the elements (sun, stress) as well as fatty deposit build-up in the dermal layers causing cellulite.

      So how does cryotherapy affect your skin?  As you step into a cryosauna, dry cold air (-175F to -202F) chills your skin for 3 minutes.  Your body responds to this cold by shunting blood supply from your extremities and to your vital organs in order to maintain core temperature.  During this vasoconstriction process, your body's cardiovascular system naturally eliminates toxins and replenishes the blood with oxygen, nutrients, red blood cells and anti-inflammatory enzymes.

      Once you step out of the cryosauna, your body immediately sends the oxygen- and nutrient-enriched blood back to peripheral tissues (vasodilation), including your skin cells.  Even though there is no damage to the skin from being exposed to the cold air, the body still attempts to “repair” the outer layer of skin.  Essentially, this physiological response activates your body's natural restorative process to accomplish two things::

      • Boost collagen production;
      • Reduce damage from oxidative stress.

      So while cryotherapy is boosting collagen production, it’s also inhibiting the stress hormone cortisol and the collagen-attacking enzyme collagenase from breaking down existing collagen.  The result is visibly tighter skin, reduced appearance of cellulite and enhanced complexion.

      This does not happen overnight from a single session, but routine cryotherapy treatments can help rejuvenate the collagen matrix, improve your skin’s resilience and reduce the appearance of cellulite and fatty deposits at the skin’s surface.

      Come discover for yourself what so many others are experiencing: youthful, beautiful skin and many other benefits including reduced pain and inflammation, accelerated recovery from exercise, and increasing metabolic rate and energy levels, and elevated overall well-being.

       

      http://collagencomplete.com/increase-collagen-production/

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14705809

      Maximize Your Exercise During Recovery

      Do you want to get the most out of your Barre3 or CrossFit workout? Would you like to swing the tennis racket or golf clubs more often with less pain?  Are you the weekend warrior competing in triathlons, marathons or centuries?

      Research—and common sense—shows that the key to performance is not only in the training, but more importantly in how effectively and quickly you recover from those killer workouts.  Think of recovery techniques as the legal form of performance enhancement.  Your training regimen MUST include a recovery regimen—these are two parts of the whole.

      8 Keys to Workout Recovery

      1. SLEEP

      You cannot, as many people think, “catch up on” sleep. The body doesn’t work that way. You need to get at least eight hours of sleep every night - 10 if you can. Consider it part of your workout, and schedule it just as you would a training session.

      2. HYDRATION

      Your body also requires water.  The Institute of Medicine recommends that men drink 13 cups or 3 liters of fluids per day; women should drink 9 cups or 2.2 liters per day. This does not include the additional amount required due to loss from exercise.  The most important thing is that you do not get thirsty as this is a sign that you are already dehydrated.

      3. NUTRITION

      Your body requires proper nutrition properly timed.  The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 25 grams of quality protein with 0.5 to 0.75 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight within the first 30 minutes post-exercise.  Your body requires 0.7 – 0.85 grams of protein per pound of body weight, preferably spread out over 5 meals (~every three hours), to develop muscle mass.

      4. MOVEMENT PREP and STRETCHING

      Strength and power without flexibility means you are an injury waiting to happen.  But, you should not stretch before warming up (studies show it makes you temporarily weaker).  Thus, you must incorporate a movement prep/dynamic stretch routine prior to any workout.  After you’ve warmed up, then add the static stretching and a foam roller, to break up knots and further release tension.

      5. CRYOTHERAPY

      Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) is a research-proven cold therapy that triggers your body’s natural pain and inflammation fighters.  Chill in a cold air sauna for 3 minutes, and your body activates its restorative process.  The results are relief from pain and inflammation, accelerated muscle recovery, boosted energy levels and vitality, increased metabolic rate and elevated well-being.  There's a reason every professional sports league is rapidly replacing ice baths with cryotherapy.

      6. MASSAGE (PROFESSIONAL) AND SELF-MYOFASCIAL RELEASE (FOAM ROLLING)

      Many put off a massage till we are so tight we can barely move. Don’t wait that long. Get therapeutic massages to prevent that in the first place.  No Pain – No Gain: myofascial and deep tissue sport massages will release tension and improve range of motion.

      7. Normatec compression therapy

      Compressed air massage boots designed to massage legs to reduce soreness, help flush lactic acid/fluid build-up, improve circulation and prevent/reduce early stage varicose.  These boots have been widely adopted by the athletic industry--they flat-out work!

      8. CHIROPRACTIC

      Heavy lifting over the years puts an enormous amount of torque on your joints and spine.  Structural issues can lead to muscular issues and vice versa.  Chiropractors can take almost anything that’s out of alignment and set it right again. Invaluable to preventing serious injuries before they happen.

      Sources

      http://www.coreperformance.com/daily/recovery/5-recovery-secrets-of-endurance-athletes.html

      http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/110413p18.shtml

      http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1008372-11-easy-postworkout-snacks-science-work/#slide=1

      http://www.gssiweb.org/Article/sse-120-recovery-techniques-for-athletes

      http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1011244-top-10-moves-recover-workout/

      Is Cryotherapy A Fad?

      Pokemon Go? Fad.  Angry Birds? Fad.  Twerking?  FAD (thank God)!!!

      A fad as defined by Webster's is "an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object's qualities; a craze."  So is cryotherapy a fad?

      History of cryotherapy

      Developed in 1978 by a Japanese Rheumatologist (Dr. Yamagughi) and with almost 40 years of research-proven benefits, cryotherapy is definitely not a fad.  Dr. Yamaguchi originally designed cryotherapy to decrease pain and inflammation for his rheumatoid arthritis patients; since then, many new benefits have been research-proven: accelerates athletic recovery, elevates metabolic rate (aiding fat loss), enhances skin complexion, improves sleep quality, and strengthens the immune system.

      Cryotherapy did not reach the U.S. until 2011, which may make it seem like a fad only because it is still somewhat unknown and yet is so quickly gaining exposure.  Professional sports franchises, college athletic departments and a health-conscious American culture with an appetite for natural therapies, have all adopted cryotherapy because it works.

      doctors validate benefits of cryotherapy

      Assessments from some of the nations' top orthopedics further validates the experience of those who've tried cryotherapy.  Many renowned doctors and physical therapists are beginning to promote cryotherapy for relief from pain and inflammation, accelerated recovery from exercise, and overall health and wellness (see http://championcryotherapy.net/champions-blog/2017/2/9/what-do-doctors-think-about-cryotherapy).

      Fad? No.  Too good to be true? Only you can decide.  Certainly, the benefits for many are too good to not try it!

      Reference on cold therapy:

      https://selfhacked.com/2016/10/19/12-reasons-embrace-cold/