History of cryotherapy
The term cryotherapy comes from the Greek cryo meaning cold and therapeia meaning cure. The history of cryotherapy can be traced back to ancient Greece when it is reported that Hippocrates prescribed the use of ice and snow to treat inflammation and pain.
Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) originated in Japan in 1978 when Dr. Yamaguchi started using freezing treatments of short duration on his patients’ skin surface for pain management of rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Yamaguchi found the rapid decrease of temperature of the outer layer of skin led to the immediate release of endorphins and therefore less sensitivity to pain.
His research led to the exposure of the entire body to these extreme temperatures with the development of cryogenic chambers. Further research in Europe and in Soviet Russia revealed the benefit of Whole Body Cryotherapy on patients suffering from chronic inflammatory conditions and on elite athlete’s training programs.