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Impact of whole body cryotherapy on core and muscle temperature

Whole body cryotherapy: do you get the shivers?

It might make you shiver just thinking about experiencing temperatures of -130°C (-202ºF) for several minutes.

In this blog, we explain the effect of whole body cryotherapy on core and muscle temperatures.

What is core temperature?

This is the typical temperature range found in humans. The normal range is usually stated as 36.5–37.5ºC (97.7–99.5ºF). This temperature depends upon many factors such as age, whether the body is fighting infection, gender, activity, etc. The core temperature at rest is typically maintained within this range by thermoregulation. …


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Recently, two players of Missouri State Bears Basketball team were sidelined for a game after developing blisters on their feet following a whole body cryotherapy (WBC) session. The incident became national news and openly questioned the safety and legitimacy of WBC.

WBC is associated with freezing temperatures (ranging between -90°C/ -130F and -190°C/ -310F), potentially affecting the health of the client. Bleakley and colleagues. …


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Cold water immersion (CWI) has a long history of usage in (sports)practice. It was Dr. James Currie who undertook the first recorded experiment in 1790 on the effects of CWI on humans. The history of whole body cryotherapy (WBC) is much shorter, Dr. Yamauchi was the first recording experiments using WBC in a group of rheumatic patients in 1979. Both modalities are now widely implemented though often either CWI or WBC is used while excluding the other. Why? Do CWI and WBC indeed have similar effects following exposure or is there room for both?

CWI involves immersing the body or parts of the body (for instance the legs only) in cold water at a temperature lower than 68°F / 19°C. WBC involves a short exposure (2–4 minutes) to frigid air (-166°F/-110°C to -220°F/-140°C) in an environmentally controlled chamber for short periods of time (2–4 minutes). CWI and WBC can both be regarded as therapeutic modalities, a form of stress applied to the body to elicit an involuntary physiological response. If the intensity of the modality application is too low or the treatment duration too short, little or no benefit will be gained. …

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