This article on Epainassist.com has been reviewed by a medical professional, as well as checked for facts, to assure the readers the best possible accuracy.

We follow a strict editorial policy and we have a zero-tolerance policy regarding any level of plagiarism. Our articles are resourced from reputable online pages. This article may contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.

The feedback link “Was this Article Helpful” on this page can be used to report content that is not accurate, up-to-date or questionable in any manner.

This article does not provide medical advice.


Cryotherapy in Spa Therapy : Benefits, Types, and Safety Concerns

Cryotherapy in spa therapy has been in the news these days because this new trend of cryotherapy spa has been embraced by many celebrities in recent times. Cryotherapy means “cold therapy” and it is a technique where any one particular area or the whole body is exposed to extremely cold temperatures for several minutes. Cryotherapy in spas has been growing in number across the United States in the past few years. There are several mental and physical health benefits of cryotherapy in spa therapy. Read further and explore the benefits of Cryotherapy for health and wellness.

Cryotherapy In Spa Therapy: An Overview

Cryotherapy has remained a beauty secret for many Hollywood celebrities for its anti-aging and weight loss benefits. Moreover, many sports stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Padraig Harrington own their personal cryo chambers, and this has made cryotherapy in spa therapy the perfect complement to an active and beautiful lifestyle.

Cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen to cool the body. The cold temperature forces blood vessels in our body to contract, forcing blood back to the heart. Blood flow gets increased with this process and this can help with healing injuries and promoting active life.

Types of Cryotherapy in Spa Therapy

Cryotherapy can be of several types. Some of them are as follows.

Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC)

The whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) involves standing or sitting in a cryo-chamber for two to five minutes. During this process, a person’s body is exposed to liquid nitrogen in subzero temperatures, usually between -100 degree Celsius to -140 degrees Celsius, in the cryo-chamber.(1) This helps in enhancing the health benefits of cryotherapy throughout the body.

People undergoing cryotherapy in spa therapy are required to wear minimal clothing and enter the cryo chamber. You might require wearing a face mask and a headband to protect your ears, nose, and mouth.

NOTE: It is important to note that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved or cleared that this type of cryotherapy is a safe or effective treatment for any sort of medical condition. The U.S. FDA has a complete webpage that it has found little evidence supporting the effectiveness and safety of Whole-body Cryotherapy (WBC).(2)

Localized Cryotherapy

Another type of cryotherapy is localized cryotherapy which involves applying an ice pack or cold compress to a specific part of the body. Such a type of cryotherapy is used for reducing pain and inflammation in a specific portion of the body, such as a muscle or a joint.


This involves applying cold nitrogen gas to the face for some minutes, which helps in reducing puffiness and inflammation in the face. It can also enhance skin tone and improve the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

How Does a Cryotherapy Session in Spas Work?

In spas, a cryotherapy session could be done either in a single-person cryo chamber or multiple-person chambers. Before you begin, you are outfitted with gloves, dry socks, and slippers for protecting your extremities from extreme cold.

In a single-person cryo chamber, your neck and head would be sticking out of the cryo-sauna so that you would be breathing regular air. However, in some multiple-person cryo chambers, you go completely head-to-toe into the cool space, so earmuffs or hats should be worn to cover your ears. For protecting the nasal passages from the extreme cold, a face mask must be worn.

As an extra safety precaution, your oxygen level must also be monitored. However, you should not worry, as you will be completely safe during these treatments in cryotherapy sessions.

Benefits of Cryotherapy for Health and Wellness

Reduces Symptoms of Migraines

One of the most known benefits of cryotherapy is that it can help in treating migraines. This is possible because cryotherapy cools and numbs down the nerves in the neck area and thus reduces the severity of migraines.

A study has found that migraine pain in participants could be reduced significantly by applying a neck wrap containing two ice packs to the carotid arteries in their neck.(3) It is believed that this thing works by cooling the blood that passes through intracranial vessels. The carotid arteries are pretty close to the surface of the skin and easily accessible.

Pain Relief and Muscle Recovery

Cryotherapy can effectively provide pain relief and help in muscle recovery. Thus, many people choose WBC as a quicker and an effective solution to their problems related to pain or muscle injury. Many athletes have been using cryotherapy to treat injuries for years. Cryotherapy can numb any irritated nerve and provide you relief from pain.

A small study conducted in 2000 has shown that whole-body cryotherapy could offer short-term relief from pain caused due to rheumatoid arthritis.(4) A review of multiple studies done in 2014 determined that whole-body cryotherapy has a small impact on pain relief and muscle recovery when compared with cold-water immersion or local application of ice packs.(5)

Might Help in Weight Loss

Some people believe that whole-body cryotherapy could help in reducing weight. Cold temperatures force the body to work harder for remaining warm.

The theory that acts here is that an increased effort will boost the body’s metabolism, however, according to a study in 2016, it has been found there is no significant evidence of change in body composition even after ten sessions of WBC.(6)

Reduces Inflammation and Provides Relief from Arthritis

A study found that WBC reduced pain in patients with arthritis quite significantly.(7) It was found that cold treatment was well-tolerated. So, one more benefit of Cryotherapy is that it reduces inflammation and offers great relief from arthritic pain.

Might Help Treat Low-risk Tumors

Localized cryotherapy can also be used as a cancer treatment.(8) In such a context, the targeted, localized cryotherapy is known as “Cryosurgery”. This works by freezing cancer cells and surrounding those cells with ice crystals. This therapy is now being used for treating some sorts of low-risk tumors for certain types of cancers, which also include prostate cancer.

Skin Health Benefits of Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy has a significant benefit on skin health. It can help in treating a skin problem known as atopic dermatitis. This is a chronic inflammatory skin disease when the affected person has dry and itchy skin. Since Cryotherapy can improve the levels of antioxidants in the blood and can simultaneously reduce inflammation, it could help in treating atopic dermatitis.(9) A study conducted in mice has shown that cryotherapy had a significant effect on acne, targeting the sebaceous glands.(10)

Mental Health Benefits of Cryotherapy

It is hypothesized that Cryotherapy can prevent dementia. It does this by reducing inflammation associated with cognitive decline or impairment. However, more research and testing of this theory is required.(11) The same hypothesis has also led to theories of whole-body cryotherapy treating various mental health issues.

According to a study conducted in 2008 that included sixty outpatients, it has been found that there are shreds of evidence that WBC could be considered as a short-term treatment for anxiety and depression.(12)

Apart from this, the anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of Cryotherapy could also help combat the inflammatory and oxidative stress responses that occur in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.(13)

Hair Health Benefits

It has been tested and proven that localized cryotherapy is effective in preventing unwanted loss of hair that could be occurring due to chemotherapy and also help in hair growth in people with alopecia.(14, 15) However, many women using WBC to rejuvenate their skin and enhance the metabolism of their bodies, also report that Cryotherapy makes their hair and fingernails grow faster and healthier.

Safety and Risks Associated with Cryotherapy

One of the most essential things to remember before trying any form of cryotherapy either in spas, gyms, or any other healthcare center, you should thoroughly speak to your doctor. Make sure not to try this Cryotherapy if you have a pacemaker, a history of stroke, severe hypertension, high blood pressure, seizures, or a high risk of infection, claustrophobia, or if you are pregnant. This is because certain health conditions might worsen with whole-body cryotherapy.

WBC has been known to cause cold panniculitis (a rash caused due to cold injuring fatty tissues), and frostbite in some cases.

Undergoing a Cryotherapy treatment for more than a few minutes could be fatal. Never practice whole-body cryotherapy without proper supervision and never sleep in a cryo chamber.


It must be mentioned that though cryotherapy in spa therapy has been gaining popularity because of its effectiveness in offering some excellent health benefits, it is not a medical treatment and doesn’t require a doctor’s prescription. It s also not an FDA-approved treatment for any condition. More research on the effectiveness of cryotherapy is still required.

If you are considering cryotherapy, consult with a healthcare professional to determine if it is a safe and effective option for you.


Also Read:

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 18, 2023

Recent Posts

Related Posts