Cryotherapy For Weight Loss

Does Cryotherapy For Weight Loss Work?

Cryotherapy is an innovative treatment that works by exposing the body to extremely cool temperatures for brief periods. Cryotherapy has gotten a lot of hype recently as it’s often used to treat medical issues that may not respond to more conventional methods. Migraines, inflammation, arthritis, and even some mood disorders are sometimes treated with cryotherapy. 

Due to the established link between cool temperatures and fat reduction, there has been some speculation that cryotherapy may help with weight loss. While the connection is unclear, some promising studies show a correlation between cryotherapy and a reduction in body mass. 

What Is Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy exposes your body to extreme cold temperatures for brief periods for medicinal purposes. Patients stand in a cryotherapy chamber that covers their whole body except their head, and the air within the chamber goes as low as 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Sessions times vary from person to person but do not exceed 5 minutes. 

Cryotherapy can treat conditions such as chronic pain, migraines, and arthritis. In recent years – thanks in part to forms of aesthetic medicine like CoolSculpting – there has been debate as to whether cryotherapy could help with weight loss. 

Cryotherapy For Weight Loss: The Evidence 

CoolSculpting is a form of aesthetic medicine that uses a handheld device that freezes fat cells, causing them to die and then be expelled by the body. Scientists developed the idea of CoolSculpting after looking at what happens to the body during frostbite. Fat freezes at a higher temperature than the skin, so the CoolSculpting device is safe enough for the skin but cold enough to eliminate fat cells. As cryotherapy also exposes the body to extreme temperatures, there’s been some debate as to whether it could help with weight loss. 

There have been some promising studies on the link between cold exposure and weight loss. A 2013 study in the Journal Of Clinical Investigation found daily exposure to cold temperatures for two hours a day over six weeks reduced body fat by 2%. Researchers found brown adipose tissue (BAT) burns fat to help the body make extra energy in response to cold. A 2014 study showed exposing diabetes patients to increasingly cold temperatures followed by warm temperatures for four months helped the body process glucose. While not explicitly linked to weight loss, increased sugar metabolism can help the body digest sugars that would otherwise be converted to body fat. 

In terms of a direct link between cryotherapy and weight loss, a 2018 study in the Journal of Obesity found cryotherapy activates a process called thermogenesis, leading to a 3% loss in body fat. There are also other benefits to cryotherapy that could help a patient attempting to lose weight. Studies have shown cryotherapy helps you recover faster from exercise and reduces inflammation, for example. 

Is Cryotherapy Right For Me? 

Most healthy adults can safely undergo cryotherapy. Your practitioner will make every effort to ensure your safety before, during, and after the procedure. You will have an initial consultation to go over your medical history to ensure cryotherapy is safe for you and be given instructions to prepare for the procedure as well as detailed aftercare instructions. 

Certain medical conditions may put you at an increased risk for cryotherapy complications. If you have diabetes, you may not be a good candidate for cryotherapy as you are at an increased risk for nerve damage. 

Is Cryotherapy Safe? 

When working with a qualified medical professional, cryotherapy is considered very safe. Some patients may experience temporary side effects like numbness, a tingling sensation, redness, and skin irritation. These usually pass on their own within 24 hours. 

Cryotherapy should never be done for more than 5 minutes and should always be supervised by a trained provider. 

Cryotherapy For Weight Loss: The Bottom Line 

While there are limited studies on cryotherapy’s impact on weight loss, there is some promising early research on the topic. Cryotherapy may also help with exercise recovery and inflammation, making your body better adept at losing weight. Most healthy adults can undergo cryotherapy safely when working with a qualified practitioner, and the procedure may have other medicinal benefits. The best way to determine whether cryotherapy is right for you is to book a consultation with a professional. 
Interested in cryotherapy? At CORR, our cryotherapy chamber features two rooms for optimal temperature control and our boost function helps members achieve their goal in only 2 minutes. Reach out here to learn more.