The topic of preserving youth and health is ever popular and never loses its validity and with constantly advancing technology connected to cryotherapy the question is – what is the best treatment? Let’s focus today on two of them: cryochamber and cryosauna.

Both machines are used in similar situations – in the field of good feeling, health, beauty and regeneration after sports. They use cold to activate the flow of adrenaline and endorphins, which help with tiredness, depression, mood and sleep disturbances, skin problems and many more . But what is the difference between cryosauna and cryochamber?

Let us start with what a cryosauna really is. Cryosaunas are often described as resembling a stand-up tanning bed with the patient’s head kept above the machine. Cryosaunas offer a “direct” exposure to nitrogen (nitrogen is inside the machine). Cryochambers, however, are whole-body treatment chambers, head included, which offer an “indirect” exposure to nitrogen (there is no nitrogen in the chamber). Having the basics explained, which treatment is better: cryosaunas or cryochambers?

It is essential to begin with the safety of these machines. On the one hand, the cryosauna can be perceived as safer since the patient’s head is outside of the machine. But on the other hand, this method presents other risks – what is used in this treatment is non-breathable nitrogen vapor, which is directly injected onto the patient’s skin. A direct exposure to nitrogen can cause skin damage and cold burns . And, on top of that, in a situation when the patient, even accidentally, lowers his head and breathes in the vapor, there is a risk of losing consciousness or asphyxiation.

Contrary to the cryosauna, the cryochamber uses breathable cold air which does not pose any threats to the patient. The “indirect” expose to nitrogen means that the gas, which goes to the heat exchanger located outside of the cabin , is only used to cool down the air and then leaves the room through the ventilation system – it has no direct contact with the patient.

Of course, for both methods there are contraindications to use, like certain illnesses, but it would be advisable to limit the potential threats to the patient to the minimum, namely there is no need to add an extra risk of, for example, asphyxiation.

Another aspect of safety is the construction of the machines. The cryosauna is built with a large step to enter the lift inside the chamber, which elevates the patient to the right level as the head must be above the treatment tube. It is not advised to people with movement impairments. What this entails is the fact that in case of the lift being out of order, the machine cannot be used.

Meanwhile, the cryochamber has a small step to enter the machine which does not present much difficulty to people even with a disability. To enhance the comfort of the treatment, the position of a window is automatically adjusted in order for the patient to look through, with no need to lift him up. Therefore, there are no technical contraindications to use the machine.

When it comes to effectiveness of both treatments, a study from Hausswirth and colleagues compared whole-body therapy (cryochamber) (3 minutes at -110°C/- 166°F) to a “direct,” nitrogen cooled sauna (3 minutes at -160°C/-256°F). They noted a difference is skin temperature directly after the treatment and concluded that “whole-body cooling is much more significant than partial body cooling in the activation of the autonomic nervous system, the system responsible for nerve function and cellular activation”1. Based on that, the cryochamber has more systemic influence on the patient as the nervous and circulatory systems of the body as well the head are given a boost.

And the last but not the least important aspect is the health benefits. It has been reported that cryosaunas, or other partial body cryotherapy units where the head must be kept above the machine, have lower operating temperatures compared to whole-body cryochambers. This is due to the fact that liquid nitrogen evaporates while being sprayed onto the body (“direct” exposure). Cryosaunas, being built as a tube, have no ceiling, thus it is hard to keep the temperature stable. The sauna’s temperature distribution is non-homogeneous, with some parts of the body more directly exposed to the cold than others. Moreover, information on the exact temperatures during the treatment is often lacking –it is hard to control safety and physiological responses.

Cryochambers, on the other hand, function in a close circuit with cold air. The body is evenly exposed to cold air whose temperature is digitally regulated on the screen with appropriate treatment protocols. Every parameter is diligently controlled in order for the patient to achieve the best result of the treatment with the highest standards of safety.

Taking these factors into account, for the patient to experience the best health effects of elevating sleep problems and tiredness, accelerating blood flow and metabolism, eradicating inflammations, and regenerating after injuries and sport activities, the more controlled method is preferred – cryochambers are more reliable than cryosaunas.

To sum up, cryotherapy is getting more and more fans and it is important to be informed about the advantages and disadvantages of all available options. We hope that the data presented above give enough insight into the advancement of cryo-technology. Considering all the benefits, and also the downsides, it is clean than cryochamber poses fewer threats to the patient and it is safer to use with all the health aspects kept in mind.

Resources

  • 1] http://vip-cryochamber.com/ 25.11.2019
  • 2] “CRYO CHAMBER VS. CRYO SAUNA: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?” https://blog.cryo.com/whole-body-cryotherapy-chamber-versus-cryo-sauna 25.11.2019
  • 3] http://kriogenika.juka.com.pl/en/krioterapia/ 25.11.2019
  • 4] “Cryo Cold Treatments At The Wellness Clinic At KurSpa – Sparkling Hill Resort” https://www.sparklinghill.com/cryo-cold-chamber-treament 25.11.2019