There are many benefits associated with full-body cryotherapy, with muscles being able to recover quicker thanks to the reduction in inflammation that it provides. However, whilst it may be increasingly popular among athletes looking for a boost in performance, in this blog, we look at how full-body cryotherapy can help to support the brain and in many cases, to help it heal. (ncbi 2015)
Benefits of Cold Therapy
Whether full-body cryotherapy is implemented in a purpose-built chamber or via cold water immersion, it’s been proven to help the brain in a variety of ways. In an interview given with Joe Rogan, Doctor Rhonda Patrick detailed some of the key stress-responses that occur in the body when it is subjected to intense cold. Let’s have a look at a few of those now. (YouTube 2017).
A funny thing happens in the brain when it full-body cryotherapy is performed as ‘cold-shock proteins’ are released. Known as RBM-3, this protein is able to rebuild the synapses that exist in between neurons, which can be particularly helpful to someone with a neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s or a brain injury. (ncbi 2015)
Synapses are formed during our lives when we experience events and memories are formed, which means that regrowing them with cryotherapy is something that can literally improve cognitive function and heal the damage caused by trauma. In laboratory tests, mice that have been genetically engineered to have Alzheimer’s have been shown to have had their symptoms delayed by the treatment and while this has not been observed in humans, it’s a promising sign.
Neuro-Epinephrine (AKA Norepinephrine)
Another interesting effect of full-body cryotherapy is the release of a powerful neurotransmitter known as Neuro-epinephrine. Linked with increased energy, improved mood, and enhanced focus and concentration, Neuro-epinephrine also reduces inflammation and pain – so much so that hypothermia is actually used in a clinical setting for those with traumatic brain injuries.
The more research that is done, the more it appears that full-body cryotherapy can be used to treat the brain in a truly meaningful way, which is great news for an estimated 24 million people that currently suffer from Alzheimer’s diseases across the world. And whilst the science behind this treatment is still in its infancy, the initial findings offer much hope for the future. (ncbi 2019)
The reconstructive effect that full-body cryotherapy has in the brain also offers some positive news for those suffering from other neurodegenerative diseases like Huntingdon’s and Parkinson’s. Being able to rebuild synapses in this way is just one of the many benefits of what is quite a remarkable, yet simple form of treatment and it’s quite exciting to think of the potential future applications.
RBM3 mediates structural plasticity and protective effects of cooling in neurodegeneration – Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4338605/
Whole-body cryotherapy’s enhancement of acute recovery of running performance in well-trained athletes – Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=25561577
Alzheimer Disease – Retrieved from
Cryotherapy: norepinephrine, inflammation, and neuron-regeneration – Dr. Rhonda Patrick – Retrieved from