Cryotherapy 4 Mental Health

Extreme cold is a medical, physical treatment widely used in sports medicine. Athletes of all abilities have found cryotherapy to be a useful recovery and rehabilitation tool that relieves symptoms of inflammation, muscle spasm and pain associated with injury and overuse.

High school athletes, weekend warriors and grocery-carrying moms have all hurt themselves at some point and needed help.

In a recent Gravity Float & Wellness spotlight blog, CrossFit athlete and professional coach Ryan Stokes highlighted his reasons for regular trips into the cryosauna and how they aid in his recovery. “CrossFit tests your body. In the gym I do everything from gymnastics to Olympic lifting. It’s challenging for sure. In a heavy workout week, I might go into Gravity, 2-3 times for a Cryo-session. The -160° temperature improves my circulation and helps my body, to help itself recover.”

Powerful sports medicine technology.
But the benefits of Cryotherapy don’t stop there.

In addition to its use as a physical treatment, Cryotherapy has emerged as an adjunct treatment for anxiety and depression disorders. In a preliminary report by a Polish research team (Cryo technology was perfected in Poland), it was revealed that Whole Body Cryotherapy induced relaxation, elevated mood, enhanced memory, improved vigor and significantly decreased tension and fatigue in the participants. (Rymaszewska, Ramsey, Chladzilnska-Kiejna, & Kiejna, 2007). All this from extreme cold air temperatures.

So how do you get a piece of this?

For optimum mental health results, clients should commit to a series (5-8 to start) of Cryo sessions of 2-3 minutes each, with temperatures ranging from -110° to -160°. This range of time and temperature will increase endorphin levels and stimulate hippocampal brain function. Ryan called this “an endorphin dump.” Scientists describe it as the body’s ability to initiate an adaptive response such as increased awareness, improved cognition, euphoria, and enhanced analgesia (Smith & Vale, 2006).

The best part…No prescriptions. No side effects. Cold air is 100% natural.

Is it a coincidence then that while Ryan is talking about his CrossFit athletes and his own high intensity workouts, that he is exceptionally positive, impassioned and whole hearted? “…2.5 minutes in the cryosauna makes me alert. It’s like splashing cold water on your face-only better. My energy levels are higher throughout the day and I’m still able to complete paper work in the evenings with focus.”

No coincidence at all. 

Ryan’s experience supports the literature. Through CrossFit and Cryotherapy, he’s achieving mind blowing, consciousness expanding levels of elation and euphoria. Who couldn’t use some more of that!

Trained staff at Gravity Float & Wellness can help you determine the best temperature/time ratio to meet your individual needs.



Lorraine Miller
Lorraine Miller
Lorraine Miller is a lifestyle writer whose articles and blogs feature interesting people, places and businesses. A former educator, she is a community volunteer and loves living and writing in the Okanagan.