Cryotherapy: A Comprehensive Overview

Definition of Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is a physiotherapeutic procedure based on short-term contact of the skin with a gas cooled to a temperature of -130°C. This method is widely used to treat a number of severe diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, bronchial asthma, and psoriasis. During a cryotherapy session, the patient, with minimal clothing, is exposed to cryogenic gas for 2-3 minutes. The therapy is typically administered in cycles of up to 20 days, with a frequency of up to 4 procedures daily. For those seeking advanced cryotherapy solutions, SMART AGE TECH offers cutting-edge equipment and technology, ensuring optimal results and patient safety.

The Essence of the Method

Cryotherapy involves the rapid cooling of the body’s surface in a short period of time (up to 3 minutes), using extremely low and ultra-low temperatures (ranging from -70°C to -130°C). The procedure is designed to avoid frostbite of the skin surface and general hypothermia of the body.

General Cryotherapy

In general cryotherapy, the patient enters a special room filled with chilled gas. Depending on the size of the room, the patient may either move around (in multi-person cabins) or stand still (in cryocabins or cryobasins). In Russia, devices for general cryotherapy are marketed under the trade name “cryosauna.” The term “cryogenic chamber,” commonly used in the West, has not gained popularity in Russia due to the ambiguous connotation of the word “chamber.”

Research indicates that brief exposure of the entire body to cold activates all the body’s adaptive resources. The immune, endocrine, thermoregulatory, and neurohumoral systems work simultaneously during the procedure.

Local Cryotherapy

Local cryotherapy targets specific parts of the body, which are covered with cooling elements or blown with a stream of cooled air. The effectiveness of the procedure depends on the temperature level in the area of cold receptors of the skin (0.17 mm deep). The maximum signal of receptors occurs when cooling to the subterminal level of -2°C. Cold receptors start signaling when cooling is below +2°C.

The preparatory phase of the procedure, during which the skin surface is cooled from 32°C to +2°C, lasts about 2 minutes. The minimum duration of the procedure is 2 minutes, with a maximum exposure time of 3 minutes. The heat dissipation during the procedure is 10 times higher than the calorific capacity of the human body, making it impossible for the patient to adapt to cryotherapy. Therefore, the choice of exposure time does not depend on the patient’s fitness but rather on the anatomical features of the subject, primarily the thickness of the epithelial layer of the skin.

Indications and Contraindications

Indications for local cryotherapy include:

– Wounds

– Burns

– Ligament diseases

– Joint diseases

– Migraine

– Multiple sclerosis

– Neuralgia

– Degenerative joint diseases

– Rosacea

– Seborrhea

– Atopic dermatitis

Contraindications include:

– General severe condition of the body

– Cold allergy

– Pregnancy, especially in the presence of Rh conflict

Cryotherapy is suitable for individuals of various ages but is recommended for those with a body weight of at least 40 kg.

The effectiveness of general cryotherapy depends on the volume of disorders in the body. The more significant the disorders, the higher the subjective evaluation of the procedure. Healthy individuals typically do not observe significant improvements in well-being after the procedure.

History of Cryotherapy

The use of cold for therapeutic purposes dates back to ancient times. The Egyptians used cold to treat injuries and inflammation as early as 2500 BC. Dominique-Jean Larrey, Napoleon’s legendary surgeon, utilized cold to ease amputations during the historic retreat from Moscow. Between 1845 and 1851, Dr. James Arnott of Brighton, England, described the benefits of the topical application of cold for treating conditions such as headaches and neuralgia. Arnott used saline solutions with crushed ice at temperatures ranging from -18°C to -24°C to freeze breast, cervical, and skin cancers, observing tumor shrinkage and significant pain reduction. However, his device was cumbersome, with limited freezing ability and applications.

In 1877, Kaye of France and Piquet of Switzerland developed an expansion system for cooling gases. In 1892, James Dewar of Great Britain designed the first vacuum flask for storing and handling liquefied gases. Von Linde of Germany established the commercial liquefaction of air in 1895-1896. In 1889, Campbell White, a New York physician, reported using liquid air (-190°C) to treat various skin diseases, including lupus erythematosus, shingles, hard chancres, warts, and epitheliomas.

Solidified carbon dioxide (-78.5°C) was introduced into clinical practice by Dr. William Pusey of Chicago, who used it to treat warts, vascular nevi, lupus erythematosus, and common lupus. Liquid oxygen (-182.9°C) entered clinical practice in the 1920s but was dangerous due to its flammability. After World War II, liquid nitrogen (-196°C) became commercially available and was introduced into clinical practice by Dr. Ray Allington in 1950.

Modern cryosurgery originated from the collaborative work of physician Irving Cooper and engineer Arnold Lee, who created the cryosurgical probe. Between 1961 and 1970, various cryosurgical devices using liquid nitrogen and other cryogenic agents were developed. In 1967, Setrag Zakarian introduced a hand-held device for creating self-tension, leading to the first commercially available handheld cryosurgical device.

Modern Advances in Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy has since evolved significantly, incorporating advanced technology and research. Today’s cryotherapy treatments are highly sophisticated, offering targeted and efficient cooling methods. Cryotherapy is not limited to medical applications but is also used in sports medicine, wellness, and beauty industries.

Athletes use cryotherapy to enhance recovery, reduce muscle soreness, and improve performance. Many professional sports teams and athletes incorporate cryotherapy into their training and recovery regimens. The quick cooling effect helps in reducing inflammation and accelerating healing processes.

In the beauty industry, cryotherapy is popular for its anti-aging benefits. Cryofacials, for example, use localized cryotherapy to improve skin tone, reduce wrinkles, and enhance overall skin health. The cold stimulates collagen production, leading to firmer and more youthful-looking skin.

Cryotherapy in the UAE and SMART AGE TECH

Cryotherapy has gained immense popularity worldwide, including in the UAE. As more people become aware of its benefits, the demand for cryotherapy services continues to grow. If you are considering opening a spa or wish to attract more clients, investing in cryotherapy equipment can be a lucrative decision.

SMART AGE TECH offers state-of-the-art cryotherapy equipment, including the innovative “icepod.” The icepod represents the latest advancement in cryotherapy technology, providing an exceptional experience for users. This equipment is designed to deliver precise and consistent cooling, ensuring optimal results with every session.

By incorporating cryotherapy into your spa services, you can offer clients a cutting-edge treatment that enhances their well-being and beauty. Whether for therapeutic purposes, athletic recovery, or skincare, cryotherapy is a versatile and highly effective solution.


Cryotherapy is a versatile and powerful therapeutic method that has been used for centuries. Its applications range from treating severe medical conditions to enhancing athletic performance and improving skin health. With advancements in technology, cryotherapy continues to evolve, offering more precise and effective treatments. As its popularity grows, investing in high-quality cryotherapy equipment, such as those offered by SMART AGE TECH, can help businesses attract more clients and provide exceptional services. Whether you are looking to open a new spa or enhance your existing offerings, cryotherapy is a valuable addition that can set your business apart.

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