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Cryotherapy comes from the Greek “Cryo” meaning cold and “therepeia” meaning cure.
For over 4000 years, Cryotherapy has been used for a variety of reasons. The Ancient Egyptians used ice and snow to treat pain, injuries and reduce inflammation as far back as 2500BC. In 460-370BC Ancient Greeks soaked in cold water, emerging feeling stronger and more powerful. Throughout the 1800’s, the use of Cryotherapy spread throughout Europe in a variety of uses and applications.
During the 1970’s in Japan, Dr. Yamuchi started using what is now known as Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC). By using short freezing treatments on rheumatoid arthritis patients’ skin surface for the purpose of pain management, Dr. Yamuchi changed the face of cold temperature therapy. When the patient’s outer skin was exposed to the fast decrease of temperature, there was an immediate release of endorphins, lessening the sensitivity to pain typically felt during the movement of their joints. Over the next 10 years, his clinic treated over 2000 patients with rheumatic disease, reporting 80% returned to normal life without pain.
In 1979 the method of WBC was presented by Dr. Yamuchi at the Rheumatology Congress in Germany. Shortly thereafter, Professor Fricke commissioned the first WBC Chamber to be used outside of Japan, perfecting the methodology utilized all over the world today.
Whole Body Cryotherapy is now an accepted form of treatment all over Europe and much of the world. It is common practice as part of athletic and health practices from medical facilities, to professional sports training facilities to US Olympic teams.