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The term cryotherapy comes from the Greek “cryo” meaning cold and “therapeia” meaning cure. Cryotherapy can be traced back to ancient Greece when it is reported that Hippocrates prescribed the use of ice and snow to treat inflammation and pain.
Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) originated in Japan in 1978 when Dr. Yamauchi started using freezing treatments of short duration on his rheumatoid arthritis patients for pain management. With cryo-procedures, Dr. Yamaguchi found he could reduce the soreness his patients felt during
joint manipulation. The rapid decrease of temperature of the outer layer of skin led to the immediate release of endorphins and therefore less sensitivity
This research led to exposing the entire body to cold temperatures with the development of cryogenic chambers. Most notably, Professor Fricke
of Germany, revealed the benefit of Whole Body Cryotherapy on patients suffering from chronic inflammatory conditions.
Today, WBC is an accepted form of treatment in Germany and Poland and can be found in over 70 hospitals in central and eastern Europe, with acceptance spreading quickly throughout the world. While most of the research has dealt with the effects of WBC on chronic inflammatory conditions, recently there has been a body of research focusing on the benefits of WBC in sports performance.
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