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BRAIN FREEZE: WHOLE BODY CRYOTHERAPY AND ANXIETY/DEPRESSION

The World Health Organization estimates that 350 million people are affected by depression. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 18% of the US adult population is affected by an anxiety disorder of some kind. That is an enormous number, one that does not even begin to bring light to how difficult it can be to try and live life when dealing with anyone of these conditions. The stigma, the treatment resistance, the “wise words” of people who tell you, “you just have to want to be happy” or to “chill out.”

What if “chilling out” brought new meaning to the way one might approach mental health? After a 15 visit whole body cryotherapy trial, an experimental group had reporting improvements in both their anxiety and depression rating scales (Rymaszewska, et. Al, 2008). As well, Szczepanska-Gieracha et. Al, (2014) reported that whole body cryotherapy “on the mental state encourages
it’s use in typically psychiatric disorders, particularly depression, where it could be used in addition to the applied therapy, or in cases where the current therapy does not bring desired effects.” The articles both go into the improvement of the quality of life of the participants of the study, which with mental health, is a huge aspect that should be maximized for coping. That sort of empowerment is sometimes all you need to get through a mental block.

Perhaps next time you’re trying to get out of a “negative mind set” you can step into our chambers for a negative degree temperature experience. Experience a jump-start to your body’s natural endorphins and hopefully experience each day the way you’re supposed to: with a “chill” mind set.

Rymaszewska, J., Ramsey, D., & Chładzińska-Kiejna, S. (2008). Whole-body cryotherapy as adjunct treatment of depressive and anxiety disorders. Arch. Immunol. Ther. Exp. Archivum Immunologiae Et Therapiae Experimentalis, 56(1), 63-68.

Szczepańska-Gieracha J, Borsuk P, Pawik M, Rymaszewska J. Mental state and quality of life after 10 session whole-body cryotherapy. Psychology, Health & Medicine [serial online]. January 2, 2014;19(1):40-46. Available from: SPORTDiscus with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 5, 2016.