Ok, we have scads of options that may help us (menopausal women) feel better.
Things like light therapy, sound therapy, binaural beats, Tibetan bowls, pole dancing, netti pot, just to name a few.
So what do I try?
Getting into a chamber that is cooled to -200 degrees (F) for 3 minutes. This is known as Cryotherapy.
Am I really THIS fed up with hot flashes?? Well yes, that happens to be the case. But I’ve had some general joint aches and pains from hormone imbalances as well as a painful rotator cuff injury to my right shoulder that happened late last fall. I’ve worked with a great Chiropractor for months and we’ve seen a small improvement but things haven’t budged for weeks.
So, off I go to try this crazy idea.
First, let me say the cold is definitely shocking and I grew up in a ski resort in Idaho and endured temperatures of -40 degrees (F).
This video was my first Cryotherapy treatment which only lasted 2.5 minutes, all additional treatments have been 3 minutes. So give this a quick watch. It’s pretty funny and then I’ll tell you what I’ve noticed and a bit more about Cryotherapy when you’ve had a chance to have a good laugh at my expense.
I gotta’ tell ya’, I was nervous about the treatment, but Deb at CryoPDX, here in Portland, OR, walked me through the details of what to expect during the session. I am also comforted that someone supervises my treatments. The conversation is a nice distraction and makes those last 30 seconds bearable.
What I’ve Noticed
1. The last 30 seconds are REALLY cold and I just had to grit my teeth to get to the finish. The skin on my legs feel a bit prickly and I just feel super cold. But it’s a dry cold and I noticed that I began to warm up quickly after the session.
2. It’s definitely a mood elevator! Hallalulla! How, exactly, does this happen? It’s because the treatment releases endorphins into the bloodstream, and I felt the enhanced mood immediately after the first session. The endorphins interact with pain receptors, reducing pain perception. Cortisol levels are reduced, and well, that makes for happiness. Cryotherapy also stimulates the vagus nerve, reducing anxiety and fatigue. I truly LOVE this benefit!
3. Since I began Cryotherapy, I’ve enjoyed several good nights of sleep. Usually, I’m waking up every 2-ish hours between my hot flashes and my grouchy, ouchy shoulder. Oh, sweet sleep, how you have eluded me! Might you be coming back to me? Oh, how I hope!!
4. I’ve felt an overall uptick in my energy level and it feels like I just have more vitality.
5. Today (March 21, 2017), I had my 4th treatment and I have not had any hot flashes yet today. In full disclosure, I am also on newly formulated bio-identical hormones as per my doctor. You can watch a short excerpt of an online interview with Dr. Samantha DuMoulin (formerly Mathers) as she explains Bio-identical Hormones. I’d love to bid farewell to hot flashes!
What I haven’t noticed yet is any improvement in my shoulder, but I’m open that I might feel a difference in the coming weeks. I don’t think I can expect miracles after just 4 treatments….but after 10? Sure! Why not?
Ok, So How Does It Work?
While in the chamber (3 minutes), the low temperature creates a systemic reaction in your body, constricting blood vessels and muscle tissue to force blood towards your core. During these moments your body will dump oxygen, enzymes, and endorphins into your bloodstream. In just these few short minutes, your body has filtered toxins. SWEET!
Now your super-oxygenated blood enriched with enzymes and nutrients flow back to your extremities and peripheral tissues. The healing process warms the muscles, increases flexibility, range of motion and speeds up recovery time. Over the next 24-48 hours with reduced inflammation, many attest to reduced joint and muscle pain.
I’ve done tons of reading about cryotherapy. There are different schools of thought; some love it, some not so much. But the science seems sound and the experience is really the clincher!
My verdict after 4 treatments is a resounding thumbs up! A big fat Woohoo and a Hell Yes!
I feel the physical benefits with my energy and mood elevation and I’ve experienced a few nights of great sleep…and I want more…of all of it!
I bought a very affordable package from CryoPDX for 30 days of treatment. I’m going to be religious about this over the next 30 days to see what additional changes I notice. I’m pretty excited! Stay tuned for more!
Let me know if any of you have tried Cryotherapy by commenting below. I’d love to hear about your experience.
More interesting articles about Cryotherapy: