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The Survival Instinct

The modern way of life is one that is focused on being pleasant and comfortable.

We are always searching for that perfect temperature, deciding what our next meal or snack will be, or what mode of entertainment we will choose for our night in on the sofa. We are grateful that we can live our lives within this level of comfort; however, being in your comfort zone prevents your body from being challenged; and without a challenge, there is no change.

Our ancestors developed a natural reaction to danger so we could instinctively prepare ourselves for whatever threats we would face; these are known as “stress responses”. These stress responses are created by our autonomous nervous system and cause numerous changes to the body, an example of this is the “Fight or Flight” response.

With Cryotherapy we can harness these benefits by triggering these responses in a controlled environment. When you expose the body to extremely cold temperatures your autonomous nervous system perceives the body to be under threat. The response to this threat is to ensure survival; our blood starts moving from our extremities into the core of our body, and we take shorter and sharper breaths to increase our blood oxygen levels, and this oxygen and nutrient rich blood is then pumped into the vital organs. The release of adrenaline and noradrenaline also energises the body, placing you into a heightened state of alertness and reduces your pain perception.

Once the body is no longer exposed to the cold temperatures or under threat; in response the autonomous nervous system will create an up-to-date picture of the body’s current state of health. By doing so, it can theoretically help the body re-assess its innate healing priorities and reallocate its resources to the areas that are in need of those resources to ensure future survival. The nutrient rich blood flows back to the extremities and starts the healing process, then beginning to move back to a stable state to achieve homeostasis.

This explains the immediate effects of feeling energised, excited and ready to take on the world after a Whole Body Cryotherapy session. It feels great, and in return your body will release endorphins as a reward. However, the benefits that come with regular use are much greater. The stress responses from Cryotherapy lead to much greater health benefits including:

  • A stronger immune system
  • Increased blood circulation
  • Boost recovery
  • Improved cell function
  • Better mental health

Other stress responses that have a positive impact on your body are:

  • Physical exercise
  • Heat stress
  • Mental challenge
  • Time restricted eating

See our benefits page, blogs and social media for more information on how Cryotherapy and stress responses can help you!