For quite sometime now, I got curious about why some footballers used to step into ice bath, players like C. Ronaldo once asserted that stepping into a cold ice bath has become part of his recovery activities he engages in.
Can it be the reason for his phenomenal physical shape that astounds millions of his fans, clubs and rivals?
Let's study it together
Cryotherapy just like the name captured was derived from two words i.e. Cryo and Therapy.
Cryo - is from the Ancient Greek words which means "Low temperature" while Therapy - is a medical treatment, an attempted remediation of a health challenges usually following a medical diagnosis recommended by a medical expert in such field. Therefore, Cryotherapy is also refer to as cold-water immersion or cold therapy and it is the process of stepping down part of the body into ice water for several minutes, as shown in the image above.
It is usually recommended after rigorous exercise has been carried out, that is why some footballers used to apply the medicine after their football matches or training exercise. Exposing one self to low temperature has been confirmed to have a number of health benefits.
some of these benefits includes:
- It reduces inflammation, swelling and sore muscles. May be this is the reason why an athlete in general opt for it in order to speed up their recovery session after long and rigorous exercise.
- It has been confirmed to have a positive link with the quality of sleep one engages in and directly proportional to the quality of life.
- It has also been confirmed to have a positive link with immune response system. Thus it can be recommended as a precaution to engage with in order to improve one's immune system especially during this covid-19 pandemic in which research has revealed that strong immune system can protect one from contacting Covid-19 pandemic.
- It also has been confirmed to aid in speeding up metabolism (all chemical reactions requires in sustain the living state of the cells and the organism).
- It helps in reducing arthritic pain.
- It may help when treating low-risk tumors.
- It can also be used to treat and help in preventing various types of cancer by killing the cancer cells at various degree of cold temperature.
- Never subject yourself to cryotherapy more than what is recommended by your doctor.
- Despite many scientific proof supporting the use of cryotheraphy for health benefits, however whole body cryotherapy is still under research. there is a mixed reaction over the whole body cryotherapy so it is advisable to seek attention from your doctor whether it’s right for you.
Like I simply asked in an introductory part of my last blog here, 'If it is true that human beings take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide during the course of breathing?' Of course yes! However, during the course of breathing, inhaling oxygen is an unconscious process (a natural and automatic process that takes place only in the mind of an individual and with no human interference of whatever).
However, it is being regulated by the ANS (autonomic nervous system), luckily it is an insensate practice and that makes it easy for us to exercise break once in a while otherwise it would not have been easy to deal with.
Research has revealed the fact that the amount of energy we inhale determines the amount of energy that gets into our body cells, also varies is the way human beings breath, more so, the way an individual breathes influence the nature of chemical and physiological processes in our body.
Using breathing technique to improve one's health status is to sustain one's level of breath for a while depends on the capacity an individual has developed overtime. It used to varies from one person to another depends on the level of commitment and the will developed over time. One may start from seconds to minutes.
It is easy and works well by following the processes below:
- Be comfortable
[Image source: Flickr]
This is the first thing to consider whenever you want to engage in cryotherapy surgery and it is just by following a meditation process, you may sit or lie down but one must only ensure he/she can easily expand his/her lung easily with no limitation
- Secondly, one should inhale thoroughly either through the nose or mouth but exhale first through the mouth. This is known as Deep breath
- After the last exhalation, try to inhale one final time. Inhale as deeply as you can for the final time, then let the air out and stop breathing. You then hold until you feel the urge to breathe again. This is called The hold
- and lastly, once you feel the urge or need to breathe again, all you need is to extract big breath to fill up your lungs, your belly and chest. Once you are at full capacity, you should hold the breath for about 15 seconds, then let go. With that you have completed the first round of the exercise. You can repeat it as many as possible without interval. This is called The Recovery Breath
The more you hold firm to pause breathing, the more healthier you become. However, it is very risky at times and can lead to unexpected if care is not taking.
The following precautions should be taken into consideration when applying the techniques.
- It is recommended to sit or lie down before putting it to practice.
- It is recommended to practice the technique before taking a meal or when waking up after a long sleep when the stomach will be empty.
- It is recommended not to practice the technique when one is inside the water or near the bodies of water.
- One should take cautions when practise the techniques because it can lead to loss of consciousness and sometimes affect motor control.
- It is not recommended for pregnant women.
- It is not also recomended for children because breathing techniques can lead to lightheartedness and loss of consciousnessa
- The breathing techniques can cause lightheadedness and even loss of consciousness. So Children are often advise not to take part in breathing techniques. Additionally, their brains are in developing stage.
Both Cryotherapy and Breathing Exercise can be combined together with commitment to form three pillars which Wim Hof Method uniquely powerful is based upon. Just like I discussed above, it turns out to improve one's health status which is essential to live a quality life.
Now that you have known the three pillars of Wim Hof Method , I do hope you will start practicing it. Thanks for reading through.
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