The new Wellness Centre here at Camiral Golf and Wellness is the first facility in Spain to have a MECOTEC double cryotherapy chamber. Here’s everything you need to know about cryotherapy treatment and what it can do for you…

Cryotherapy was once a treatment reserved for elite athletes, but it is becoming increasingly accessible for all and we are proud to be offering it in our new, state-of-the-art Wellness Centre.

We have partnered with world-leading cryotherapy company MECOTEC to offer this transformational treatment, and we for this blog post we talked to one of the world’s most respected experts in cold exposures and therapies, Dr Christophe Hausswirth.

So let’s dive in and find out more about what cryotherapy can do for you…

What is and how does cryotherapy work?

Whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) uses extremely low temperatures of -110°C to stimulate the body. When you enter the cold chamber, skin temperature decreases and the cold receptors are stimulated, setting off a chain of events in your body.

Blood vessels close to the surface of the skin narrow, causing blood flow to the peripheries to decrease which slows down the metabolic processes in these areas. Inflammation and swelling are reduced as a result.

The cold temperature also causes blood flow to the core to increase, which raises blood pressure and, in turn, muscular oxygenation. This is a good thing, as it reduces muscle pain and damage, therefore aiding recovery.

Whole-body cryotherapy also stimulates a process in the body called ‘baroreflex’, which is responsible for maintaining blood pressure. There are two branches to the autonomic nervous system: the sympathetic ‘fight or flight’ response and the parasympathetic ‘rest and digest’ response. The stimulation of the baroreflex by whole-body cryotherapy activates the parasympathetic nervous system.

What are the benefits of cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy and its positive effects on the parasympathetic nervous system are known to be associated with greater health and wellbeing. Studies have found it can help improve depression and anxiety, aiding an overall sense of wellness.

It can also slow down the ageing process, improving the firmness and hydration of the skin and fighting against cellulitis.

Other benefits include:

  • Reduced muscle pain and soreness
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Help prevent muscle injuries
  • Improve stress management
  • Decrease restless leg syndrome
  • Decrease back pain (in conjunction with physiotherapy)
  • Improve light fibromyalgia

What will a cryotherapy session in the Wellness Centre involve?

At Camiral Wellness Centre, you will enter a pre-room before the chamber (-60°C) in a swimming costume or shorts and t-shirt, along with socks/shoes, gloves and mouth and ear protection which are provided.

After about 30 seconds, you will enter the cryotherapy chamber and stay there for 2.5 to 3 minutes, during which time you will move around doing light cardio exercise. The faster and more intensely you move, the colder you will get.

The operator will talk to you throughout the session through an integrated microphone, guiding you on what to do and letting you know when it is nearly time to leave the chamber. You can also listen to your favourite music during the session, further enhancing the experience.

How many times do you need to use cryotherapy for it to be effective?

This depends on the effect intended and the individual. There is no straight formula. Some people can experience a major improvement in sleep from just one session, while others may have to do five sessions before they see a difference. 

Generally, we follow these guidelines:

1 session

  • Can improve sleep but for few people only (decrease in fragmentation index)
  • Reduce muscle soreness after exercise 
  • Increase general wellbeing

3 sessions

  • Reduce muscle pain
  • Prevent muscle injuries for some people
  • Improve tapering before a major event (sport or job context)

5 sessions

  • Increase immobile time in bed and decrease restless leg syndrome
  • Decrease back pain (in combination with physiotherapy treatment)
  • Improve light fibromyalgia

10 sessions 

  • Increase sleep quality 
  • Improve antioxidant status
  • Decrease the level of anxiety
  • Improve stress management
  • Prevent burn-out or overreaching
  • Could facilitate weight management in accordance with high intensity training and applied nutrition

How can cryotherapy benefit golfers?

Cryotherapy has long been beneficial for and very popular among sportspeople, so golfers of any level would benefit from cryotherapy.

It can help the body recover from the fatigue of playing 18 holes or an intense practice session, and regular treatments can also help treat and prevent golf-related injuries such as golfer’s elbow and sore backs.

Playing golf at Camiral is seen as a way to enhance physical and mental wellbeing, so doing so in conjunction with cryotherapy is a strong recipe for a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle. As you can see, Wellness Centre at Girona is much more than a spa, cutting-edge technology therapies like cryotherapy make your experience an authentic holistic wellness program to take care of your body.