Updated: Sep 21, 2019
An Autoimmune Disease is a condition in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your body. This attack can cause localized and body-wide inflammation and pain. So how do you put the fire out? I'm glad you asked.
In America, when you have an Autoimmune Disease, doctors will tell you you're crazy, a hypochondriac, give you insane medications created for other ailments, or tell you they simply can't help you. Oh - and don't forget - there's no cure.
From what I understand in my research, it's an entirely different ball game across the pond. If you have Autoimmune in the UK, not only does the government pay for your doctor's appointments, but they also pay for your medications! And in many places, Cryotherapy is a mainstream treatment and first stop after being diagnosed with an Autoimmune Illness.
What is Cryotherapy and How Exactly Does it Help?
The term Cryotherapy means "the use of extreme cold in surgery or other medical treatment." And no - it's not that thing that happened to Harrison Ford that one time in space.
Cryotherapy is widely used in these 3 ways:
1) Full Body Cryo Chamber (this is the method I use and highly recommend) - This walk-in freezer hits temperatures of negative 125 - 160 degrees F! This option is referred to as "Electric Whole Body Cryotherapy".
2) Nitrogen Tank - Referred to as "Nitrogen Cryotherapy" is open at the top and does not give a full-body effect. This method is more of a novelty than a sustainable method of healing.
3) Localized Cryo - Negative 30 degree F air that's pointed toward a concentrated area of the body. Treatments range from 3-5 minutes and are effective at decreasing joint pain and swelling, improving range of motion, alleviating inflammatory skin conditions, treating acute athletic injuries & pain.
If you're thinking to yourself, that's just too goddamn cold - I hear you. I lived in Michigan for 10 years and those were some of the worst, coldest years of my life. Case in point:
If you ask anyone who knows me, they'll tell you I hate the cold. They're also the same people who laughed when I said I'd be using COLD therapy to treat my Autoimmune Diseases into remission status. But I did! For a minute there toward the end, it did feel like I was a very cold, freak of a lab-rat in some f*cked up experiment. But here I am1 treatment cycle down and Lupus & Hashimoto's both in remission.
So how does it work?
Remember in Avengers when T'Challa got totally stabbed and thrown over the edge of a waterfall plummetting into *assumed* death below? And how the Mountain Tribe legit kept him alive by burying him in the snow? Cryotherapy the same thing. Basically.
What was happening to T'Challa, and what happens when you stand in a Cryo Chamber for 4 minutes in subzero temperatures, is that your body thinks it's dying and desperately wants to help you not do that.
Your body's defense system jumps into action, sending healing vibes to whatever in your body hurts or has something abnormal going on with it. This could be sore muscles from a workout or game, or even a muscle in repair from surgery.
Did you know that human beings can tolerate dry cold 80-ish% better than they can tolerate wet cold (aka Michigan)? I had to try Cryo out a few times before committing because I always thought I was intolerant to the cold. So, turns out my skin is very sensitive to cold, but not allergic to it. So I was clear and free to try Cold Therapy as a treatment!
I did weeks of research on the subject and found a couple of cases from Europe where a woman with multiple Autoimmune Diseases went to Cryotherapy daily for 3 months and achieved remission status. To keep her conditions in remission, all she has to do was go daily again for a few months every 9 to 12 months.
In simple terms, here's the treatment plan:
Go daily for 2-3 months once a year
I hated the cold, but I hated being in chronic pain and feeling like I'd rather choose death than life most days, so I gave it a try. The very first time I tried the chamber, I walked in with chronic pain and walked out without it. How did that happen?? Remember when we discovered that an Autoimmune attack causes inflammation? Well, I had chronic inflammation and pain from said inflammation, and the Cryotherapy gave my body a break from inflammation and being attacked and allowed it a little bit of time to heal.
If you're up for it, I highly recommend trying this method as a treatment for your Autoimmune Diseases! It really does help, and I'm here to answer any questions you might have. We are warriors so I already know you got this. Just wait until you see what life can be like on the other side of the frost.