The use of cold has been used to treat ailments, pain and inflammation since before 2500 BC. One of the first recorded uses of applying cold as a medical treatment was written in the Edwin Smith Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian text. The Egyptians would use cold to treat trauma and to serve as an aid during more complex surgical treatments. There are many occasions where the use of cold was said to release pain and to treat inflammation throughout the text.
In 400 BC, the famous Greek physician would use ice and snow to release swelling and pain for his patients. The name Cryotherapy actually comes from the Greek words Cryo meaning cold and Therapeia meaning cure.
However, it wasn’t until 1845, during the works of DR. James Arnott, that the benefits of using cold as a treatment were officially noted. Arnott would use cold to treat headaches and neuralgia, and he noted the almost immediate benefits. He also created a solution of salt and crushed ice which he used to ‘freeze’ various tumours. In 1851, Arnott exhibited his solution and apparatus and the use of cold to treat pain and inflammation became widely accepted.
The complex studies and findings of Dr. James Arnott sparked the curiosity of many other physicians, and in 1977, Cailletet of France began working on an expansion system for cooling gases. After many years and the contribution of many great scientific minds, the first medical use of cooled liquid air took place in 1889. The leading doctor in this field, Campbell White, used the liquid air to treat herpes, warts, cancroid and many other adverse skin conditions. In 1907 Dr. White wrote a paper describing the great benefits spot treatment Cryotherapy had on 15 different types of skin cancer.
However, It wasn’t until 197, when Dr. Yamaguchi of Japan introduced full-body Cryotherapy. Yamaguchi used short bursts of Cryotherapy to treat rheumatoid arthritis and found that a rapid decrease of the skins surface temperature leads to a release of endorphins numbing sensitivity to pain. His research led to the production of the first even Cryotherapy chamber, used today in modern full-body Cryotherapy treatments.
This treatment quickly migrated to Europe, where the use of Whole Body Cryotherapy was used on athletes to treat chronic inflammation and pain. In 2008, Cryotherapy chambers were being used all over the United States, and have since spread all over the world.
Today, the use of Cryotherapy is widely accepted and practised in almost all 1st world countries, and there have been over 69,000 studies made on the use of Cryotherapy and the effects on the human body.