Recently, cryotherapy has been emerging as a popular modality for doctors of chiropractic. In episode 26 of “The Future Adjustment-Chiropractic Economics Podcast”, host Daniel Sosnoski, editor in chief of chiropractic economics, sits down with Impact Cryotherapy’s Chad Finnegan to discuss cryotherapy’s role in the world of chiropractic.
- Cryotherapy – what is it? Simply speaking, cryotherapy is cold therapy. Ice packs, cold showers, polar plunges – they’re all forms of cryotherapy, however, the type of cryotherapy being discussed during this episode is a specific kind. This specific type of cryotherapy uses nitrogen vapor to stimulate the body’s natural response to extremely cold temperatures, promoting natural healing + wellness. It’s different than an ice bath in that it reaches much colder temps and provides an even chill.
- Where did cryotherapy start and where is it going? Originally the concept was created in Japan to help treat arthritis and reduce inflammation. Eventually, it made its way to Europe where a few unique cryotherapy machines were designed + created. Later, it was brought to the USA. Today, cryotherapy is present in all different verticals – from health professionals, chiropractors, orthopedic medicine, to professional and collegiate athletic programs and retail wellness facilities. It’s notable that it’s really moving it into the sports therapy world. Doctors of Chiropractic who work with sports teams are using it, sports teams themselves are buying this equipment and using it – in general, professional athletes aren’t going to mess around with things that don’t work. Cryotherapy is proving itself on the field of performance.
- How – and why – does cryotherapy work? At Impact, we’re leading the development of case studies around cryotherapy and Dr. James Andrews, MD is chair of our board. Additionally, we have several other orthopedic doctors working with us to better understand cryo and generate American data. For the last 20 years, data on cryotherapy has primarily been coming out of Europe because the equipment has been there longer and there are more resources and assets around it. Essentially, science has shown that anytime the body is stimulated with extremely cold temperatures, blood flow is enhanced, the brain is tricked into going into fight or flight mode, and re-oxygenated blood rushes to the core. Cryotherapy is the modernization of the traditional cold therapy experience – it is three minutes and provides a complete, whole body chill.
- Who is purchasing cryotherapy machines? Probably 95% of the United States market has no idea what cryotherapy is. There’s a great deal of education still happening in this industry, yet, we’ve seen our product be really successful. We built our foundation in the sports world. Athletic training rooms and athletes, they’re very familiar with ice baths. More recently, we’ve moved into the sports chiropractic space where these doctors are working with a lot of athletes and a quick three-minute cold experience that helps reduce inflammation and improves recovery time is a great add-on. At Impact, we’re pushing over 500 units in the US market and producing about 40,000 sessions a week. Our customer base ranges from the health professional side all the way to the entrepreneur that’s opening up a wellness center.
- How can chiropractic patients benefit from cryotherapy? At Impact, we are the company that really created the business solution for the cryotherapy space. – efficiency, safety standards, protocols, training certification processes, and our compliance status has helped make our product the cryotherapy machine of choice across the globe. The being said, we give you the tool but it’s the Dr. Troy Van Biezen‘s of the world that really take that tool and incorporate it into their client base. Yes, cryotherapy is going to help reduce inflammation and drive blood flow. It may help fire up endorphins. The chiropractors, however, working on their patients and then following up sessions with cryotherapy, they’re the ones producing real results for their customers – these are the people we’re learning from. We’re the team that’s going to make sure this tool is working correctly.
- What temperatures do cryotherapy machines produce? When Impact entered this space almost all of the equipment in the United States came from European markets and manufacturers. We wanted to create and build an American product that was something that we want to utilize. This drove us to manufacture a product that produces accurate temperature readings. A lot of other pieces of equipment provides the temperature reading of the nitrogen gas entering the machines but that’s not what’s actually being exposed to the body. We use 191 Celsius or 320 Fahrenheit to enter the sauna. We also measure the temperatures within the sauna. We built our temperature protocols on three levels that are easy to reproduce and create a consistent experience for the client. We have created something that is very reproducible – whether you step into our machine on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, whenever, in L.A., New York, Miami, you’re going to get the exact same cryotherapy experience. We have led the way in actually showing the market how to produce the right temperatures – effectively, safely and consistently.
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