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Whole-body cryotherapy

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Against allopathy
Alternative medicine
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Clinically unproven

Not to be confused with the equally scientifically-unsupported-but-sci-fi-movie favourite cryonics, or the actually scientifically supported ideas of cryotherapyWikipedia or targeted temperature management,Wikipedia whole-body cryotherapy is a fabulous woo treatment to remove you of heat and money whilst still alive! Mostly![1]

From the Wouldn't-it-be-great-if-it-were-true Department comes whole-body cryotherapy (WBC), helpfully and easily confused with partial-body cryotherapy (PBC, same tube without a lid) so they can charge the same amount to fit the same size fool into a smaller box.

Rube in a tube! YAY! I HAVE COLDS!

How does it work?[edit]

It doesn't.[2]

Whilst Cryotherapy, or ice therapy, has a good body of supporting sciencey-type stuff to say 'mostly good',[3] Whole-body Cryotherapy involves placing a human wearing very little, often with some thermal protection for all extremities except their wallet, into a carbonite sheath/plastic vat marked 'gullible' and then introducing very low temperature, very low humidity air, cooled using liquid nitrogen or an air conditioner,[4] and an ongoing monthly subscription fee.

So yes, WBC/PBC does get you cold, but so does an ice bath.[4]

But what about all the wonderful claims of WBC/PBC helping with:

  • Asthma
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Insomnia
  • Migraines
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Weight loss

and having too much money?

US FDA states that whole-body cryotherapy is 'meh' and might even be 'ouch'[edit]

According to the US FDA, the claims made by advocates of WBC/PBC are not backed up by science. Sorry.[5]

Did someone die from WBC?[edit]

The coroner said it was asphyxia from being locked in a whole-body cryotherapy sauna.[6]


  1. Nevada issues health guidelines for cryotherapyby Sally Ho (Saturday, November 21st 2015) KUTV (Associated Press)
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26383887
  3. Cryotherapy Medscape
  4. 4.0 4.1 Muscle, Skin and Core Temperature after −110°C Cold Air and 8°C Water Treatment by Joseph Thomas Costello et al. (November 6, 2012) Plos One. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0048190
  5. whole-body cryotherapy (WBC): A "Cool" Trend that Lacks Evidence, Poses Risks U.S. Food & Drug Administration
  6. Cryotherapy death calls benefits of the health trend into question by Carina Storrs (Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT) October 28, 2015) CNN (December 2, 2015 archived copy)