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Olympic Swimmer Prefers Cryotherapy for Athletic Recovery

8/10/2016

Michael Phelps isn’t the only Olympic athlete using naturopathic therapies for recovery.

Jonathan Gomez, a Colombian swimmer in the 2016 Summer Olympics, reported using whole body cryotherapy (WBC) approximately three times per week while training, according to a new video posted on Forbes’ Facebook page.

In the video, Gomez said cryotherapy is “a lot better” than the standard 20-minute ice bath because it only takes three minutes, then his muscles are ready to go the next day.

Studies show WBC enhances antioxidant capacity and aids cardiovascular recovery, and it also alters inflammatory pathways related to sports recovery. In other words, a cryotherapy treatment can slow the onset of fatigue, increase cardiovascular recovery rate, and decrease creatine kinase (a product of muscle breakdown) following a difficult training session.

Researchers concluded these results in a 2012 study on 12 high-ranking professional tennis players. The authors stated: “Applying whole-body cryostimulation in conjunction with moderate-intensity training was more effective for the recovery process than the training itself.” (J Athl Train, 2012)

The International Olympic Committee’s official website also cites a video where two Olympic athletes receive a WBC treatment. One athlete, though hesitant at first, described the experience as “invigorating;” the other said her skin began feeling very tight, but she actually found it “pleasant.”

Interested in cryotherapy or other natural treatment options for athletic recovery? Please contact the SCNM Pain Relief Center by calling 480.422.1662 or emailing psr@scnm.edu.

Also read other ways professional athletes—such as Arizona Cardinals’ football players—are using naturopathic treatment options for athletic performance.

Photo credit: Pavel L Photo and Video / Shutterstock.com