According to James Vaupel, an American scientist in the field of aging research, seniors are living longer, healthier lives. Much of this is because many seniors are making better choices and proactively improving their longevity through adopting healthier routines.
Millions of seniors in the US are striving to enhance their health as well as stay fit and active by exploring alternative therapies. One such therapy known as cold therapy, has started to become a popular and attractive option for seniors. But what are the benefits of cold therapy for seniors, and is it a good option for you? Here are a few things to know about cold therapy so you can make the decision for yourself.
What is Cold Therapy?
Sometimes called cryotherapy, cold therapy is used in many ways to treat a variety of conditions. Medical studies show that when the human body is exposed to cold temperatures it triggers a physiological state called hormesis. Hormesis is a biological survival response humans have when subjected to extreme conditions. Medical studies show that when hormesis is achieved through cold therapy sessions, it can actually strengthen the body.
Then, there are other less-extreme forms of cold therapy that can deliver impressive health-improving results to seniors. From alleviating pain, reducing swelling, and combating inflammation, the use of cold to treat common ailments has been put into play for thousands of years.
Benefits of Cold Therapy on Seniors
There is quite a bit of research on cold therapy, but there are still more studies that need to take place about its effects on seniors. Nevertheless, here are some ways seniors are experiencing the benefits of cold therapy, and how it could be a solution for you too.
Fight Inflammation and Pain
A common complaint for many seniors is chronic pain, achy joints and sore spots in the body. Studies show that applying a cold press to tight, painful areas of the body can minimize swelling, reduce pain and relieve inflammation. If you suffer from muscle or joint discomfort, look into the healing effects of a Breg Polar Care Cube. This is a therapeutic device that provides hours of soothing, cool temps to affected areas when you wrap it around troublesome joints or muscles.
Improve Mood and Alertness
If you’ve ever felt a shock after jumping into a cold pond, then you have just experienced the clarifying benefits of cold water therapy. Being exposed to a short burst of cold water has a way of being very energizing and can temporarily jolt you out of brain fog. The reason being is that the body responds to the cold by releasing endorphins which not only make you feel more alert, they can also boost your mood.
A study co-conducted by Dr. Johannes van der Hoeven, a chief professor of the Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands, showed that exposing the body to cold water such as immersion pools or regular cold showers triggers the production of cytokines. Cytokines are small proteins that play a big role in the body’s ability to combat autoimmune diseases. In the study, van der Hoeven noticed that subjects who were regularly exposed to cold conditions showed a spike in cytokines as well as white blood cell activity which stimulates the lymph system, thus boosting immune systems.
When you sleep, your body temperature drops, which is a natural and critical function that helps you fall asleep. A study published by Medical News Today revealed that insomniacs lack this involuntary trait to lower body temperature, therefore they are unable to fall asleep. The article goes on to say that when insomniacs were studied while wearing “cooling caps,” (headgear that keeps the head cool), they were better able to get a full phase of sleep.
If you are struggling with less sleep, as many seniors are apt, you might want to look into using cold therapy for a better night’s sleep. You can do this by sleeping in a room with cool temperatures. Or, you can look into getting a cooling pillow that will keep your head cooler to help you get sufficient sleep.
Are Cold Therapy Treatments Right for You?
In the final analysis, your choice to practice cold therapy should depend upon your needs, and the results you see from it. If you decide to try localized or whole-body cold therapy treatments, do consult your physician before adding cold therapy to your health routine.