Actress Jessica Biel has one of the most enviable bodies in Hollywood. But instead of sweating to blast fat or having relaxing warm facials to improve her complexion, it appears the Emmy nominee might prefer to keep it cold. In fact, it seems she prefers it subzero cold.
Cryotherapy is, quite simply, the process of using subzero temperatures -- think -222 degrees Fahrenheit-- for medicinal purposes, usually to treat pain, by stimulating the body's natural healing abilities through exposure to the cold. However, in recent years, the process has been used for a number of health and beauty benefits, such as skin toning, reducing cellulite, improving sleep problems, alleviating chronic pain, managing asthma, and even easing anxiety and depression.
According to Quick Cryo's website, the spa offers a number of treatments to "help our clients lose weight and feel better using the latest in wellness technology in a luxury environment."
Such treatments include QuickSlim cryoscultping which uses "oscillating hot and cold to stimulate collagen and elastin production, melt fat, and slim the body," as well as cryotherapy and cryofacials "to target pain and swelling in joints, or to reduce inflammation and give a glow to the skin."
How does it work? In short: shivering helps us burn calories.
"By exposing the skin to extremely low temperatures, the brain and body react in uniquely beneficial ways as a result of Cold Thermogenesis," Quick Cryo describes on its website. "Even slight to moderate shivering can boost metabolism by up to 300%, burn serious calories, and trigger the production of Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT or Brown Fat). BAT burns the white fat that typically resides in the human midsection, and provides the mechanism by which the body can shed pounds fast."
Although cryotherapy seems to be popular amongst Hollywood's elite -- Hailey Baldwin prefers subzero facials while Demi Moore and Kobe Bryant are also said to be fans of the treatment -- there are some things to consider before exposing your bod to freezing cold temps.
For starters, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported that cryotherapy lacks any scientific evidence to support any of its touted medical benefits:
"And despite claims by many spas and wellness centers to the contrary, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have evidence that WBC effectively treats diseases or conditions like Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, migraines, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, stress, anxiety or chronic pain."
Which makes one think that if science can't back up the major health benefits that made cryotherapy so popular in the first place, why would we think it whittles our waistline or gives us glowing skin?
Authors of another study review in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews brought up another good point: there's a lack of evidence when it comes to adverse effects of the treatment. Meaning, what does it mean for the long-term health of your body being repeatedly treated to extreme cold temps?
While there's no denying Biel has an awesome body and matching glowing skin, you might want to skip the shivering and lose weight the old fashioned way: sweating.
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