Many people ask if cryotherapy is better than the Wim Hof Method. Both use extreme cold temperatures to treat the body, but Wim Hof has gained in popularity in the past few years. Wim Hof uses breathing exercises and meditation to help endure cold temperatures in nature or in an ice bath. Cryotherapy has been used in sports for over two decades to replace an ice bath for athletes, but is the Wim Hof Method better?

The “Iceman” Wif Hof in a natural ice bath

The “Iceman” Wif Hof in a natural ice bath

Is a Wim Hof Ice Bath Like Cryotherapy?

Ice baths are a form of cryotherapy but they have limitations. Athletes often will ice their knees or sit in an ice bath to reduce inflammation. Beginning Wim Hof classes are usually two minutes in an ice bath. Advanced classes have gone to ten minutes in length, but the pain can be overwhelming for most. The desired result of an ice bath is to reduce the body’s surface temperature. In an ice bath this happens quickly, but if it is too painful the person gets out of the bath and the therapeutic effect never really begins.

Is Cryotherapy Really Different?

Cryotherapy is better than the Wim Hof Method of ice baths because it produces the same result without any pain or discomfort. In fact, the price of one cryotherapy session is comparable in price to the amount of ice you would have to buy (and time it takes) for an ice bath. In contrast a cryotherapy session lasts only three minutes and you do not get wet. Most cryo sessions take less than 6 minutes to arrive, undress, do cryo for 3 minutes, get dressed again, and leave. Many do their cryo before their workout or during their lunchbreak.

Is Cryotherapy Safer than an Ice Bath?

For many people an ice bath is simply unhealthy. Those with a severe intolerance to pain may not be able to even get into the water. For others an ice bath may present a health risk due to the shocking feeling of being surrounded by such cold water. Cryotherapy may be a safer alternative because the cold is air and not water. Submersion in water increases anxiety in many people and makes their heart rate rise to uncomfortable levels. With both methods make sure to review all health contraindications and check with your primary care physician before doing an ice bath or cryotherapy. Many people have found that cryotherapy is an easier, more affordable, and safer alternative to all ice baths. Interested in learning more about buying a cryotherapy machine?  Click here to see how easy it is (no email or registration required).