Recent studies have shown that cryotherapy has a healthy and positive effect on heart rate variability, also known as HRV. These studies showed that the majority of cryotherapy patients experienced this benefit and ended up with an HRV that is indicative of someone that has good cardiovascular health.
What is Heart Rate Variability?
Heart rate variability is the pause that takes place between each heartbeat. A healthy heart will have a varying pause that is not the same length of time. Healthier hearts have been proven to possess a far greater variability of this heartbeat pause duration, while unhealthy or diseased hearts show a much less varied heartbeat pause rate. As a general rule, the less HRV variability, the worse your cardiovascular health is. The greater your HRV, the better your cardiovascular shape is. HRV is hugely responsible for regulating blood pressure, your breathing rate, and even your digestion, hence it is a significant physical marker for overall health.
How Does Cryotherapy Improve Your HRV?
One of the core physical responses to cryotherapy is increased autonomic nervous system activity. The autonomic nervous system is highly responsible for regulating the HRV, and it is thought that by repeatedly stimulating it with cryotherapy, it exercises the neuropathways. By constantly firing these neuropathways within the autonomic nervous system, they become more active in general and tend to have a slightly faster firing rate than they would otherwise have.
How Long Does The HRV Improvement Last For?
Recent research into cryotherapy and heart rate variability improvements have concluded that just five cryotherapy sessions can create HRV improvements that can last up to 3 months. Patients that use cryotherapy frequently have shown to get such a high level of autonomic nervous system stimulation that their HRV will slowly take on the rate of a highly trained athlete. Now that it is known conclusively that cryotherapy can positively benefit HRV, cardiologists around the globe are racing to discover additional ways that cryotherapy can be used in a wide range of heart and cardiovascular therapies.