The Global Wellness Institute’s Cryotherapy Initiative is all about the benefits of cold but cryotherapy is a very “hot” trend. The Initiative team presents the new aspects of this trend as individual “trends,” as follows:
TREND 1: Electrical-driven Systems are Being Substituted for Gas-driven systems in Cryotherapy
Gas/nitrogen driven systems use evaporation of gas to generate ultra-low temperatures, while electricity driven systems work with multiple stage closed refrigeration circuit(s) without gas consumption. Electricity-driven cryo systems tend to replace nitrogen-driven cryo systems in certain applications. This development is in different stages depending on the market. While in central Europe the far majority of new centers are equipped with electrical systems, it is still 50/50 in the US the market. However, a clear market trend is that gas driven solutions are losing market share while electric are gaining significantly.
During CryoCon 2023 in Dallas, the third edition of the largest international cryotherapy convention, electrical- driven systems were three times more showcased compared to nitrogen driven systems.
Gas-driven cryo systems typically use liquid nitrogen as the coolant to achieve cryogenic temperatures, typically deliver between real -80°C to communicated theoretical -196°C.
Electricity-driven cryo systems, on the other hand, use electric refrigeration systems to achieve cryogenic temperatures. These systems have several advantages over nitrogen-driven systems, including:
- Safety: nitrogen-driven cryo systems can be hazardous due to the potential for oxygen displacement, as well as the risk of asphyxiation. Electricity-driven systems do not have these risks.
- Convenience: nitrogen-driven cryo systems require the constant supply of liquid nitrogen, which can be costly and inconvenient. Electricity-driven systems only consume electricity and dependent on the set-up cooling water.
- Precision: electricity-driven systems can achieve more precise and stable temperatures than nitrogen-driven systems, which is important in cryo applications.
However, there are also some limitations to electricity-driven cryo systems, especially the higher upfront investment.
TREND 2: Cryo Centers Grow Exponentially in US, Europe and Middle East
Cryo centers, which offer services such as whole-body cryotherapy, cryo facials and localized cryotherapy, have seen rapid growth in recent years especially in the US, Europe and the Middle East.
According to market research reports, the cryotherapy market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 7.8% from 2021 to 2026. The US is currently the largest market for cryotherapy, followed by Europe and the Middle East.
The growth of cryo centers can be attributed to several factors, including the increasing popularity of cryotherapy as a wellness and recovery technique, the growing awareness of its potential health benefits, and the expanding applications of cryotherapy in sports, fitness, prevention, mental health, beauty and longevity.
Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has also fueled the growth of cryo offers, as many people have become more health-conscious and are seeking alternative ways to boost their immune systems and manage stress.
In addition to standalone cryo centers, many wellness spas, gyms and medical clinics are also incorporating cryotherapy into their offerings. This has helped to broaden the customer base for cryo centers and increase demand for cryotherapy services.
Overall, the cryotherapy market is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, driven by increasing awareness of its benefits, expanding fields of application, and the growing number of cryo centers and other businesses incorporating cryotherapy into their offerings.
TREND 3: Most New Built spas for Top Class Hotels Consider Cryo
Cryotherapy has gained popularity in recent years as a wellness treatment. Many top-class hotels now offer cryotherapy as part of their spa services, as it fits in with all kinds of different spa concepts. It all began with the cure spas in Europe and was adopted by leading medical spas worldwide. As the treatment developed more and more into lifestyle, also wellness, fitness, sports and even business-oriented spas integrate cryotherapy in their concepts.
Cryotherapy became a topic at most spa congresses and exhibitions, like during the last Global Wellness Summit in Tel Aviv.
New-built spas for top-class hotels consider cryotherapy because it is a trendy and innovative wellness treatment that can attract guests who are interested in trying something new and different. Additionally, cryotherapy can be incorporated into a variety of services. In the spa there are interesting combinations with facials, massages and body treatments. Fitness related pre-cooling is used to enhance endurance. And post-cooling after leisure activities is used to recover after sports like skiing. Additionally, cryotherapy can enrich programs like detox or slimming. The treatment is touchless, hygienic, requires little staff and contributes to spa’s ROI.
However, it is important to note that cryotherapy is not suitable for everyone, and it should only be performed by properly trained staff.
TREND 4: Hot and Cold Come Together
Cryotherapy and warm wellness treatments like infrared saunas are two opposites of temperature, and some spas and wellness centers offer them together as part of a contrast therapy program. This involves the combination or even alternation between exposure to extreme cold and heat, with the aim of improving circulation, reducing inflammation and promoting relaxation.
The theory behind contrast therapy is that alternating between hot and cold temperatures, just like Kneip already promoted years ago, can cause blood vessels to constrict and then dilate, which can improve blood flow and oxygenation to tissues. This, in turn, can help to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Additionally, the contrast between hot and cold temperatures can help to stimulate the nervous system and promote relaxation.
Typically, a contrast therapy program will involve spending a short period of time in a cryotherapy chamber, followed by a period in an infrared sauna, hot sauna or steam room.
- Treatment times shall be defined by personal physical status and health and the used products or treatment temperatures
- Sequence of hot and cold shall be defined by treatment aim
- To practice cryotherapy the skin of the user must be dry. Shoes and socks as well as ear protection, gloves and mask are mandatory
While contrast therapy can offer potential health benefits, it is important to note that it may not be suitable for everyone. Individuals with certain medical conditions may be advised to avoid extreme temperatures or to consult with a healthcare professional before trying contrast therapy.
TREND 5: Education on and Knowledge about Cryo Evolves
Education and knowledge about cryotherapy are constantly evolving since more than forty years. The user base is growing exponentially, and more research is conducted.
As more people become interested in cryotherapy, there is a growing need for education and training programs for professionals who provide this treatment. This includes proper training on how to use cryotherapy equipment safely and effectively, as well as education on the potential risks and benefits of cryotherapy.
Overall, while cryotherapy has potential health benefits, it is important for individuals to be well-informed. More and more equipment suppliers, associations, consulting companies, universities and others offer respective training programs.