Cryotherapy Initiative

2024 Trends

TREND 1: Precision & Efficiency: Enhanced accuracy and stability in temperature control, improving cryotherapy treatment effectiveness.

The industry-wide shift from nitrogen to electricity-driven cryo systems is advancing at an unexpectedly rapid pace, reflecting a significant change in the landscape of cryotherapy technology. This trend emphasizes the industry’s move towards safer, more convenient, efficient, and precise technologies. Notably, developments from CryoCon 2024 (US) as the leading event focused on cryotherapy and related services, further highlight this swift transition, demonstrating a broader acceptance and enthusiasm for electricity-driven systems. On many other leading exhibitions, like FIBO (Germany) in the fitness sector, only electricity driven systems were featured.

Comparative Overview of Cryo Systems

  • Nitrogen-Driven Systems: These systems, which rely on liquid nitrogen to achieve temperatures ranging from real -80°C to theoretical -196°C, are becoming less favored due to inherent risks such as oxygen displacement and asphyxiation, as well as the ongoing logistical and financial burden of securing liquid nitrogen supplies.
  • Electricity-Driven Systems: Markedly advancing in popularity, these systems use sophisticated electric refrigeration technology to reach cryogenic temperatures, offering:
    • Safety: A significant reduction in risk compared to nitrogen systems, removing concerns over oxygen displacement and asphyxiation.
    • Convenience: The elimination of the need for liquid nitrogen, relying instead on electricity (and cooling water in certain setups), streamlines operations and reduces costs.

Precision & Efficiency: Enhanced accuracy and stability in temperature control, improving cryotherapy treatment effectiveness.

Innovations in cryotherapy technology have led to the development of more sophisticated cryotherapy chambers and devices.

  • European Markets: The preference for electricity-driven systems continues to rise, with these systems dominating new installations and reflecting an accelerated shift away from nitrogen-based solutions.
  • United States: The transition towards electric systems is surpassing previous expectations. The market now clearly favors electricity-driven over nitrogen-driven systems, a trend that is rapidly gaining momentum.
  • CryoCon 2024 Highlights: This year’s convention in Dallas was a landmark event, showcasing a significant surge in electricity-driven system innovations and applications. Not only were these systems more prevalent, but the presentations and discussions also emphasized their growing role in shaping the future of cryotherapy. Electric systems were featured four times more than nitrogen-driven systems, a testament to their rising dominance and the industry’s confidence in their benefits.

Forward-Looking Considerations

The initial cost barrier of electricity-driven systems is increasingly offset by their long-term benefits, such as operational efficiency, safety, and precision. The insights from CryoCon 2024 underscore the industry’s rapid adaptation and the strong market demand for these advanced systems.

This evolving preference signifies a critical shift in cryotherapy practices, underscoring a commitment to enhancing safety, efficiency, and patient outcomes. As electricity-driven technology continues to evolve, its influence on market dynamics and treatment standards promises to be profound, marking a new era in cryogenic therapy.

TREND 2: Most newly built spas for top class hotels consider offering cryotherapy

Whole-body cryotherapy is being integrated into holistic wellness practices, including spa treatments, fitness routines, and rehabilitation programs. More and more wellness resorts and retreats offer cryotherapy as part of their wellness packages.

In the competitive landscape of luxury hospitality, top-class hotels are constantly seeking innovative amenities to distinguish their offerings and cater to the evolving preferences of their discerning clientele. Among these innovations, cryotherapy has emerged as a sought-after feature in newly built spas, reflecting a broader trend towards wellness and holistic health. This trend is underpinned by a growing body of evidence supporting the health benefits of cryotherapy, coupled with a rising consumer interest in novel and science-backed wellness treatments. For top-class hotels, offering cryotherapy services is not just about providing a unique amenity; it’s about aligning with the lifestyle and values of their guests, who increasingly prioritize health, wellness, and unique experiences.

Celebrities and athletes have been vocal about their use of whole-body cryotherapy for recovery and performance enhancement. Their endorsements have contributed to the mainstream visibility of this treatment.

Luxury hotels are also leveraging cryotherapy to enhance their brand image and market positioning. By incorporating state-of-the-art wellness treatments, these hotels can market themselves as forward-thinking and dedicated to providing guests with comprehensive, high-quality experiences. It enables hotel brands to align with more general trends like fitness, biohacking, and longevity. This not only attracts guests interested in wellness but also sets the hotel apart in a crowded and competitive market.

Furthermore, testimonials and case studies from leading hotels that have successfully integrated cryotherapy into their spa offerings provide compelling evidence of its appeal and effectiveness. These establishments report increased guest satisfaction, higher spa visitation rates, and positive feedback, highlighting cryotherapy’s role in enriching the guest experience and fostering a culture of wellness and longevity.

TREND 3: Education and knowledge about cryo keep evolving.

Whole-body cryotherapy has gained popularity among athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and individuals seeking alternative wellness treatments. Many people are drawn to its purported benefits for muscle recovery, pain relief, and overall well-being.

In the swiftly evolving domain of cryotherapy, the importance of education cannot be overstated. As cryotherapy gains traction across various sectors the market is witnessing a burgeoning demand for professionals equipped with comprehensive knowledge and understanding of this innovative treatment. This surge in interest underscores the necessity for a structured and in-depth educational framework that not only imparts foundational knowledge but also keeps pace with the latest advancements in cryotherapy applications and research findings.

The escalation in cryotherapy’s popularity has catalyzed the development of specialized training programs and certifications. These educational initiatives are designed to equip practitioners with a robust understanding of cryotherapy mechanisms, safety protocols, and client management strategies. Such programs are crucial in ensuring that practitioners are well-versed in the nuances of cryotherapy, enabling them to deliver treatments safely and effectively while optimizing the outcome and results for their clients.

Moreover, the integration of cryotherapy education into academic curricula in fields related to health and wellness signifies its growing importance in the market. Universities and colleges are beginning to recognize cryotherapy as a significant area of study within physical therapy, sports medicine, and wellness programs. This academic acknowledgment is instrumental in nurturing a new generation of professionals who are scientifically knowledgeable about cryotherapy’s benefits, risks, and potential applications.

The emphasis on education extends beyond professional training and academic programs. Public seminars, webinars, and workshops are increasingly common, aimed at demystifying cryotherapy for the general populace. These educational efforts are pivotal in raising awareness, dispelling myths, and fostering an informed understanding of cryotherapy among potential clients. They play a vital role in driving the adoption of cryotherapy by educating consumers on its scientifically backed benefits and encouraging informed decisions regarding its use.

TREND 4: Shift from applications for pain management and recovery to longevity and prevention.

The cryotherapy field is undergoing a transformative shift from primarily focusing on pain management and regeneration to adopting roles in longevity and prevention. This change is rooted in a deeper understanding of cryotherapy’s wide-ranging benefits, moving from short-term regeneration to fostering overall health and wellness.

Traditionally, cryotherapy has been pivotal in sports medicine, known for its quick relief for athletes from muscle soreness, inflammation, and injury. Yet, as research into cryotherapy grows, its scope is expanding to include holistic health goals, especially in enhancing systemic health, slowing aging, and prevention. Studies suggest that cryotherapy’s effects on inflammation, oxidative stress, and metabolism play a key role in its potential to mitigate aging processes and disease risks, offering a proactive measure for longevity.

Furthermore, cryotherapy is believed to boost immune function, potentially reducing the occurrence of infectious diseases by stimulating the immune system through brief exposure to extreme cold. This aligns with an increasing focus on natural immunity enhancement within preventive healthcare.

This broader application of cryotherapy is catching on across various demographics, moving beyond athletes to those interested in long-term health maintenance. This shift underscores the need for ongoing research to fully understand cryotherapy’s benefits and to develop optimized protocols for health and longevity.

As cryotherapy’s applications widen, it signifies a notable evolution in the approach to health maintenance, emphasizing its role in proactive health and wellness management. This evolution not only highlights the expanding therapeutic potential of cryotherapy but also its importance in a preventive health strategy, marking a significant step forward in physical recovery and health care practices.

TREND 5: Cryotherapy is increasingly combined with other holistic wellness modalities.

Cryotherapy is increasingly combined with other holistic wellness modalities, branching out from heat treatments like infrared saunas, light beds, and multi-modality treatments to encompass a wider array of complementary therapies. This holistic approach to wellness, integrating cryotherapy with various other treatments, aims to enhance overall health, improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and promote relaxation. By alternating between cryotherapy’s extreme cold and other modalities’ benefits, such programs leverage the body’s natural responses to diverse stimuli, enriching the therapeutic experience.

In addition to warmth-based treatments (always considering that skin shall be dry before doing cryotherapy), other modalities that pair well with cryotherapy include hyperbaric oxygen chambers, compression therapy, massage, lymphatic drainage, dry floating, halotherapy, sports and activity programs, yoga, meditation and many more. These combinations offer a broad spectrum of health benefits, from enhanced muscle recovery and stress reduction to improved mental clarity and flexibility. The underlying principle remains the same: using temperature variation, pressure combined with under-pressure and other therapeutic techniques and activities to stimulate the body’s healing mechanisms provoking its response to support optimal well-being.

Key Considerations for Integrating Cryotherapy with Other Wellness Modalities:

  • Personal Health Assessment: It’s crucial to tailor the combination of treatments to the individual’s health status and wellness goals. This personalized approach ensures that the benefits are maximized while risks are minimized.
  • Protective Measures: Especially in cryotherapy, wearing appropriate protective gear is essential to prevent cold-related injuries. Dry skin, along with protective clothing for extremities and sensitive areas, is necessary.
  • Professional Guidance: Consulting with healthcare professionals is advisable before starting any new wellness regimen, especially when combining treatments like cryotherapy with other modalities. This is to ensure compatibility with one’s health condition and to craft a program that addresses specific needs and goals effectively.

Contrast therapy, featuring the alternation between cryotherapy and heat treatments, serves as a foundational concept. Expanding this framework to include a variety of wellness practices can provide a more holistic approach to health and well-being. This integrative strategy not only focuses on physical recovery and conditioning but also emphasizes mental and emotional balance, showcasing the versatility and comprehensive benefits of combining cryotherapy with a wide spectrum of holistic wellness modalities.

TREND 6: Misleading communication seems to be repeating itself.

Three examples of misleading communication having a major impact on the development of the cryotherapy market.

  1. For years the partial-body cryotherapy/stimulation (PBC) was not adequately distinguished to whole-body cryotherapy/stimulation (WBC).

Scientists, suppliers, operators, and media named services not including head and shoulder incorrectly as whole-body cryotherapy instead of partial-body cryotherapy, even being so obvious and logical that head and shoulders belong to one’s body. This miscommunication has even led to the adoption by public bodies not distinguishing between the two different set-ups with tremendous harm to the market not only by misled final customers but with serious consequences in Canda.

After an accident in the US with a cryo sauna Health Canada put PBC (cryo saunas) and WBC (cryo chambers) solutions were painted with one brush, ignoring the fact that an asphyxiation by nitrogen accident is impossible with an indirect or electricity driven cryo chamber. Consequently, Health Canada prohibited the import and installation of new PBC and WBC systems in Canada, with effect till today.

Good news: At least most scientific publications authors today distinguish strictly between PBC and WBC, and media partly adopts the correct communication slowly.

  1. Confusion about temperatures of cryo sauna and cryo chambers is an ongoing topic. There are many ways used in the market to communicate the actual temperature in a device and sometimes obviously wrong statements of manufacturers and hence operators about delivered temperatures. There are different approaches to cure this on its way. One comes from CINA (Cryotherapy Industry National Association, Dallas, Texas, USA), to develop a standard procedure with certificate to grand customers the possibility to compare offered temperatures based on a standardized measuring set-up.
  2. Comparing apples with oranges by lumping together whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) and cold-water immersion (CWI) in media and some studies is misleading the consumers when it comes to comes to potential treatment benefits, when to use it and how it feels.


Cold water immersion (CWI) known as “winter swimming”, “ice bathing” or just named “cold plunge”. The user immerses himself in cold water with a temperature ranging between – 2 °C / 36 °F and 20 °C / 61 °F (mainly between 2 °C and 16 °C, in sports between 7 °C and 15 °C).  Some ice swimmers bath in -2 °C water, and on the other end you find some users who prefer up to 20 °C.

Whole body cryotherapy is exposing the whole body for a few minutes to extreme cold air, while wearing underwear or dry swimwear, shoes with socs, gloves, headband or hat covering ears and a mask. The user is standing or moving slowly in an extreme cold environment with very dry air. Temperatures communicated vary between -75°C and -130 °C, while the gold standard is -110 °C / -166 °F.

Both treatments withdraw warmth from the body, this is what they have in common. The following table gives a quick overview of both treatments.

Medium Cold water Dry cold air
Temperature Not subzero (except ice water with down to -2 °C) Extreme subzero
Warmth Exchange Mainly conduction Mainly Convection & Radiation
Risks Depending on where it is applied, it ranges from controlled environments to uncontrolled public and private places. In public places treatment takes place after a short questionnaire to exclude contra indications. Private users get a training from serious suppliers, before taking the product in operation.
Both treatments are secure, as long as one follows the rules and excludes contra indications.
Fields of Use Sports, Wellbeing, Biohacking, Longevity Medical, Sports, Wellbeing, Biohacking, Longevity
Perception  Hard for many users Easy, even comfortable after some experiences
Accessibility Easy, can be realized at home many people High investment, exclusive, premium treatment
Core Temperature & Penetration Significant drop of core temperature of up to 4.5 Kelvin depending on temperature, duration, personal physical values, thermal adoption, mode… Virtual stable core temperature, just going down by ca. 0.1 Kelvin. Body is activated and cools permanently against the dry cold impact from the surrounding.


The Cryotherapy Initiative will work on providing a classification and differentiation of both modalities and publish more comprehensive information on the topic.

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