Cold Therapy and FrostbiteJuly 5, 2016 — The FDA is warning consumers that whole-body cryotherapy is not proven to work and poses serious risks.

Not a single whole-body cryotherapy device has been approved by the FDA. There is no evidence that cryotherapy is safe or effective to treat any medical condition.

What can be confirmed are the risks. Last year, a 24 year-old woman in Las Vegas froze to death. Her lawyers said it was possible she dropped her phone, reached down, lost consciousness, and froze to death.

The FDA warns that potential risks include frostbite, burns, and eye injuries from extreme temperatures. Consumers can also suffocate to death, especially when liquid nitrogen is used:

“The addition of nitrogen vapors to a closed room lowers the amount of oxygen in the room and can result in hypoxia, or oxygen deficiency, which could lead the user to lose consciousness.”

Advocates of the technology say cryotherapy machines improve blood circulation, increase metabolism, improve recovery and soreness after workouts, and relieve joint and body pain.

There is no evidence that whole-body cryotherapy actually works, but they are widely promoted for asthma, Alzheimer’s, anxiety, chronic pain, depression, fibromyalgia, insomnia, migraines, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, weight loss, and more.

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