who should not cryo hdr

Who Should Not Get in a Cryo Chamber?

Although whole-body cryotherapy is a fantastic experience for most people, there are some people for whom cryotherapy is not safe. Although in this country, whole body cryotherapy and cryostimulation is available in gyms and medispas, in many countries it is regarded as a medical therapy. Hence, whole-body cryotherapy should follow strict guidelines and indications. 

Certain medical conditions prohibit the use of cryotherapy. These include: 

Cryoglobinaemia – this is a medical condition whereby patients have a large number of cold-sensitive antibodies. These proteins become insoluble when the body temperature drops and clump together causing restricted blood flow. 

Raynaud’s syndrome – a condition where blood flow to the extremities is unusually cold sensitive. 

Claustrophobia – as although the window of the chamber can be open and the door can be pushed open easily the chamber is still a confined space.

Hypothyroidism – this condition increases sensitivity to cold temperatures. Cardiovascular system disease – people unstable angina, peripheral vascular disease and cardiac failure would be unsuitable for whole body cryotherapy as it causes constriction of the peripheral blood vessels 

Acute respiratory tract disease – these may be worsened by exposure to cold air and relative lack of humidity. 

Severe wasting diseases – people with muscle wastage may not be able to tolerate cold temperatures. 

Severe anaemia 


Seizure disorders 

Wound healing problems 

DVT – again, this will have affected the peripheral blood vessels adversely, so people who have had a DVT should not undergo cryotherapy. 

Alcohol or drug use – both of these can adversely affect the normal physiological response to cold. 

When performed in the appropriate setting with controlled conditions of temperature and humidity whole-body cryotherapy is a safe procedure. It has been shown to have no adverse effect on heart or lung function. However, it has been shown to cause a very slight, and some have suggested clinically irrelevant, increase in blood pressure. So, out of an abundance of caution, we choose to measure clients’ blood pressure prior to entering the Cryo chamber.


Dr J Hugh Coyne