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Application of thermovision for estimation of the optimal and safe parameters of the whole body cryotherapy


Exposure to the extreme low temperatures, ranging between −60 and −140 °C, has many beneficial effects on the human body what is exploited for example in sport medicine, for treatment of locomotory system diseases or even some psychiatric disorders. To insure the safe treatment in a cryochamber, careful planning of the procedure and proper qualification of patients, is required. Cardiovascular system, especially skin vasculature plays the major role of the body response to the extreme cold. The changes in skin blood flow are reflected in changes of the temperature distribution. Therefore, the thermal imaging, which allows to analyze the temperature distribution on the human body, may be successfully exploited to examine the influence of extremely low temperatures on the skin vascular system. The aim of this work was to examine the temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate changes after the whole body cryotherapy in healthy subjects to determine the safety conditions of the treatment. 480 healthy students of the Wrocław University School of Physical Education were divided into two groups (each 240 persons). All subjects were exposed for 1–3 min to the extremely low temperatures: −60, −100, −120, and −140 °C. In one group, the thermograms were recorded before and 5 and 30 min after the cryotherapy by means of ThermoVision A20 M thermal camera. In the other one, heart rate and blood pressure were measured before and 5 min after the cryotherapy. It was demonstrated that 3-min exposure in the cryochamber and the temperature −120 °C are the optimal and safe cryotherapy parameters.