Whole Body Cryotherapy & CoolSculpting®: What’s the Difference?

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CoolSculpting is a popular procedure offered at our Atlanta practice that cools targeted areas of the body to reduce fat without surgery or downtime. This device targets fatty areas and kills fat cells by freezing them. With long-lasting results and little to no recovery time, CoolSculpting has become one of the most popular body contouring procedures around the country.

Another trendy procedure being marketed as a way to reduce fat — not to mention treat an array of other ailments — is called whole body cryotherapy (WBC).

Extreme Cold, But Why?

The term cryotherapy refers generally to using extreme cold in a therapeutic way. It can be something as simple as applying an ice pack to a twisted ankle. Whole body cryotherapy takes that concept to another level. Essentially, during a WBC treatment, the patient stands in a closed cylinder, with only the head above the enclosure as the torso and legs are exposed to frigid temperatures for up to 4 minutes. How frigid? Many WBC chambers drop to temperatures ranging from minus 200 to minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Proponents claim exposing the body to extreme cold causes physiological changes that strengthen the immune system, detoxify the body, and improve circulation.

CoolSculpting Is Verifiably Effective

CoolSculpting, on the other hand, is an FDA-approved treatment with an excellent track record of safety and results. Any practice that offers the procedure must first become certified by manufacturer ZELTIQ® to properly administer treatment. By contrast, the leading cryosauna manufacturer, M-Cryo, does not require certification.

And while spas offering WBC treatments claim that it can boost metabolism, tone the skin, promote weight loss, and treat chronic medical conditions, CoolSculpting makes a single claim: It reduces fat in specific areas of the body. That claim is backed by research and clinical studies that have been evaluated independently.

The Bottom Line

As with all trendy medical treatments, the axiom caveat emptor (“buyer beware”) is important to remember. Do your own research and discuss the procedure with a doctor or medical expert who you trust.

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