Floyd “Money” Mayweather has added a cool new aspect to his training regimen in preparation for his upcoming match with the equally famed, Manny Pacquiao, on May 2, 2015. This box
ing match has been dubbed the “Fight of the Century,” so how each fighter trains for it is critical. JM Siasat, of GMA Network referred to Mayweather’s addition to his training as a “high-tech freezing chamber,” but its technical term is “cryotherapy.”
Cryotherapy basically consists of a person exposing either parts of, or the entire body to, subzero temperatures for a short duration of time (usually 2-3 minutes) in order to decrease inflammation, pain and spasms in his/her body.
You might ask why a person would expose themselves to subzero temperatures for any reason. Think of it like this. We use icepacks on bumps, bruises and sore muscles to decrease inflammation and pain. In a way, this is localized cryotherapy. Logically speaking, it makes sense, then, to subject our entire body to extreme cold temperatures all at once to achieve the same effect.
Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) was originally developed in Japan in 1978, and has been used for more than three decades in both Europe and Japan. The US considers it to be non-invasive and non-medical, but a wellness modality nonetheless. Cryotherapy is widely used for sports recovery treatment, and many US sports teams use it for post-game recovery. Some athletes, such as Kobe Bryant, even have a cryochamber installed in their homes.
US Cryotherapy, as well as other cryotherapy companies, claim there are many benefits to its use. It promotes faster recovery, invigorates the mind, improves sleep pattern, effective in chronic pain management, reduces stress and anxiety, and even promotes healthier skin. The treatments have been proven safe as long as the client is properly dressed for treatment (protective clothing consists of dry cotton socks, underwear, and gloves).
What the treatment actually does is the real key to its success. Cryotherapy causes the body to release endorphins, our body’s “natural high.” These hormones are neurotransmitters that make the body feel good and energetic – a feeling that can last for days after only one session. Any true athlete knows that enduring pain is just as much psychological as it is physical. This euphoric feeling allows athletes to resume training almost immediately following treatment. For Mayweather, whose training sessions are typically intensive, this is golden. With fight night closing in, the likely thought process is that speedy recovery between trainings will allow Mayweather to be in his best shape ever to endure, and more importantly, win this fight.