Feel more secure with an Intake Session before whole body cryostimulation

Intake session before cryostimulation

In our previous blog, we talked about the benefits of doing an Intake Consultation before whole body cryostimulation, and we focused on Part 1, the Intake Meeting. Today we are talking about the importance of the Intake Session before whole body cryostimulation.


Intake Consultation  =  Intake Meeting + Intake Session



1. The Intake Session before whole body cryostimulation

After the Intake Meeting or face to face session between the PolarFit® Care Practitioner and the person interested in whole body cryostimulation, and where the main objectives are set, this person should go through a first whole body cryostimulation session (Intake Session).


An Intake Session consists of a standard mild intensity cryotherapy session at -90ºC for 2 minutes.


This mild exposure session has multiple advantages:

  1. Safety: It helps the practitioner or cryotherapy specialist to assess if a person is susceptible to cold.
  2. Efficacy: It provides the practitioner with information on how the person responds to whole body cryostimulation.
  3. Compliance: It helps the person to get acquainted with whole body cryostimulation.


Exposing a person to whole body cryostimulation will trigger body responses. The heart rate goes up, the breathing rate increases etc. Everybody should respond in a similar way. However, because we are all different, the responses might have different levels of intensity. Subjectively, whole body cryostimulation is perceived differently by each person.


In a healthy volunteer study performed by the PolarFit® Care team at Fysiomed Amsterdam, 97 volunteers were exposed to the exact same dosage of 2 minutes at -90°C. One of the outcomes that was assessed was the thermal comfort according to Zhang and colleagues (2003). This mild session showed a wide difference in how people perceive whole body cryostimulation, 7% felt it comfortably normal, 76% as comfortably cold and 17% perceived this mild session as uncomfortably cold.


whole body cryostimulation

Figure 1: Distribution of perceived thermal comfort for the healthy volunteer population


2. Why do an Intake Session before whole body cryostimulation?


Advantage 1: Safety

Some people appear to be more susceptible to cold than others. This could result in a more intense physiological response or even an allergic reaction on the skin. Research tells us that factors such as age, skin type, gender and fitness have an effect on how people respond to such extreme temperatures. Older women with a darker skin and low fitness appear to be at the highest risk. Cholewka and colleagues (2012, see figure 2) illustrated that people’s skin temperature responds differently to whole body cryostimulation and attributed this effect to other individual features as well, such as body adiposity.


Skin temperature at cryostimulation intake sessions

Figure 2: Skin temperature response of two patients undergoing the same dosage (30 sec at -60°C and 120 secs at -100°C) of whole body cryostimulation.


Whilst general skin temperature of Patient 2 stays rather high (on average a drop of 10°C would be expected in this type of treatment), Patient 1 shows an absolute general skin temperature of about 10°C at the end of the treatment. This temperature is close to the reported barrier (skin temperature of 5-8°C) at which one can develop skin problems, like cold burns. The graph only shows the general skin temperature, local regions (shins or triceps) might therefore already be at risk.

Patient 1, in this example, seems quite susceptible to cold. Prescribing an Intake Session would certainly help the practitioner or cryotherapy specialist to be aware of those facts, and therefore make sure this patient is treated in a safe way.


Advantage 2: Efficacy

People come to a cryotherapy centre with a certain objective. They want to optimise their recovery, feel revitalised, feel less pain etc.  They look for the best solution to fit their needs. They would expect whole body cryostimulation to help them, not knowing how their body will react to extreme temperatures. If their body is susceptible to cold, the extent of their response might be more significant and this could result in overstimulation and not reaching the wanted effect. For instance, in people susceptible to cold who use whole body cryostimulation to help them sleep better, it might result in extra vasoconstriction, and getting cold feet, which makes it even more difficult to fall asleep.


Advantage 3: Compliance

The first time a person tries whole body cryostimulation they may feel a bit nervous, as he or she does not know what to expect.

Making sure that the person trusts you and acknowledges you as a cryotherapy specialist is essential to beginning a series of repeat sessions. An Intake Session is the perfect tool for that person to overcome their nervousness and for you to show your expertise and give support.



3. How does it work?

This video shows how the PolarFit® Care Intake Consultation works.

Cryotherapy Intake Consultation


PolarFit® Care  runs with a certified and Cloud based PolarFit® Care Health Software. New users always start with an Intake Consultation before body cryostimulation, consisting of an Intake Interview to assess the objective and an Intake Session. The data gathered from the interview works as a corrective factor considering the cold susceptibility, the age and fitness of each user. This sensitivity factor increases the safety of the person, ensuring that the dosage will not be too intense. When, for instance, the standard protocol is set at -120°C for 3 minutes, the sensitivity factor for somebody who appears to be more susceptible recalculates this protocol to -120°C for 2 minutes and 45 seconds. This therefore improves safety, efficacy and compliance!


* Users welfare and safety is our number one priority, so you can rest assured that PolarFit® Care Software meets stringent health and safety standards and carries the most up-to-date and relevant certifications.



Cholewka, A., Stanek, A., Sieroń, A. & Drzazga, Z. Thermography study of skin response due to whole-body cryotherapy. Skin Res Technol 18, 180–187 (2012).

Zhang, H. Human thermal sensation and comfort in transient and non-uniform thermal environments. PhD thesis. University of California, Berkley, CA, 94720-1839, USA.



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Recent publications
PolarFit® Care publications

19 / 12 / 18 - Why choosing a safe cryotherapy solution is so important Read more →

20 / 02 / 18 - The impact of whole body cryotherapy on core and muscle temperature Read more →

29 / 01 / 18 - The effect of whole body cryotherapy on skin temperature Read more →

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