Sauna Before or After Cryotherapy – Safest & Most Effective Method

Cryotherapy is a common new trend for treating many health problems and alleviating pain, reducing inflammation, and losing weight. Since the use of a sauna has many wonderful effects on the body, some may wonder if cryotherapy can be used before or after a sauna to maximize its benefits. 

You may use the sauna before or after cryotherapy as long as the sessions are at least 6 hours apart. The wait is necessary because jumping from one extreme temperature to another may overstress your body, put it in shock, cause skin irritation, and cause particular damage to those struggling with specific health concerns like high blood pressure.

Keep reading for more information on the best practices for sauna and cryotherapy pairing, as well as the possible benefits.

Is it better to do cryotherapy before or after using the sauna?

A sauna and a cryotherapy chamber can both provide many benefits to your body. Because of this, many people are looking for the best way to use them simultaneously while remaining safe.

The people of Finland have been using saunas followed by cool temperatures for thousands of years as a way to boost metabolism, increase adrenaline, and wrap up the detoxification process.

Having cryotherapy treatment at least 6 hours after a sauna session is generally recommended by spas or individuals with experience using both. A sauna session post cryo session may be too much for the body to handle for some individuals. These differences in bodily reactions would be one of the main reasons a sauna session is suggested beforehand instead of after.

The cold of cryotherapy kicks your hypothalamus (the part of the brain that monitors body temperature) into overdrive. This type of cold therapy can be pretty strenuous for the body, organs, and nervous system; using a sauna requires less hard work from the body and can be used as a “warm-up” for the hard work.

Another reason why cryotherapy is best used after a sauna is because of its ability to close your pores after the sauna has cleared them. Additionally, a sauna and cryotherapy both help to increase blood circulation and reduce inflammation.

The sauna’s effects can last for hours or even days, so using a cryo-chamber a few hours after the sauna can provide your system with an extra boost and maximize the effects.

Can you go into a sauna after cryotherapy?

Although it seems that the majority of sauna and cryo users prefer to have their sauna session beforehand, there are many people who stand by their opinion that using cryotherapy first is more effective for them.

You can go into the sauna after cryotherapy as long as you wait the suggested 6 hours or more between sessions. For those who follow these suggestions, the risks of putting your body into shock are significantly decreased.

For those looking to help with sore muscles, using the sauna first is highly effective. Individuals who have physical injuries like a fracture should use the cryotherapy chamber first and have a sauna session a few days later. 

If you are unsure of whether you should start with the hot or cold treatment, you can ask your doctor as well as your spa for personalized advice.

Depending on the type of benefits you are seeking, professionals may advise a specific sauna and cryo use routine. 

Should you use cryotherapy and infrared sauna together?

Using cryotherapy alongside an infrared sauna can complement each other nicely. Although each of these sessions can provide different relief and or treatment, there are many overlapping effects as well. Using the two synergetically can optimize some results. 

Although extreme heat and extreme cold are on opposite ends of the spectrum, both have the ability to increase blood flow, release norepinephrine, improve new skin regeneration and detoxify your body. 

Here are a few benefits that cryotherapy and infrared sauna have in common:

  • Injury recovery
  • Muscle soreness
  • Stress relief
  • Inflammation reduction
  • Improving dry skin
  • Better sleep

Which is better – cryotherapy or the sauna?

Depending on what you are trying to treat and what symptoms you have at the time, the cryo or the sauna may be a better option.

Although cryotherapy chambers and sauna rooms are both excellent tools to utilize when seeking pain relief or overall health, there are many things that one can accomplish that the other cannot. 

Sauna is better used if you have cold, open wounds, cold-induced asthma, or a sinus infection. These ailments are best treated by heat as cold temperatures can worsen symptoms.

Cryotherapy is better used if you have a headache or migraine, are dehydrated, are interested in losing weight, or you’re looking for a quicker more short-term pain relief.

Overall, I do not feel that one is better than the other if you are able to handle both high and low temperatures. 

What are the potential benefits of using cryotherapy?

Now that we’ve established that cryotherapy and saunas can be used in conjunction, you may be wondering about the specific benefits of cryotherapy on its own.

Here are some potential benefits of using a cryotherapy chamber:

  • Reduces migraine symptoms.
  • Numbs nerve irritation.
  • Help treat mood disorders and improve mood.
  • Reduces pain caused by arthritis.
  • May slow metastasization of low-risk tumors.
  • May help prevent cognitive impairment.
  • Treats atopic dermatitis and other skin conditions.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Promotes better sleep.

What are the potential benefits of using an infrared sauna?

An infrared sauna can have its own specific benefits that vary from the benefits you may receive from spending time a traditional sauna or steam room.

Some of the potential benefits of an infrared sauna include:

  • Better sleep.
  • Relaxes the mind and body.
  • Detoxifies the body internally and externally.
  • Relieves sore muscles.
  • Reduces arthritic pain in joints.
  • Provides clear and tighter skin.
  • Improves circulation.
  • May help people with chronic fatigue syndrome.