Atopic diseases and general cryotherapy
  • Cryosauna
  • Сryotherapy
  • Posted August 2, 2017

Atopic diseases and general cryotherapy

Atopic diseases and general cryotherapy (translation of the chapters of  book "The Power from the Cold" by Professor Papenfuss.

Atopic diseases and general cryotherapy (the combined translation of the chapters of book "The power of the cold" by Professor Papenfuss: atopic diseases - general information, neurodermatitis and cryotherapy, cryotherapy for bronchial asthma).

Atopia is often an inheritable excessive response of organism  to certain group of external stimuli. Consequences of this hypersensitivity are diseases that occur in various tissues and organs. This group, among others, includes atopic dermatitis (neurodermatitis) and bronchial asthma.

The results of recent studies of European institutions suggest that sometimes with such diseases it can be a case of genetic predisposition. Thus, the differentiation of the names of the disease arose, singling out the endogenous (non-allergic, internal) and exogenous (allergic, external) forms.

Both forms of neurodermatitis are manifested by inflammatory processes and itching in different layers of the skin, both forms of bronchial asthma are characterized by hyperreactivity of the bronchial system.

Positive dynamics of patients after general cryotherapy in the complex treatment of the symptoms of neurodermatitis, bronchial asthma and psoriasis was gradually observed over a long period of time -  initially, focus groups included patients suffering from these diseases but undergoing cryotherapy to alleviate pain and inflammation of the joints (of course, no one will argue that some diseases necessarily imply the presence of the second ones). The results were recorded in a laboratory and led to the isolation of a separate indication for total cryotherapy in cryosauna in atopic diseases, regardless of the concomitant diseases.

Many patients suffering from neurodermatitis remain unhappy with the result obtained in the treatment. The reason lies in the fact that until now unified principles of treatment have not been formed, since the causes of the disease have not been fully investigated. In addition, not all the therapeutic methods that have been used deserve the unconditional trust of patients; finally, doctors often seek to use only one of the available treatment methods, neglecting other factors that influence the development of the disease. In this regard, we emphasize that cryotherapy cannot replace the complex of measures on its own, but it must be an indispensable part of the treatment.

Depending on the severity of the disease, up to 30 procedures may be needed, which, if possible, are better to be performed in a hospital (for example, in a sanatorium - to eliminate external environmental adverse factors) or at least during the minimal psychological burden of the patient (for example, during leave) for successful mobilization of all internal reserves of the body. Before the beginning of each cryoprocedure, even residual traces of topical medicines should be carefully removed, and after the procedure - they should be applied again if they are prescribed by the attending physician. In no case should it be possible to interrupt previously begun medical treatment with the onset of a course of cryotherapy. Itching, as a rule, disappears already during the first sessions, the inflammation of the skin decreases in about a week of visiting the cryosauna. In addition to the treatment by cold, among other things, behavior therapy is strongly recommended (relaxation techniques, successful coping with stress, avoiding self-injury by combing and enhancing self-control). Probiotic therapy to maintain normal intestinal flora (necessary for the regulation of impaired immune functions) can be certainly recommend to parents of  young children (and adults - in the absence of contraindications) .

Asthmatics, on the contrary, are often inclined to immediately notice the beneficial effect during the course of cryotherapy in the cryosauna. It should, however, observe a certain caution, since cold treatment can cause a slight broncoconstriction, which should be feared. What has been repeatedly emphasized in connection with other diseases, it is more important to cure cases of bronchial asthma: cryotherapy can in no way be a substitute technique, but it is successfully implemented as an additional technique.

Before starting the course, you need to make sure of two factors:

  • conducted methods of exposure led to stabilization of the patient's condition and the phase of exacerbation is excluded;
  • the patient well tolerates an increase in physical and mental loads.

Evaluation of  both of these points should be made by a qualified specialist.

The beginning of cold treatment should be gradual. The length of stay in the cryosauna can be maximized (three minutes) only for a week. During the first procedure of the course, the doctor must continuously monitor the patient's condition, controlling all processes and eliminating the slightest risks, since the primary reaction of patients of this group to the cold can be completely unpredictable.

In general, cryotherapy has a markedly positive effect on the respiratory system. The results of the exhalation test immediately after the procedure confirm the growth of the corresponding indices: short-term bronchial dilatation is fixed, the tone of the respiratory muscle is reduced, the general physical possibilities are improved. In addition, it is reported on the inhibition and reduction of inflammatory processes in the bronchial mucosa.

So-called cold asthma - a form of bronchial asthma, in which the cold sometimes provokes spasm of the bronchi, deserves a separate mention.

Professor W. Menger published the results of his interesting experiments in his study "Climatotherapy in the North and Baltic Seas". He's writing:

"... After a winter walk, half of the young asthmatics had a cold spasm of the bronchi that was immediately removed by the action of low temperature directly on the skin (the patients were dressed in swimsuits). The cold had a beneficial effect through the skin and the vegetative (subconscious) nervous system with the same effect as an inhaler or spray usually gives. "

The mechanism of influence is not known to the end. One can only more or less confidently assume that this property of the cold to improve the condition with bronchial asthma and with this particular form of cold asthma is based on the neuro-reflex reaction of the organism. Therefore, the cold form of asthma cannot be considered as a contraindication for cryotherapy sessions, it is more likely that it is through the skin that reactions can be made that improve the cold tolerance of the bronchial system, but the initial cold treatment sessions should be performed  under close medical supervision.

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