Cold Therapy comes in 2 popular forms: air-based Cryotherapy and water-based Cryotherapy. We simply call the air-based treatments, Cryotherapy, while we call the water-based treatments, ice baths.

In this post we’ll discuss the difference between the two and why air-based Cryotherapy treatments are quickly becoming the next best recovery option for athletes and active people.


In Cryotherapy, the body is exposed to freezing air at temperatures beyond -200F. This exposure lasts only for a short amount of time, usually ranging from 1-3 minutes per session.

Because the temperatures are so extreme, you only need to be in the chamber for a few minutes to reap the benefits of cold therapy.

An important benefit of air based Cryotherapy is that it can target specific areas of the body.

There is Whole Body Cryotherapy in which the client sits or stands in a chamber and exposed the entire body (except head) to the cold vapors for a holistic treatment.

In Localized Cryotherapy, a device is used to pinpoint certain areas of the body to receive cold treatment. For example, a soccer player might want Localized Cryotherapy on the legs and back as he or she would run often. A baseball player might want Localized Cryotherapy treatments for his or her arms as they throw the ball frequently.

Facial Cryotherapy treatments are a type of Localized treatment, but pertain only to the face and neck. This treatment can help constrict and blood vessels which then dilate and increase blood circulation in the face.

The nice part about Cryotherapy is that the body is exposed to a dry cold instead of wet. This cold, dry air is much more tolerable than being wet and cold which is why it’s becoming more favorable over ice baths.


Ice baths are commonly used in collegiate and professional sports clubs. Many football, soccer, basketball, and baseball teams have a few tubs in their fitness centers used for ice baths.

The ice bath immerses the full body (except head) in water just above freezing temperature (32F, 0C). Many athletes remain in the tub for about 10-20 minutes depending on the soreness of their muscles or severity of their injury.

After an extended period of time, the peripheral body parts like fingers and toes become exposed to the dangers of frostbite while the entire body can come close to a hypothermic state.

Though ice baths can help muscle soreness, the main issue comes with the fact that being cold and wet is far more uncomfortable and dangerous than being dry and wet.

You must take serious precaution before using ice baths after sporting events because prolonged exposure can do more harm than good.


We have many more blog posts on our website if you want to learn all about Whole Body Cryotherapy, Localized Cryotherapy, and Cryotherapy Facials. If you’re interested in trying any of these treatments, search Cryotherapy near me and look for Westside Tan!

Westside Tan is located in sunny Southern California and has spas located throughout the Santa Clarita Valley and the Antelope Valey. Call us to schedule an appointment or to get more info!