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IIR looks into cryostimulation

During the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR)’s Science and Technology Council meeting in June, a new IIR Working Group on ‘Whole-body cryotherapy or cryostimulation’ was officially created.

Whole-body cryotherapy is one mode of cold therapy, during which a subject is exposed to very low temperatures (so-called ‘extreme cold’) for a short time (two to four minutes) in a specialised cold chamber. This method is used to induce physiological and psychological benefits.


Little known a few years ago, this therapy has recently generated significant interest. The researchers and clinicians working in this field have developed a small community. However, very little interaction exists among the community. Something needed to be done!

A new working group at the IIR
Set up on the initiative of Jacques Guilpart, delegate of France and head of Section C, the members of this new working group had an online launch meeting on 2 May 2017.

Technically, the working group will be organised within the scopes of Section C ‘Biology and Food technology’ and Commission C1 on ‘Cryobiology, cryomedicine and health products’.

The main objectives of the working group are to develop a frame of reference concerning the standardisation of exposure protocols according to the characteristics of individual users and the desired effects of the treatment; to standardise temperature measurements inside all existing WBC devices; to develop safety instructions for cold exposures; and promote WBC methods in all possible fields of application.

Another aim of the working group is to stimulate research collaborations between the members and carry out larger investigations concerning WBC, such as multi-centric studies.

The group
A core group will be responsible for planning group actions. For the time being, more than 15 scientists representing eight countries have already joined. The idea is that the ‘Whole-body cryotherapy group’ will bring together the whole clinical and scientific community of whole-body cryotherapy/ cryostimulation and provide a dynamic space for communication and exchange. This working group is open to both low-temperature refrigeration and medical experts and IIR members.

First planned actions
One of the first objectives will be to prepare an Informatory Note on the subject, which will be designed to meet the needs of decision and policy makers worldwide, on scientific and general bases. It will be reviewed and validated by the members of the core group to provide an impartial and consensus-based point of view on the topic. It will also put forward future priority developmental axes and provide IIR and core group recommendations on the subject.



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