CONVERSATIONS WITH DR. LAUREN MUNSCH DAL FARRA
DR. LAUREN MUNSCH DAL FARRA was first introduced to the
cryochamber when she visited a spa in Southern France that focused
on providing treatments to athletes. “I tried it for low back pain and
noticed a positive effect after the first session,” says Dr. Munsch Dal
Farra, who specializes in cardiology. At the spa, she met a woman
with multiple sclerosis who was wheelchair-bound several years prior
to starting a Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) treatment. “After six
months, she was able to walk again. She attributed her improvement
to the cryochamber since she used no other treatments during that time,” she says, adding that
personally hearing the woman’s story has further piqued her interest in cryotherapy.
Later, Dr. Munsch Dal Farra founded and now serves as co-CEO of PALM Health, LLC, a Missouribased integrative medicine and wellness center that offers facilities like hyperbaric chamber, salt
room and a cryotherapy chamber.
PULSE: What is a cryotherapy?
Dr. Lauren Munsch Dal Farra: Historically, rolling in the
snow, standing under ice cold waterfalls, swimming in a hole
cut in the ice, and ice baths were used in many cultures for
invigorating the mind and body, and for reducing inflammation,
pain, muscle soreness or swelling. Cryotherapy has emerged as
the modern technology today where a person is exposed to
subzero temperatures (-150°F to -300°F), for a period of one to
three minutes, in order to evoke physiological reactions to cold.
Low temperatures are obtained by chilling the air with liquid
nitrogen vapor and applying it either locally, on selected parts of
the body, or generally, on the entire body as with the cryosauna
P: Who developed Whole Body Cryotherapy?
MDF: Whole Body Cryotherapy was originally developed in
1978 by Dr. Toshiro Yamauchi who treated patients for pain and
inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis in Japan using
cold (cryo) procedures. His studies indicated he could significantly reduce the soreness and pain his patients felt during
manipulation of their joints, because the rapid decrease of
temperature of the outer layer of skin led to the immediate release
of endorphins; therefore, less sensitivity to pain. Scientists in
Germany and Poland further developed this method. The third
cryochamber in the world was developed in Poland in 1989, and
further research promoted the commercialization of the
cryochamber, which then gained popularity among professional
athletes. The Olympic rehabilitation center in Spala, Poland,
which serves athletes and sport teams around the world, opened
in May 2000 and has since been offering cryotherapy during
training and injury rehabilitation. Research in Europe on Whole
Body Cryotherapy has been prominent over the last 30 years.
P: How often can guests safely have cryotherapy?
MDF: The treatment lasts one and a half to three minutes.
Usually, two to three sessions per week is adequate to experience
the benefits; however, many people report results after one to two
sessions. For people undergoing intensive exercise training,
physical rehabilitation or treatment for rheumatic arthritis and
other inflammatory conditions, the best therapeutic effects are
obtained by using cryotherapy twice a day, with at least a threehour interval between procedures over the course of at least two
to three weeks. Sessions should not exceed three minutes.
P: What are some of the potential benefits of this
MDF: Whole Body Cryotherapy triggers the release of endorphins, which induces analgesia (immediate pain relief). The