Whole-body cryotherapy: what does it feel like? Whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) began in Japan in the 1980s. Applications include fibromyalgia, chronic joint and spinal pain, neurodermatitis and psoriasis. Swelling and pain due to sports injuries or surgery also respond well to WBC. Patients undergoing WBC are treated for a few minutes in a small chamber at -110°C. During treatment, the skin temperature drops to 2°C but the body temperature drops only slightly (by 0.1-0.2°C). Pain relief is reported in 90% of cases and is of variable duration. Barney Calman has described first-hand experience of WBC in the Daily Mail. He was treated at London's Kriotherapy Centre and donned a face mask, shorts, socks, gloves and clogs before being subjected to -90°C for a few seconds then -120°C for 2 minutes. He describes sensations ranging from initial stinging to burning then numbing while in the cold chamber. Dilatation of peripheral blood vessels on emerging from the chamber then produces a sensation of well-being. Sportsmen undergoing regular treatment claim faster recovery between training sessions. Experts differ in their opinions of the value of WBC; among physiological effects cited as beneficial are increased production of cortisol and raised levels of creatinine kinase.