New IIR Working Group: whole-body cryotherapy or cryostimulation

During the IIR Science and Technology Council meeting on June 15, 2017, a new IIR Working Group (WG) on “Whole-body cryotherapy or cryostimulation” was officially created.
New challenges in Cold Applications in Life Sciences

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 (2 to 4 minutes) in a specialised cold chamber. This method is used to induce physiological and psychological benefits.

© Cryocentre Mulhouse

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

During the IIR Science and Technology Council meeting on June 15, 2017, a new IIR Working Group (WG) on “Whole-body cryotherapy or cryostimulation” was officially created. Set up on the initiative of Jacques Guilpart, Delegate of France and head of Section C, the members of this new WG had an online launch meeting on May 2, 2017.
Technically, the WG 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 WG are, among others, 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; to promote WBC methods in all possible fields of application.
Another aim of the WG is to stimulate research collaborations between the members and to carry out larger investigations concerning WBC (e.g. multi-centric studies).

The terms of reference of the WG are available here.

A core group and group members

The WG is structured with a President, Pr. Benoit Dugué (University of Poitiers, France) and a Vice-President, Dr. Giovanni Lombardi (Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, Milan, Italy). Dr. Romain Bouzigon (University of Bourgogne – Franche-Comté, France) is Secretary.

Pr. Benoît Dugué, President of the Working Group

A core group will be responsible for planning group actions. For the time being, more than 15 scientists representing 8 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 WG is open to both low-temperature refrigeration and medical experts, in particular IIR members.

First planned actions

One of the first objectives will be to prepare an Informatory Note on the subject. This note 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 in order 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.

Experts participating in the Working Group
  • Didier COULOMB – IIR General Director, Paris (France)
  • Jacques GUILPART – Section C Commission President, Paris (France)
  • Pr. Benoit DUGUE – University of Poitiers, Poitiers (France)
  • Dr. Romain BOUZIGON – University of Franche Comté, Besançon (France)
  • Dr. Juha OKSA – Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Oulu (Finland)
  • Dr. Juhani SMOLANDER – Rehabilitation Institute, Helsinki (Finland)
  • Dr. Giovanni LOMBARDI – San Raffaello University, Milano (Italy)
  • Dr. Elzbieta MILLER – Medical University of Lodz, Lodz (Poland)
  • Dr. Michiko DOHI –University of Tokyo, Tokyo (Japan)
  • Dr. Ivo TIEMESSEN – Proccare, Amsterdam, (Netherlands)
  • Dr. Liam HENNESSY (Setanta College, Tipperary (Ireland)
  • Associate Professor Joao FERREIRA - Junior Federal Institute of Sudeste of Minas Gerais (Brazil)
  • Pr. Agata STANEK - Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Bytom (Poland)
  • Pr. Guiseppe BANFI - San Raffaello University, Milano (Italy)
  • Jean-Pierre BERNARD - Air Liquide R&D, Paris-Saclay (France)

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