The use of cold therapy by humans has a long history. The Edwin Smith Papyrus, the most ancient medical text known, dated 3500 B.C., makes numerous references to the use of cold as a therapy to treat injuries and inflammation in the body. Cryotherapy is the most advanced form of cold therapy in use today. It was first administered in 1978 by a Japanese rheumatologist by the name of Dr. Yamaguchi. He used cryogen treatments on his patients for pain management of rheumatoid arthritis. He concluded that rapid short-term freezing of the skin’s surface led to the immediate release of endorphins, being more effective and comforting than gradual cooling in an ice bath. Research in Europe revealed many benefits of Cryotherapy on patients suffering from chronic inflammatory conditions and also with elite athlete’s training regimens. Further research has shown Cryotherapy may be effective in treating: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain Syndromes, Migraines, Sleeping Disorders, Depression, Muscle Soreness, Joint Rehabilitation, Post Surgical and Athletic Recovery.
The origin of compression therapy can be traced back to ancient civilizations in Rome and Egypt, where many people used garments to bind and treat injuries. The most recent reference of compression therapy for health purposes began in Europe before World War II. Around the 1950’s European manufacturers began teaching Americans about the benefits of wearing compression fittings. Since then their popularity has been growing very quickly, as everyone is starting to understand all of the benefits from using air compression therapy regularly. Even elite athletes are using compression for improved performance and better health. Most European governments are even paying for up to six units a year for each of their citizens who need compression therapy. They know it enhances the health of their citizens and helps to prevent more serious, and costly, health problems with virtually no side effects.
Electric Muscle Stimulation
Adapted over the years electro-stimulation has been used for centuries. More than four millenniums ago in Egypt they were already using fish to generate electrical discharges for the treatment of various pathologies. Even though using this type of electrical discharge from fish was practiced by the Egyptians and Greeks, and subsequently by the Romans, it wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century that electro-stimulation was used effectively in the world of sport. Long before that, in the 18th century, Luigi Galvani demonstrated that passing an electrical current through the spinal chord of a frog caused muscle contractions. It was then tested whether the nervous system had an essential electrical component which the human being generated, which permitted them to control their motor actions. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century a series of advancements were made which were to make the usage of electro-stimulation easier, as a therapeutic element, as effective treatment of multiple pathologies, and especially for the treatment of pain.
Light therapy dates back to the Greeks, when it was known that exposure to light, or heliotherapy, could be beneficial to health. In the 19th Century, a Nobel Prize was awarded to Dr. Niels Finsen, a Danish Physician who demonstrated the beneficial effects of various wavelengths in the treatment of tuberculosis. This same technology has proven to be effective in the fields of dermatology, neurology and physiotherapy. Forty years of independent research have shown that Light Therapy has powerful therapeutic benefits to living tissue. In the 1960s in Europe it was noted that certain single wavelengths had excellent therapeutic effect on treatment tissues through a process called photo-stimulation. Researchers noted that stimulated skin tissue can regenerate and improve the appearance of the skin. This effect has produced very positive results in the treatment of anti-aging and sun damage. In space, the weightless environment slows cellular growth, in part because it depends on gravity. NASA research examined the use of light to penetrate deep into tissues and found it stimulated cell growth and promoted healing in zero-G environments. Today, LED Light Therapy is an FDA-approved cosmetic procedure that is gentle, painless, safe and effective.
Scraping stones against the body for improvement in circulation dates back to the Paleolithic Age but might have been used prior. When people fell sick or became unconscious, hands, stones, or tools were used to rub parts of their body to help alleviate the symptoms of disease and awaken blood flow. The act of rubbing the body with stones or tools has long been a commonly used therapy by the ancient Chinese called “ Guasha “ and by other cultures throughout the world as well. In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the treatment was systematically documented into medical records. The use of stones to scrape the skin and treat diseases has been gradually improved throughout the ages, in line with a better understanding of the effects on the body. “In Chinese, gua means to scrape or rub, sha is a kind of reddish rash or marks on the surface of the skin. Sha is the word used to describe blood stasis in the subcutaneous tissue as petechiae. Guasha is a treatment that intentionally raises the rash or petechiae. Gua sha therapy is closely related to the theory of meridians pathways throughout the body. The theory provides not only the theoretical foundation for diagnosis, but also guides treatments such as acupuncture & acupressure, massage, cupping and guasha. Guasha treatment is not painful but might cause some discomfort in certain areas of the body. As the body is scraped it pushes a build-up of fluid and after it passes, it leaves a vacuum behind that draws toxins out to the surface of the skin from deep within the tissue. The toxic fluid floods to the surface and can be seen in small red, deep purple or light green pools of blood.
The concept of holistic therapy dates back to over 5,000 years. In the 4th century B.C., Socrates warned that treating only one aspect of the body, would not have good results. Holistic medicine existed even before ancient Greece and can be found in ancient healing traditions, such as those from India and China. However, the term “holistic” only became part of every day language in the 1970s, when Westerners began seeking an alternative to allopathic medicine. The aim of holistic treatment is to bring all areas of an individual’s life, and most particularly the energy flowing through the body, back into harmony. Ultimately, of course, only the patient can be responsible for this. The practice of holistic medicine does not rule out the practice of allopathic medicine; the two can complement each other. A properly balanced holistic health regimen, which takes into consideration all aspects of human health, includes noninvasive and nonpharmaceutical healing methods, can often completely eradicate even acute health conditions safely. If a patient is being treated with allopathic medicine, holistic therapies may at least support the body during treatment, and alleviate the symptoms that often come with drug treatments and surgery. In addition, holistic therapies focus on the underlying source of the illness, to prevent recurrence.