Cryotherapy, DNA testing: four new wellbeing trends
Still worried that you're too stressed or your muscles ache after exercise? Relax - the latest developments in science and alternative therapies promise to solve (nearly) all your problems
Move over massage, it’s time to welcome Rolfing. Developed in the mid-20th century by Ida Rolf, this is a hands-on process used for the treatment of injuries and chronic pain. Appealing more to those who want to instigate long-term postural change (rather than those who simply want their muscles pummelled for an hour), Rolfing is all about returning the body to its optimum structure via the realignment of the interconnective tissues (or myofascial layer) that hold the muscles in place.
If that sounds complicated, don’t worry – you’ll have plenty of time to ask your Rolfer about it, since the process usually involves 10 one-on-one sessions that move through different body parts and muscle groups. Previously there were only 23 qualified Rolfers in the UK; last year that number rose to 35 (rolfinguk.co.uk).
Freezing the nervous system into submission used to be the domain of professional sportspeople only, but now anybody can walk into the cryotherapy chamber in Hendon’s BMI Hospital and experience three to six minutes in minus 130F (minus 90C) for themselves.
Eastern Europeans have sworn by regular cryotherapy, a treatment that uses extreme cold to stimulate the body’s natural responses, reducing pain and inflammation for those suffering from chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. But it seems we needed the Welsh rugby team to put their half-naked bodies into the cryochamber before we took our own health complaints there and jumped in.
When used in conjunction with standard treatments such as physiotherapy, regular whole-body cryotherapy can halve the recovery time from injuries. To find out more about the benefits of whole-body