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Cold Therapy and Your Heart: Ready for the Plunge?

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Female taking cryotherapy treatment

Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, refers to the use of cold temperatures to promote various health benefits. When I left Chicago for Arizona in 2002, I wanted nothing more to do with the cold. But the health benefits of cold therapy are too much to ignore.

While there are no studies showing a lower risk of heart disease in people who perform cold therapy or cryo, there are some signals that significant benefits may be obtained.

Remember, ask your doctor first if cold therapy is right for you. There is some concern for acute cardiovascular events such as heart attack based on case reports.

Here are a few potential cardiovascular benefits of cold therapy:

  1. Reduced inflammation: Inflammation is linked to all diseases, including cardiovascular. Cold therapy can help reduce inflammation in the body, including inflammation of the blood vessels. Inflammation is a common contributor to cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Cold therapy was found to reduce CRP, the main inflammatory blood marker, in this study. By decreasing inflammation, cold therapy may have a positive impact on cardiovascular health.
  2. Enhanced blood circulation: Exposure to cold temperatures can stimulate vasoconstriction, which is the narrowing of blood vessels. This constriction can help improve blood circulation by increasing the pressure within the vessels. When the cold stimulus is removed, blood vessels may dilate, leading to a surge of fresh blood and nutrients to the tissues. Improved circulation can support cardiovascular health by ensuring an adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients to the heart and other organs. Blood pressure may acutely go up a little during cold therapy, but the long term effects on blood pressure may be beneficial.
  3. Increased metabolic rate: Cold exposure can stimulate the activation of brown adipose tissue (BAT), a type of fat that generates heat to maintain body temperature. When BAT is activated, it burns calories to produce heat, which can contribute to weight loss or weight maintenance. Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for cardiovascular health, as obesity is a risk factor for various heart conditions.
  4. Improved lipids: Cold therapy improves mitochondrial health and uptake of lipids into cellular compartments. By doing so, systemic cholesterol and other lipids are likely lowered.
  5. Improved recovery from cardiovascular exercise: Cold therapy, such as cold water immersion or cryotherapy, is commonly used by athletes to facilitate muscle recovery after intense exercise. By reducing inflammation and enhancing blood circulation, cold therapy can help alleviate muscle soreness and promote faster recovery. This, in turn, may support cardiovascular exercise by enabling athletes to engage in more frequent and intense workouts.

It’s worth noting that while cold therapy can offer potential cardiovascular benefits, it may not be suitable for everyone. Individuals with certain health conditions, such as Raynaud’s disease, cold allergies, or cardiovascular disorders, should consult with a healthcare professional before considering cold therapy. Additionally, the duration, intensity, and method of cold exposure can vary, so it’s important to follow safe guidelines and recommendations when incorporating cold therapy into your routine.

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About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

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About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

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Chiropractic

Our chiropractor is an expert at adjustments and holistic chiropractic care and works closely in conjunction with the other health care experts at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

IV Therapy

We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

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Stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being with acupuncture at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

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Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Cardio Tests

We use the most advanced testing in the world to assess heart health and to identify the root cause of your health issues.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Office Visits

Schedule an office visit with one of our cardiologists, holistic physicians, chiropractor, or health coaches.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email health@naturalheartdoctor.com. A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.