PT Aligned recently caught up with Dr. Tommy Rhee to learn how he uses Whole Body Cryotherapy to help his patients and athletes. Dr. Rhee operates a Tampa Bay clinic where he uses the latest techniques and modalities, including whole body cryotherapy, to enhance and accelerate patient recovery. In 2015, he also became a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers medical staff.
DC Aligned: Please talk about your background/experience working with elite athletes and weekend warriors.
Dr. Tommy Rhee: I’ve had the opportunity to work with many great professional football players, as well as high level athletes from other sports. Most athletes eventually suffer some sort of injury, and whether they’re an Olympian, a WWE Wrestler or a weekend warrior, they’re looking for a way to recover faster. In our clinic, every patient is treated like they are playing at the highest level, and each of them has access to all of our modalities. Across the board, we’ve noticed some great results from Whole Body Cryotherapy.
My professional experience began when joined the UCLA Athletic Department. At UCLA, I was introduced to men and women from all sports. Treating such a diverse group of athletes, I had to utilize every tool at my disposal, including ART (Active Release Techniques), along with other cutting-edge technologies and devices such as cryotherapy to help speed up the overall healing process.
DCA: What are some of the benefits you’ve noticed from people using Cryotherapy, and are there any studies or websites that validate those benefits you’ve seen?
Dr. Rhee: Whole Body Cryotherapy helps with inflammation. After a vigorous workout, an acute injury or surgery, Whole Body Cryotherapy is added to complete the therapy/healing process. Our cryo chamber is a device that activates sympathetic reaction for 2.5 minutes. After cryotherapy treatment, parasympathetic reaction occurs, causing vasodilation in order to flush out metabolic waste (inflammation).
DCA: How do you incorporate Cryo into your protocol / patient treatment plans?
Dr. Rhee: It depends on the type of injury and everyone is different. But for example, for an acute injury, I recommend the patient jump into the cryo after his or her usual treatment or exercises for whole body recovery and wellness.
DCA: Does insurance cover cryotherapy treatments? If not, what are typical rates per session?
Dr. Rhee: Insurance does not cover cryo since it’s not considered an FDA medical device. Rates vary depending on if you purchase cryo sessions one at a time or buy them in bulk. Our office treats this device as a personal trainer, and many personal trainers have options that are cheaper if you buy in bulk (package deal). There are also membership options like a gym membership that is most affordable for those who visit our office once or twice a day. Because our athletes are here to recover very fast, some come once or twice per day.
DCA: What advice can you give other providers who are interested in providing cryotherapy treatments to their patients?
Dr. Rhee: Whole Body Cryo complements patient treatments. As a business owner, I’ve seen how Cryo helps bring in new patients—people who are researching and looking for the newest technology to help address their injuries in the fastest way possible. When they find the cryotherapy location, they simply walk through the door, and we all know businesses benefit from more people coming through the door. Use this device as a marketing tool for your office and a way to help improve outcomes…and it will enable you to convert cryo patients into long-term patients.
If you are interested in ordering M-Cryo cryosaunas and whole body cryotherapy equipment, contact MeyerPT today!
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