ACT (aircryotherapy) is a method consisting in single-step cooling of the whole surface of human body in gas medium with super-low temperature (down to -180°C).
This is a technique meant for prophylaxis of premature death and for nonspecific status correction, being a part of integrative medicine.
From the point of view of integrative medicine, any disease is violation of biological integrity of the body, impeding satisfaction of the biological need in dynamic self-healing. This phenomenon generates various clinical manifestations of disbolism and energy supply disturbances.
The morphostructural balance of biological integrity of the body is represented by 4 groups of cells:
If every minute a million of cells die in the body, in order to preserve the morphostructural balance of the body the same quantity of cells must be regenerated. Due to this fact the actions of a general practitioner should be aimed at preserving morphostructural balance of the body biological integrity by adopting a certain line of professional behavior and correspondent medical techniques.
The system of recuperating biological integrity of the body is brought about by general adaptive syndrome, which is triggered by the central nervous system through polyglandular somatotropic intensification. The nociceptive mechanism plays an important role in triggering the general adaptive syndrome. The biological purport of adaptation is to preserve the biological integrity of the body.
The influence of cold on the human body from quantitative point of view is determined by the degree of cooling. The degree of cooling reflects the rate of cooling for the human body with average temperature of 36.5°C or body heat amount, which is needed to maintain the temperature on fixed level.
As soon as the human body is a self-tuned system it is able to switch depending on situation by activating a number of data mechanisms. Thus, being subject to cold therapy, the patient's body may respond vigorously to the situation and to a number of distant irritants (color, odor of water or gases etc.). This mechanism triggers sanogenetic (health-recuperative) reactions even with small doses of cold irritant.
The temperature distribution within the body is heterogeneous.
In 1955 Barton and Edholm suggested to distinguish between the heat "coat" and heat "nucleus" of the body. The tissues of the "coat" are heated rather unevenly. So, the normal temperature of upper extremities is usually between 30°C and 32°C, while peripheral sections of lower extremities on feet have the temperature about 26°C - 28°C.
The temperature of internal organs is more constant (a bit higher than 37°C). The "nucleus" is less resistant to temperature descent. Drop in the temperature of the human body by 1°C causes the decrease in basal metabolism by 6-7%. When the "nucleus" temperature drops to 20°C it may result in death. However, supercooling leads first to rather prolonged skin temperature drop, and only then, some time later, the temperature descent of the internal organs occurs.
Generally, as soon as the body thermoregulatory mechanism regulates heat irradiation more than heat buildup, the body temperature does not depend directly on the ambient temperature.
In the skin there are 10-15 times more cold receptors than heat ones. It is believed that for 1 square centimeter of skin there are 200 nociceptors, 25 tactile receptors, 2 heat receptors and 12 -15 cold receptors. The majority of the latter (used to be called bulbs of Krause) are triggered when the temperature descends to +12°C. Each square centimeter of skin contains up to 14 nerve endings, which respond to cold and only 1-2 of those responding to heat. Skin heat receptors send electric signals informing about alteration in thermal equilibrium to a special area of the brain (hypothalamus) with the thermoregulatory centers.
Under exposure to severe cold the skin turns pale due to contraction even of large blood vessels. Thus the heat emission into the environment is even more decreased. At the same time the inflow of blood to the internal organs is increased and the body
As heat deficiency progresses, the internal organs temperature begins to descend, and as far as this goes it is accompanied by subjective feeling of being cool, cold or frozen.
The body respondent to the exposure to cold is subject to the law of quantitative relationship between the intensity of stimulus and reaction of the body. It is established that with intensification of the exposure to cold the amount of consumed oxygen increases. For instance, under the influence of air bath of 25 kcal/sq.m the amount of consumed oxygen increases by 27 - 30%, and with the air bath of 45 kcal/sq.m it goes up by 48 - 53%.
The human body adaptation to the cold irritant is an important mechanism. There's also a cumulative effect, that is the increase in physiological activity of cold therapy as its effects are expanded. Still, very severe exposures may lead to protective inhibition according to I. P. Pavlov.
The hardening by cold causes after-effect, displayed after a treatment course. It is manifested by favorable changes of biochemical indices long time after exposure to hardening treatment, in some cases, within several months or even after one year.
The cold may have specific and selective action on physiological reactions of the body. As shown by P.K. Anokhin, during climatic therapeutic intervention, all changes in the body are aimed at achieving favorable physiological result, which guarantees the most sparing functioning of the body under given conditions, with the lowest energy consume.