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Cold Tub Therapy - Benefits Of Cold Water Immersion
Are sore muscles preventing you from performing at your peak and you're wanting to recover faster? Do you feel groggy in the middle of the day far too often? When trying to sleep at night, do you find yourself tossing and turning instead?
One of the newest scientifically-backed forms of treatment that can lower high blood pressure, treat depression symptoms, and reduce muscle soreness quickly is cold water therapy. Blood flow compromised by inflammation after hard workouts and the dangerous effects of exercise-induced hyperthermia can be offset using cold water exposure.
What is Cold Water Therapy?
Cold therapy is the practice of exposing one's body to cold conditions for various health benefits that range from faster muscle recovery times to minimizing inflammation. Beyond the physiological benefits, cold therapy can also elevate mood and enhance concentration.
Exposing the body to cold for therapeutic reasons, such as cold baths, has been around for centuries, dating back to ancient civilizations that bathed in cold waters or waterfalls as an adapted cold shower.
In some regions, people have been known to engage in regular winter swimming with the intention of boosting vitality.
After hundreds of years of people touting the benefits of practicing cold baths, cold showers, or routine cold water swimming, science is confirming the very real benefits. Researchers are discovering more scientific evidence-based effects of cold therapy such as ice baths or cold showers.
Over the last decade, research has been coming out proving more and more benefits of cold immersion therapy. Scientists are finding confirmation that body immersion in low water temperature after a high-intensity workout not only helps with active recovery but also helps with depression by increasing mood-boosting neurotransmitters.
As more research comes out, athletes are adopting therapy using cold for sports recovery, muscle cramping, weight loss, and improved circulation. Taking an ice bath has even become popular as a way to enhance mental performance and promote a healthy body overall. Using cold water in conjunction with a sauna can also be good for contrast water therapy to combine the benefits of heat shock proteins with cold exposure benefits.
With more and more high-level athletes touting the benefits of cold exposure, it's gaining traction even with entrepreneurs and professionals who are wanting to perform at a high level mentally and physically.
Reasons To Start Ice Bath Therapy
Ice bath therapy helps activate your body's natural healing powers to relieve the symptoms resulting from various medical issues like inflammation and sympathetic nervous system issues. So what are some of the reasons you might want to consider adding cold immersion therapy to your wellness routine or even purchasing your own ice bath tub?
1. Boosts Your Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system relies on a network of vessels running throughout the body. Therapy using cold water triggers the lymphatic system to flush bacteria and toxins from cells.
2. Improved Blood Circulation
Cold water immersion therapy in an ice bath stimulates increased blood flow to vital organs, helping your heart pump, pushing blood more efficiently through your system to deliver the nutrients and oxygen it needs. Blood rushes through the body as vessels constrict and restrict, increasing their elasticity. Contrast water therapy is an excellent way to achieve this benefit using an ice bath.
3. Reduces Muscle Inflammation
Intense workouts and physically demanding sports can cause muscle soreness and inflammation, which is painful and uncomfortable. A passive recovery method such as cold water immersion therapy can reduce muscle pain and ultimately lead to reduced swelling for fast pain relief. Cold showers and ice baths can soothe sore muscles and help with joint pain. A post-workout ice bath after intense training sessions can make a massive difference in performance while also boosting the body's natural healing powers.
Is Exposure To Cold Good For Your Immune System?
Some studies have proven cold water can boost the body's illness-fighting ability. Cold environments can stimulate white blood cell production, which helps ward off illness with leukocytes.
There's evidence to suggest ice baths increase metabolic rates, leading to an accelerated immune response. White blood cells are produced faster, better protecting the body against infections and disease.
Lymph vessels are also believed to contract when exposed to cold, causing the lymphatic system to pump lymph fluids throughout the body efficiently to better flush out wastes and toxins. Then, the system triggers the body's immune system to increase white blood cells to attack the unwanted toxins in the lymph fluid stream. Whatever the mechanism of how it works, cold water exposure is proven to have positive effects on natural disease-fighting systems.
How Does Cold Therapy Work?
Several cold water therapy methods exist. Open water swimming, taking an ice bath in a tub, or taking a dip in a cold plunge tub or pool.
Whatever the method, be sure to follow these guidelines:
- Get checked out by your physician before trying cold water therapy.
- Understand the 4 phases of cold water exposure along with safe cold therapy practices.
- Engage in cold water immersion routinely in sessions no longer than 10 minutes at a time. If you want to increase your exposure time, slowly build up your endurance to cold.
- Always have a partner to track your blood pressure and body temperature to avoid accidental hypothermia or cardiac arrest.
Essential Factors For Ice Bath Therapy
When first getting started with cold water therapy, there are some essential factors to consider:
Set the coldness to a level you can maintain regularly
Consistency is critical for gaining the benefits of cold water therapy, so setting a temperature you can maintain over time is important. As you ease into the routine, you'll find you can eventually notch the temps lower with time.
Start with 30 days of cold showers
Before plunging into ice baths, starting with 30 days of taking cold showers prior to purchasing a cold plunge tub provides insight into how your body handles an ice bath and how you can best manage your response.
Long-term considerations when buying a cold plunge tub
When you're planning on using a cold plunge tub for the long-term, getting the right tub for your preferences is critical to get the most out of cold water immersion therapy. Contact the team at Renu Therapy and get a free consultation on which tank is best for your needs.
Relaxing your mind and body
Calming your nerves is crucial prior to beginning a cold water immersion session. Breathing exercises help control your parasympathetic system and boost nitric oxide production for more cell-receptivity to oxygen.
When you're ready to take the ice bath plunge yourself, give us a call to set up a free cold water immersion session at Renu Therapy!
Owner of Bliss Media
"It is easy to operate and convenient. I do Contrast Therapy, especially after a workout, or sometimes I jump into the ice bath tub for an afternoon Wake Up! I feel RENU'D." Read more...
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