Ice Baths and Cold Therapy are now gaining in popularity thanks to the likes of Whim Hoff, other wellness celebrities and of course social media, so what’s it all about?
How can an ice bath improve your mind, mood and even inflammation?
Cold Therapy (cold water immersion) feels like the latest buzz word but in actuality, this technique has been around for centuries dating as far back as 3500 BC!
To start with, Cold therapy can increase our dopamine production by activating the sympathetic nervous system, which triggers the release of this neurotransmitter in the brain.
Dopamine is a feel-good chemical that can help boost mood and energy levels so when our body is exposed to cold temperatures, it triggers a stress response that can lead to increased dopamine production.
The sympathetic nervous system activates the body's fight-or-flight response.
So by submerging into cold water you are essentially tricking your body (or bio-hacking if you will) into thinking it's under stress and your body reacts to this by flooding you with Dopamine to get you through the cold/stress.
This can help explain why some people report feeling a sense of euphoria or high after taking a cold shower or immersing themselves in icy water.
By increasing dopamine production, cold therapy can help improve our overall sense of well-being and promote a more positive mood.
5 Reasons To Try Cold Therapy Today:
1. Reduces Inflammation and Swelling
Exposure to cold water temperatures causes your blood vessels to constrict reducing blood flow to injured areas which helps reduce swelling and inflammation.
2. Relieves Pain
Cold therapy can help relieve pain by numbing the affected area. This can be beneficial for sore muscles or painful joints.
3. Promotes Recovery
Cold therapy can help promote recovery after intense physical activity or workouts. Reducing inflammation and promoting circulation, helping speed up the recovery process. Professional athletes incorporate ice baths into their post-games for this very reason.
4. Boosts Immunity
Cold therapy has been shown to boost the immune system by increasing white blood cell production. This can help the body fight off infections and illnesses.
5. Improves Mood and Energy
Besides the physical benefits of Cold Therapy, we know it has also been shown to increase dopamine production in the brain, which can help improve mood and energy levels.
This can be particularly beneficial for people who struggle with low mood or fatigue.
At the end of your shower, switch it to cold and feel the renewed energy it will bring about your day.
Or if you are game, try an ice bath or plunge into the cold ocean and take your new-found wellness tip into your current self-care routine for stronger vitality today.