Cold Water Therapy
Cold therapy or also called “Cold Hydrotherapy” has been practiced in various cultures for centuries. But for the past couple of years, it has taken over the internet and people are curious to know what it is, what are its benefits, and how to do it. In short, what’s all the hype about. Well, we have covered it all for you!
Coldwater therapy is commonly opted for treating health issues or stimulating health benefits by taking advantage of our body’s natural ability to adapt to harsher environments and become more resistant to stress just by dipping in cold water or taking a cold shower.
WIM HOF Method
Source: Win Hof Method Website
A fitness expert, also a yoga guru Wim Hoff is an advocate of cold-water therapy. He propagates the principle “You are stronger than you think you are”. He says that humans are naturally built strong. With time, humans have gotten used to easy and comfortable environments. But still, they can’t turn away from their core nature. We control the temperatures of our bodies artificially. Our body has the capability of tolerating extreme weather conditions. That is our natural defense mechanism. He argues that we need to awake our inner power and take control over our bodies and mind.
His therapy includes three steps: breathing, cold therapy, commitment. He narrates that in a cold environment body strives to achieve a better immune system. Reduces inflammation and increases metabolic processes. Practicing Cold water therapy for a week will make you feel less stressed and more energized. You can take ice baths, cold water swimming, walking on ice, and practicing yoga on ice. He has been able to achieve many world records, from standing barefoot in snow or standing in a container filled with ice cubes.
Due to his contributions, cold water therapy is now mostly known as Wim Hof Method. He has even started a website providing training on this method with regular classes.
Benefits of Cold-Water Therapy
Let me make it easy for you to understand the benefits and truth about the working of cold-water therapy with a simple example. We all always rush towards picking up an ice pack in case of any injury and pain, as it minimizes the pain and swelling around the injury and reduces bleeding into the tissues. If ice can do the needful in all these cases, just imagine what benefits dipping into the cold water might have.
Here are a few benefits of cold-water therapy proven by science:
Aids in the treatment of common illnesses
Our bodies are built to become resistant to the elements that we encounter. Leukocytes, for example, aids in the battle against infection in the body. Leukocytes are stimulated by the shock of cold water in the circulation, which means that taking cold showers can help you fight common illnesses like the flu and colds as well.
Lowers down temperature
Coldwater therapy is effective when one wants to lower the high body temperature. It is normally suggested and seen that ice water is used to lessen the high temperature of the body when one is suffering from fever.
Immersing our bodies in cold water might be uncomfortable, but it can also be rejuvenating because water that is colder than our normal body temperature makes the bodywork a little harder to maintain its core temperature. Cold showers, when used regularly, can improve the efficiency of our circulatory system along with refreshing the skin texture and appearance.
Reduces Stress, Depression, and Anxiety
Cold showers can be used as a form of modest electroshock therapy for people suffering from depression, stress, and anxiety. Many electrical impulses are sent to your brain by the cold water which jolts your system, causing it to become more awake, clear, and stimulated. Coldwater therapy lowers the depression symptoms and relaxes the mind. Endorphins, generally known as happiness hormones, are released that promote sentiments of happiness and optimism.
According to multiple studies conducted on the benefits of cold-water therapy, immersion in cold water can boost your metabolic rate, stimulate the immune system of your body, speed up your calorie-burning capacity, and might help you reduce weight as well. As per research conducted in 2009, exposing your body to water with less than 15°C (59°F) for 5 minutes increases the metabolism and brings it to a rate at which your body uses the energy and burns calories.
Coldwater therapy helps in:
- Reducing muscle soreness and inflammation.
- Boosting and uplifting your mood.
- Strengthens nails, skin, and hair.
- Increases mental toughness.
How it's done?
There are certain ways to practice cold-water therapy. The wrong way of taking shower can cause adverse effects on heart rate. Without safety measures, cold showers can lead to cardiovascular disorder due to instant fluctuation in heart rates.
- Start from the warm water and slowly shift to cold water, while taking the bath.
- Give 15 seconds to each side of your body. Staring with the back, then one side, the front, and the other side. Rotating like this for 1 minute. Increase your time limit gradually.
- Swimming in cold water is more beneficial than taking a cold bath. Research has proven that cold water swimming is effective in reducing depression.
- If at a normal temperature you take a cold-water bath, your body temperature can drop immediately. Warm-up before the bath.
- Do not spend a long time in cold water. It will not benefit you. For effective results, take short time therapy, merely of few minutes.
- Do consult a doctor before adopting a therapy.
- Whenever you try cold water therapy, always keep someone on your guard. He/she can take immediate action if something goes wrong.
Have faith in yourself and experience it yourself!
For further details visit wolfburgh.com.