Cold Plunge will be here summer 2024
JOURNEY WITHIN WELLNESS CENTER
COLD THERAPY OVERVEIW
It works by reducing blood flow to a particular area, which can significantly reduce inflammation and swelling that causes pain, especially around a joint or a tendon.
Learn more about Cold Therapy
By decreasing your core body temperature, a cold plunge can deliver a wide range of benefits. Perhaps the most important is building mental resilience and discipline: consistent exposure to cold temperatures allows the mind to get comfortable in a state of discomfort, which will improve its ability to deal with other types of stress. “Teaching the body how to handle extremes, especially within our ice baths starts to teach the body and mind that you are in control," adds Leary. "Not only is there pure satisfaction in accomplishing something difficult, but the more you incorporate ice baths into your routine you will find that there are simple practical practices that put you back in control and inevitably teach you how to handle any stress better."
The physical benefits of cold plunging are abundant. Experts say cold water immersion can:
decrease inflammation offer a huge rush of endorphins, spike dopamine improve sleep and mood reduce stress help remedy aches and pains boost injury recovery reduce swelling, potentially increase testosterone, promote lymphatic drainage regulate hormones accelerate metabolism
There’s a reason athletes and longevity experts alike have embraced cold plunge therapy: the benefits may be far-reaching and have some backing from science. Here are 10 you should take advantage of.
Boosts immunity It’s no vitamin C, but cold exposure increased white blood cell count and the number of natural killer (NK) cells, which fight infection and protect against disease, in a review of articles published in the North American Journal of Medicine and Science . One study from the Netherlands found people who ended a warm water shower with up to 90 seconds of cold water for 30 days called in sick from work less than people who took showers at their regular temperature . Eases pain Aside from exercise-induced muscle soreness, there is evidence that an icy plunge may help relieve chronic pain. One study published in 2022 found people with autoinflammatory arthritis had less joint pain and a better quality of life after immersing themselves in cold water immersion for 20 minutes a day for four weeks . Other research has suggested that whole-body cold therapy or ice swimming may reduce pain perception, possibly because the cold temperatures cause the body to release norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter involved with your fight or flight response . Decreases stress levels Cold water immersion slows your heart rate and directs blood flow to your brain, which may dethrone stress by stimulating your vagus nerve. Your vagus nerve runs from your skull, down your neck, through your thorax and into your abdomen, touching almost every organ it passes. Its main job is to regulate internal organ function, including digestion, heart rate, and breathing rate. The vagus nerve also helps regulate your nervous system, assisting it in switching between your parasympathetic mode—known as the “rest and digest” mode—and your sympathetic mode, or “fight or flight.” When levels of stress rise, your sympathetic mode becomes overactive, and your vagus nerve triggers your parasympathetic mode to calm you down. One study published in 2018 found that when cold stimulation was applied to participants’ neck area it increased their heart rate variability and lowered heart rate more than in the control group (14)—they can be signs of being less stressed and happier. Another study found that when combined with sauna, cold water immersion decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol .