Cold Immersion Therapy, would one have ever thought they would be subjecting themselves to ice baths beyond their youth. Maybe it was jumping from the hot tub or sauna to the snow pile that was appealing. Daring each other to jump in the cold mountain creek on frosty mornings also comes to mind. What if getting cold is a lot more instinctual than we have ever given it credit for?
A new wave of health experts, biohackers and neuroscientists are touting the benefits of cold plunge in creating hormetic stress. You may recognize hormetic stress from a sauna article written about a year ago. There are choice ways to do this both physically and mentally. Sauna therapy, hot yoga, jogging in the heat, fasting, even crossword puzzles are a way to engage hormetic stress. Cold therapy seems to accomplish both the physical and mental benefits of such stress. Hormesis is the sweet spot of hormetic stress, where one takes their body to an optimal stress point to extend the health and longevity of their collective cells. Under stressing causes complacency and dormancy while overstressing can cause rapid onset of disease. Hormesis is a short-term window of stress that benefits your body’s natural response allowing us to adapt to greater amounts of stress in the long run. When we experience stress, our immune system reacts with a flood of hormones that aid in your reaction to the threat. Certain hormones can help assist in body repair and gives you a boost of energy. Making this a practice can have extremely beneficial outcomes to your overall health. Some of those benefits include:
- Reduced Systemic Inflammation
- Boost in Immune System Response
- Improve Anxiety and Depression Symptoms
- Reduced Stress and Increased Relaxation
- Improved Recovery to Muscle and Joint Injury
- Boost Physical and Mental Resilience
- Weight Loss due to Optimizing Digestion and Brown Fat Burn
Some scientific research is also showing that cold stress can assist in cancer treatments by inhibiting cell growth and in some instances reversing tumor sizes due to the change in blood flow to the cancer cells. The physical benefits can be plentiful by incorporating this therapy. What’s even more impressive is the mental benefits that follow.
Athletes may use cold immersion therapy for recovery, but the additional benefits of focus, mental clarity and discipline are hard to overlook. Wim Hof, also known as the Iceman, has done some amazing feats while illustrating the benefits of cold exposure therapy. His focus is primarily mental as his encouragement for making cold therapy a practice is to gain control of your mind. Hof has shared, “We can do more than we think. It’s a belief system that I have adopted, and it has become my motto. There is more than meets the eye and unless you are willing to experience new things, you’ll never realize the fullness of your potential.”
Allow yourself to journey back, for just a second, into those invigorating moments of your youth when you dared to meet your friends challenge to face the cold. That fear, followed by shock then flooded with endorphins that left you euphoric, that is still what cold plunge can do for you today if you allow it. What are you waiting for? Maybe it’s time you take the plunge!
About Shawnee Powers
Shawnee has spent the majority of her life focusing on complete wellness and healing. Her nursing and healthcare background has been pivotal in understanding the mechanisms of health from a medical perspective and her own personal journey has brought her to develop her unique approach with the use of natural elements such as salt, water, heat, light and the faculties of our own body and intuition. Shawnee is a thought leader in her industry, her focus is on a future where every community has access to the combination of services Float Magic provides allowing access to beautiful facilities and impactful therapies that not only changes the individual, but the community as a whole.