What Is Cold Water Therapy?

cold water therapy

Have you ever wondered about the health benefits of immersing yourself in icy cold water? It might sound odd, but people worldwide have been engaging in this practice for centuries, particularly in Scandinavian countries like Norway and Sweden.

Cold water therapy builds on the idea that exposing ourselves to cold temperatures for small periods of time can be beneficial to the body. There are numerous potential benefits, whether it’s an ice bath, a brisk shower, or a jump in a cold lake.

Here’s what you need to know about cold water therapy.

What Is It Again?

Cold water therapy involves frigid water as a therapeutic solution for various ailments. In most cases, the water needs to be less than 15 degrees Celsius (59 F)to make a positive impact. However, many people use water that is much colder than this.

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Cold water therapy is encouraged by a wide range of health professionals and celebrities. Some studies have shown it can help with things like reducing eczema flare-ups.

Most advocates of cold water therapy believe immersing yourself in cold water can help detox the body, boost the immune system, and deliver many other positive benefits.

The Benefits Of Cold Water Therapy?

Studies into the benefits of cold water therapy are limited. This means we can’t say for sure how beneficial it is. Additionally, some people shouldn’t try this practice.

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For instance, if you’re pregnant or have a heart condition, cold water therapy probably is not suitable for you.

However, the limited studies we have into the practice indicate there may be several benefits to cold water therapy. Some of the most significant benefits include:

  •   Reducing muscle soreness: Studies consistently show that athletes who soak their bodies in cold water for a short period after exercise are less likely to experience severe muscle soreness later.
  •   Scientists believe that cold water reduces pain because it causes the blood vessels in the body to constrict. This reduces blood moving into sore areas, minimizing the risk of inflammation and swelling.
  •   Temperature management: One of the most apparent benefits of cold water therapy is that it can help you cool down rapidly if you’re overheated.  Submerging yourself in a pool of cold water allows you to cool off almost twice as quickly as if you don’t. However, you must ensure the shock isn’t too much for your body.
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  •    Managing depression: While cold water isn’t a cure for mental health conditions, it could help alleviate specific symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  •   One study found that a regimen of short cold showers led to fewer depressive symptoms in patients. While this solution might not work for everyone, it could be a way to get some of the symptoms of depression under control.
  •    Improved immunity: There are some that cold water immersion can be helpful for your body’s immune system.
  •   In one study, researchers examined whether people could influence their immune response with cold water immersion. The report found that using cold water therapy caused participants to produce anti-inflammatory agents and other helpful substances in their bodies when exposed to an infection.
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Some influencers and health specialists also believe cold water immersion can improve calorie-burning capacity. While more research is needed to verify these claims, some studies have been positive.

For instance, researchers found that Korean women who dive for seafood are more likely to have a higher basal metabolic rate during winter diving when the water is colder.

Should You Try Cold Water Therapy?

If you’re thinking of trying cold water therapy, it’s essential to approach the process carefully**.** To help your body adjust, start with showers where you gradually drop the temperature. Alternatively, you can go straight to a cold shower if you just need to cool off after working out.

If you’re immersing yourself in an ice bath or jumping in icy cold water outdoors, it might be worth having a friend around, just in case.

The sudden shock to your system when jumping into cold water could cause you to panic, making it harder to swim. You’ll also need to warm up quickly when you get out of cold water.

Wrapping yourself in warm towels after you get out of cold water will ensure your body temperature doesn’t continue to drop.

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