Hydrotherapy (the use of water in any form) has been around since, really, the beginning of time. The latest fad of Cold Plunging is actually not that new! Many ancient cultures have used this naturopathic modality to maintain health. There are many groups that meet in the winter for cold water swimming and now we have spas that have cold water therapies available to the public. Most people cringe at the thought of a cold water bath, but when you look at the benefits, you may want to try it!
Evidence based studies have shown that cold water therapies decrease inflammation, muscle soreness and function as a local anesthetic. Further studies revealed that it also lowers your heart rate (causing relaxation), lowers cortisol (relieving anxiety) and regular use of cold water therapies significantly decreased tension, fatigue and the pain caused from inflammatory diseases.
Swimming regularly is not only a great sport for toning and strength but has proven to aid in reducing belly fat and builds endurance with cardiovascular fitness. Some studies revealed a sense of wellness with increased mental clarity and energy when swimming in a colder water temperature.
Sauna, whirlpool and a hot bath are always something we look forward to for relaxation.
These water-based therapies also have therapeutic value for your skin and lungs. Many seaside cultures included a walk in the sand with the inhalation of sea fog to treat respiratory conditions. Using Hot and Cold therapies simultaneously is also one of the best ways to support your lymphatic system by Vaso constriction and dilation which is a great way to detox.
But cold is not the best treatment for acute or chronic injuries. Heat is essential for the initial repair process, and cold applications can slow down or block the essential initial stages of repair.
The easiest way to try cold-water therapy is at the very end of your regular shower. Turn the water to cold, yes, COLD…. The recommended time is 3 minutes, but you can start at 30 seconds and go up from there. I find counting in my head helps pass the time!
Dixie Johnson is ORM’s Regenerative Medical Assistant and Aesthetician. She has travelled extensively to educate herself and others on the newest, coolest, and up-to-date biocellular therapies. For over 26 years, Dixie’s focus has been on creating positive, life changing experiences for all.