Cold therapies have been used for centuries to improve health and well-being. From cold showers to cold plunges and cryotherapy, these therapies have been known to provide numerous benefits to the body. In this blog post, we will compare and contrast these three cold therapies, discuss their benefits and drawbacks, and provide recommendations for new users.
Cold showers are a simple and accessible form of cold therapy. They involve taking a shower with cold water, typically at a temperature of 60°F or lower. Cold showers have been shown to improve circulation, boost the immune system, and reduce inflammation. They can also help improve mood and increase energy levels. However, one of the drawbacks of cold showers is that they can be uncomfortable, especially for those who are not used to cold water. It can take some time to get used to the sensation of cold water on the skin. Additionally, cold showers may not be suitable for those with certain medical conditions, such as Raynaud's disease. To enhance the experience of a cold shower, it is recommended to start with warm water and gradually decrease the temperature. This can help the body adjust to the cold water more easily. It is also important to limit the duration of the shower to no more than 5-10 minutes.
Cold plunges involve immersing the body in cold water, typically at a temperature of 50°F or lower. They are often used in conjunction with hot saunas or steam rooms to provide a contrast therapy. Cold plunges have been shown to improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system. The diving response is a physiological response that occurs when the body is exposed to cold water. It is a natural reflex that helps the body conserve oxygen and redirect blood flow to the vital organs. The diving response is activated when the face is submerged in cold water, causing a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure. This response can help improve circulation and reduce inflammation in the body. One of the benefits of cold plunges is that they can provide a sense of invigoration and energy. They can also help improve recovery after exercise or injury. However, like cold showers, cold plunges can be uncomfortable and may not be suitable for those with certain medical conditions. It also is not very convenient in warm weather climates and takes time to create the ideal tub to plunge in and method for keeping it cold. I highly recommend the Portable Ice Bath from Nurecover for home use as it is very cost effective and convenient.
However, the Ultimate experience involves plunging in a cold lake, river or creek. Please be very careful when swimming in open bodies of water, take extra safety precautions and never go alone. To enhance the experience of a cold plunge, it is recommended to start with a shorter duration, such as 30 seconds, and gradually increase the time. It is also important to monitor the body's response and avoid staying in the cold water for too long.
Cryotherapy involves exposing the body to extremely cold temperatures, typically between -110°F and -140°F, for a short period of time, usually 2-3 minutes. Cryotherapy has been shown to reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and boost the immune system. It is often used by athletes and those with chronic pain or inflammation. One of the benefits of cryotherapy is that it can provide a quick and efficient way to reduce inflammation and improve recovery. However, cryotherapy can be expensive and may not be accessible to everyone. It is also important to note that cryotherapy may not be suitable for those with certain medical conditions, such as Raynaud's disease. To enhance the experience of cryotherapy, it is recommended to wear dry clothing and avoid getting wet before the session. It is also important to follow the instructions of the trained professional administering the therapy. We are proud to offer Cryotherapy in our office and happy to help you experience the therapeutic benefits.
Cold therapies have been shown to provide numerous benefits to the body, both physical and mental. These therapies can help improve circulation, reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, and increase energy levels. They can also help reduce stress and anxiety levels, improve sleep quality and duration, and increase mental focus and clarity. Cold therapies have been shown to increase metabolism, improve insulin sensitivity, and help with weight loss. It is important to start slowly and gradually increase the duration and intensity of the therapy. It is also important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new therapy, especially if you have a medical condition.
Damian Solorzano is Health and Wellness Influencer, Respiratory Specialist and Health Coach who is passionate about optimizing personal health.