What is Cold Water Immersion Therapy?
Better known as “Ice Baths” or “Plunge Pools”, Cold Water Immersion Therapy is a process that involves immersing the body into ice cold water for a limited time.
Cold water immersion activates the body’s natural healing powers that relieve the symptoms of many medical conditions. There is a sense of health and well-being following immersion.
What are the benefits?
Improvement of Lymphatic Circulation
Cold water immersion causes your lymph vessels to contract, which then forces your lymphatic system to pump lymph fluids throughout your body. By doing this, the waste is flushed out of the area. A cold shower can trigger our immune system’s white blood cells, prompting them to attack and destroy any unwanted substance in the fluid.
Reduces Muscle Inflammation
After an intense workout the worst thing about the recovery process is the aching and burning sensation in your muscles. Cold Water Immersion Therapy lowers your damaged tissue’s temperature and constricts the blood vessels. This reduces any swelling or inflammation, and can sometimes numb the nerve endings, bringing instant relief to any pain.
Improves Cardiovascular Circulation
A cold shower or an ice bath can stimulate blood flow. When the cold water hits your body, your blood rushes to surround your vital organs. Your heart then starts to pump blood more efficiently and supply every part of your body with the oxygen and nutrients needed.
When practiced routinely, cold water immersion therapy can boost your metabolism. Aswell as forcing the body to work harder to keep you warm- and burning calories in the process – it also has an unexpected impact on the type of fat we produce. Studies have shown that cold water can promote healthy brown fat, which is the fat that our bodies produce to keep warm. Brown fat eliminates white fat – the bad one.
Promotes a sense of Well-Being / Boosts Happiness Levels
Cold water triggers a flood of mood-boosting neurotransmitters, which make you feel happy. It’s that simple.
Where to start?
Start slow. Start your day with cold showers to get your body used to the feeling and the initial shock. Then work your way up to more intense variations of Cold Water Therapy.
Our very own Dr. Natalia Bratu is an advocate for Cold Water Immersion Therapy. She says she finds it fantastic for her well being and muscle recovery. You’ll often find her and her friends at White Rock Beach in Killiney, Dublin, plunging into the cold waters to start their day!
Feel free to contact us if you want more information on the health benefits of this form of therapy. Call 087 164 7942
Visit our Sports Medicine page to learn more about Natalia.