Cold Therapy: The Body Hack You Didn’t Know You Needed
“Cold is a stressor, so if you are able to get into the cold and control your body’s response to it, you will be able to control stress.” - Wim Hof
What is cold therapy? Cold therapy is a form of therapy where you expose your body, in short spells, to cold temperatures of water. Using your breath as an anchor helps your energy flow easily throughout the body under stressful situations.
Generally, when we feel stressed, our breath shortens. We may feel the tension in our chest, shoulders, and even our head, blocking the energy to our lower chakras. When you expose yourself to a cold shower, your body will react similarly. Anchoring yourself from breathing into your stomach helps relax the body. This releases the stress and tension from your chest, allowing the energy to flow freely to your body providing toleration from the cold water.
Cold therapy has recently been studied and researched for benefits beyond physical health. It has been shown to benefit you immensely, both mentally and spiritually.
Note for some individuals with certain health conditions, cold therapy can do more harm than good. I have provided some situations where it would be better to skip out on cold therapy or consult your doctor if you find yourself in one of these situations.
- Living with sensory disorders like diabetes
- Poor circulation or any conditions that cause poor circulation
- Living with cardiovascular or heart disease (you should consult your doctor first)
The Many Types of Cold Therapy
You don’t have to join the polar bear club and do the polar plunge every time to try out cold therapy. Cold therapy can be done in the comfort of your home or at a nearby spa. Practicing cold therapy at home is simple; you only need cold water and 2–3 minutes of free time.
The following are some examples of cold therapy that can be done at home or a spa.
- Ice Bath: Also known as a cold plunge. Soaking in a bathtub filled with ice has been a popular recovery tool among athletes who submerge themselves after a challenging workout. To try at home, fill a bathtub with cold water up to thigh-high, then add a pound of ice. Gradually add more ice, increasing your tolerance over the number of sessions.
- Cold Shower or Cold Jump in the Pool: An excellent and courageous way to start your day and morning routine. Studies have shown taking a two-minute cold shower can increase your dopamine by two hundred and fifty percent!
- Cryotherapy: A chamber covering a partial part of your body or everything below your head (your choosing) is used to help treat a variety of tissue lesions. Three minutes is all you need to help reduce inflammation and swelling around your joints.
- Exposure to Colder Temperatures: Providing the similar effects of a cold plunge or cold shower, spend time outside in minimal clothing during the colder season.
No matter how you expose yourself to cold therapy, take your time building up a tolerance. Listen to your body, set a timer, and take deep breaths from your belly. Whisper the mantra, “my breath is my anchor, and my anchor is my breath.”
The Amazing Benefits of Cold Therapy
With a few minutes of exposure each day, your body, mind, and spirit will manifest the benefits and feel supercharged with energy. Though the benefits are almost endless, here are some of the benefits of regular cold therapy.
Proper blood flow in the body manifests a healthy heart, stronger immune system, healthy mental health, and energy longevity. The improvement of blood circulation has been stated as one of the top benefits of the body from cold therapy.
Also, cold showers trigger your body’s sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight). Within a few minutes after the “stressor” from the cold water, the vagus nerve is stimulated, leading to feelings of calm and peace in the body and mind.
According to a study by the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, cold exposure positively affects lymphatic circulation. In the study, the participants had bags of cold water (measured at 34 degrees F) around their legs, and the results showed an increased lymph flow. Cold water makes your lymph vessels contract, thus moving lymph fluid through your system. This, in turn, flushes out the waste and stimulates the immune system.
Flushing out the waste from your body is a way your Lymphatic System fights off infections and diseases. Cold therapy helps us achieve a healthy body.
Exposure to cold water also activates the sympathetic nervous system. It increases the blood levels of endorphins in the brain, which has helped reduce depression, anxiety, and OCD symptoms without the side effects of antidepressants.
How to Supercharge Yourself After Your Cold Therapy Session?
You’ve embraced your cold therapy sessions, and your body is thanking you. Whether you’re about to jump into bed or enjoy the beautiful day that lies ahead, wearing a material made with “good for you fibers” like Hadobody will help you harness the power of intention and bring you confidence, positivity, and a boost of well-being.
With Love & Light
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