What exactly is cold water therapy?

Cold water therapy is the practice of using water that’s around 59°F (15°C) to treat health conditions or stimulate health benefits. It’s also known as cold hydrotherapy.

Cold therapy facts

  • Since the 1920s, the concept of cold therapy has just recently become a hot topic within the “bio-hacking” community. The history of cold water plunging actually dates back to the Roman and Greek empires. Throughout time, many cultures including the Chinese, Indian and Japanese have been using cold water therapy as a modality for healing.
  • Whole body Cold therapy allows your body to access and release valuable naturally occurring biochemicals that are active in relieving pain, reducing inflammation, increasing metabolism, deoxidizing and ridding the body of detrimental toxins.
  • Anxiety to obesity, MS to Parkinson’s, insomnia to poor concentration. Scientists who studied him found his method is indeed effective
  • 29% less likely to call in sick for work or school.

How to use cold water therapy?

If you want to test the benefits of cold-water therapy for yourself, you can try it out in several different ways.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Warm-to-cold. Start with warm water and finish with cold.
  • Skip the warmup and go straight to a cold. This may be especially helpful if you’ve just finished working out.
  • Immerse yourself in cold water therapy: Add ice to water until the temperature is between 50°F and 59°F (10°C and 15°C) and stay submerged for only 10 to 15 minutes per cycle.
  • Consider a short 3-5 mins in colder waters. Be sure to follow the safety tips below

Safety Tips

  • Talk to your doctor first
  • Because cold water immersion affects your blood pressure, heart rate, and circulation
  • Have an observer with you
  • Be sure to warm up when you get out
  • The Outdoor Swimming Society recommends taking these steps to warm up safely and gradually
  • Immediately put on a hat and gloves.
  • Get out of your wet clothes and dry off.
  • Dress in warm, dry layers, starting with your upper body.
  • Drink a warm beverage.
  • Have a bite to eat — bonus points for something sweet, since sugar elevates your body temperature.
  • Keep immersions brief
  • To get the health benefits of cold-water therapy, a few minutes may be all you need.

Although you can gradually increase your cold tolerance, there’s no therapeutic reason to stay in cold water longer than a few minutes.