Updated: Aug 4
What's covered: How to use ice baths & cold-water therapy to numb physical pain & naturally boost energy levels; PLUS, a warm & dry alternative to an ice bath!
Why have an ice bath? When you think of having a bath, it's usually preceded by the word HOT.
So it was a surprise, even to myself, when I was dropping into the local servo for a few bags of ICE to add to my bathwater! What made me grab the ice cubes? I had some neck pain that was hard to shift and I was fascinated by the idea that cold therapy numbs the body's pain receptors and reduces the pace at which your nerves send pain signals to the brain (as seen on Chris Hemsworth's Netflix series Limitless).
Ice Bath Benefits
Struggling with chronic pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, anxiety, depression or autoimmune issues? Here are some of the potentially cool benefits of ice baths:
Reduces pain & inflammation
Boosts immune system
Improves mood & mental health
Increases energy levels
Can act as a drug-free anesthetic
Gives you a better night's sleep!
(Before taking the icy plunge, do your research and rule out any possible health risks.)
My Ice Bath Experience...
I'm not going to lie, there's a part of me that initially hates the *cold shock* and wants to spring up and out of the bath, and that's when I've only put one foot in!
Yet the positive and exhilarating bodymind after-effects have turned me into a cold-convert, even if I do still love a hot bath as well! And yes, I did experience a noticeable reduction in physical pain.
Cold-Water Therapy Bodymind Benefits
Don't have a bath? Head to your favourite summer spot for cooling-off, such as your local watering hole, river or beach, and enjoy it in winter too.
Cold curious? Check out Wim Hof - aka The Ice Man - a Dutch Motivational Speaker and extreme athlete who likes to swim with icebergs for fun. He has the unbelievable ability to survive sub-zero temperatures using his mind and breath to regulate his body temperature.
Couldn't think of anything worse than lounging in icy cold water? Scroll down to the active breathing practice below - the invigorating yet stay-dry equivalent of an ice bath!
Warm & Dry Alternatives To An Ice Bath
Warm and dry pick-me-up: I also wanted to share with you one of my favourite Wim Hof breathing practices - perfect for post ice bath OR for any time you need an instant energizer. Wim Hof Method Guided Breathing for Beginners (3 Rounds Slow Pace) - YouTube (Tip: If 3 rounds is a bit intimidating, start off with 1 round, allowing your body and breath time to adjust.) What I love about this breathing practice is that it's an active form of meditation. It's a dynamic and a dry-way to energize your body! ;-) I'd love to hear about your cold-water experiences or how this conscious breathing technique works for you, so drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!
Keep listening to your body and trusting your wise self,
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