You might be a little bit uncomfortable with the idea of cold therapy at first, but it may be able to make a huge difference in the long term. See how cold therapy can help your whole body, including inflammation, mental health, and more.
If you want to reduce your inflammation, boost your mood, improve your health, enhance your immune system, and recuperate from your workouts more quickly, then cold therapy could be your secret item.
Exposure to cold temperatures is hormetic stress on the body. Hormesis refers to an adaptation process by which the body is able to overcome a specific type of stress. Cold therapy has been used for thousands of years to treat injuries. The use of cold in ancient times goes back 2500 years to the time when Egyptian scholars used cold to treat injuries and inflammation. It is definitely having a moment right now.
If you are ready for a cold therapy session, you can find out about its many benefits.
Cold therapy comes in many forms
Cold therapy can be performed in a variety of ways. You don’t need to try a polar plunge in order to enjoy the benefits of this therapy – short stints in super cold water will provide the same results. It’s possible for you to try this kind of therapy in the comfort of your own home.
Cold therapy is simple, all you need for thorough treatment is a brief exposure time to cold temperatures. The following are some examples of other ways to do it.
- Ice Bath: Soaking in a bath filled with ice water and ice is a cold therapy treatment that’s popular among athletes; they’re known to sink into an ice bath after a period of especially strenuous physical activity
- Cold shower or pool: Just a few brief stints in cold water (between 50 and 59F in temperature) are an excellent way to begin incorporating cold therapy into your day-to-day routine.
- Ice packs: This cold therapy is mainly used to treat pain and swelling after an injury or to address muscle soreness when not injured. You can also use ice packs when you are not in pain.
- Exposure to cold external temperatures: Walking in a cold-weather without putting on sufficient clothing can make a sensation similar to a freezing cold shower.
- Topical cooling agents: Icy hot, Tiger Balm, and Biofreeze the chemical components that form many commercially sold epoxy products are known as counterirritants. They inhibit pains by inducing the skin to tingle, cool, then warm.
Whatever approach you prefer, it’s vital to build your cold exposure gradually. Start with lowering the water temperature at the end of your shower for a few seconds, gradually increasing the time you stay in the cold over the course of several weeks. When you’re pleased with that, you’re probably ready for a plunge in a cold pond or swimming pool, but not for long.
How cold therapy benefits your health and wellness
Regardless of what method of cold therapy you choose, the icy temperature will likely boost both your health and wellness. Just one minute of cold exposure can already start to improve your health and vitality, though it requires repeated cold therapy for more profound results. If you regularly practice cold therapy, you may notice even greater results.
Let’s look at some of the health benefits of regular cold therapy:
If you are beginning to feel sore, achy, or in pain, cold therapy can help alleviate the swelling. Exposure to cooler temperatures causes your blood vessels to constrict, which decreases the flow of blood to affected areas.
Improved metabolism and weight loss
Shivering cold may help intensify your body’s metabolism. Porcine brown fat, when exposed to cold temperatures, will share metabolic heat by burning fat. Brown fat is mostly found in the neck and shoulders. This enhanced calorie burning may also assist with weight loss.
Better mood and mental clarity
Cold therapy might not feel pleasurable to your skin, but it can lift your mood. Cold promotes interest through the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked to well-being.
Taking a cold shower right before bed may help you fall asleep easier, and it is good for you as well because it lowers your body temperature. It’s advised to also never set your thermostat to a temperature above 65 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit in your bedroom.
Enhanced recovery from exercise
It might sound counterintuitive, but research shows that icing may speed up recovery from high-intensity exercise when performed a few hours after your workout rather than right away. The inflammation that results from your workout is actually a good thing that can expedite your muscle growth. So, schedule your ice bath or some other cold therapy soon after working out, and you could recover more easily.
When not to use cold therapy
Don’t believe everything you hear when it comes to cold therapy. For certain individuals and in certain medical conditions, it can cause more harm than good. If you find yourself in the following situation, it’s better to heed the advice of your medical professionals.
- Living with sensory disorders, including diabetes, that prevents you from feeling certain sensations
- Stiff muscles or joints
- Poor circulation or any conditions that cause poor circulation
- Living with cardiovascular or heart disease (you should consult your doctor first)
- If cold therapy hasn’t helped an injury or swelling within 48 hours, call your doctor.
Additionally, if you’re not careful, cold therapy applied for too long or too closely can lead to skin, tissue, or nerve damage. If you are not sure if it’s a good idea for your health and wellness, be sure to consult with your doctor before trying cold therapy. Check out Elastogels.com for different kinds of Cold Therapy supplies.