The Power of Fire & Ice: Contrast Therapy
What Is Contrast Hydrotherapy?
If you’ve been considering trying contrast therapy recently, you might be wondering what the best combination of hot and cold equipment is. Contrast therapy has been shown to improve post-exercise recovery, making it an essential practice for those who seek peak performance, so you don’t want to invest in equipment that might not work for your needs.
And beyond the athletic benefits, alternating from hot to cold delivers an array of other impressive health benefits, along with mental health improvements as well. If you’re considering adding contrast therapy to your daily routine, read on to discover the best equipment for you.
What Health Risks are Associated with Contrast Therapy?
While contrast therapy is safe for most people, some may have conditions that make it too risky. People with heart conditions should stick to milder temperatures and avoid exposure to large swings in temperature.
When the body’s cold receptors sense a rapid decline in temperature, it produces a cardiorespiratory response. This could lead to shortness of breath, decreased cardiac output, and a rapid decrease in pulse—all of which should be avoided when cardiac health isn’t optimal.
Does it Matter if You Start with Hot or Cold First?
Although at first, it may seem to make sense, jumping into a hot tub of water right after you’ve been sitting in an ice bath is dangerous. This is the worst thing to do when you’re trying to gain health benefits from contrast hydrotherapy.
Because contrast hydrotherapy triggers rapid changes in the circulatory system, it’s essential to follow the correct order when practicing contrast hydrotherapy. To remain safe and enjoy the full spectrum of health benefits, contrast hydrotherapy should always begin with a hot plunge session for around 20 minutes. After that, it’s time to jump into the ice water tub for three to ten minutes.
How Often Can You Practice Contrast Hydrotherapy?
Contrast hydrotherapy produces the optimal benefits when performed on a regular schedule. Studies have found that more frequent and steady use of contrast hydrotherapy is more beneficial in general. These studies have indicated that there are significant health improvements in people who practice contrast hydrotherapy at least four times per week compared with intermittent practitioners.
What Health Benefits Can You Expect from Contrast Hydrotherapy?
Helps Get Rid of Lactic Acid Buildup in Muscles
Strenuous exercise creates lactic acid build-up in the muscles, resulting in pain and soreness. This painful side-effect can make it tempting to skip workouts, making it harder to stay on track. Reducing lactic acid pain usually requires rest, plenty of water, and increasing your magnesium intake.
Studies have shown that contrast hydrotherapy is one of the best ways to quickly reduce lactic acid buildup. Research has demonstrated that contrast hydrotherapy can help prevent too much lactic acid buildup, helping you recover from soreness faster.
Naturally Detoxify the Body
Quickly transitioning from a hot soak tub to an ice bath causes your body’s lymphatic system to fire up for action. This system in the body works to flush away toxins all throughout your system, helping support cellular regeneration and ridding the body of the harmful byproducts of hard workouts.
Boost the Volume of Blood Flow
Contrast hydrotherapy can cause the body to naturally increase the volume of blood flow. This occurs when the body naturally constricts and dilates blood vessels (vasoconstriction and vasodilation). This effect also helps to improve vascular and cardiac response.
Increases Blood Circulation
Rapidly switching from hot to cold water jumpstarts the body’s responses, leading to the alternating between constriction and dilation of blood vessels. Aside from boosting blood flow for higher performance, it also improves vascular and cardiac response.
Minimizes Inflammation of the Joints
When simply moving causes pain, it can be hard to keep up your cardio health. Combining time in hot soak tubs with ice tubs can help reduce painful joint inflammation.
Increased Energy Levels and Quicker Muscle Recovery
One study In 2017 found that switching between heat and cold exposure helped team sports players recover from fatigue in only 24-48 hours post-game. Interestingly, they also discovered that using ice baths alone didn’t reproduce these results, indicating that the combination of hot and cold plunging works better than alone.
Reduces the Severity of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
If you’ve ever dealt with DOMS, you probably know that working out is nearly impossible once it takes hold. When muscle soreness from intense workouts days earlier happens, it can hurt sports performance and increase the risk of injury. Studies have shown that contrast hydrotherapy can help curb the effects of DOMS, reducing its severity in athletes when regularly practiced.
Could Reduce the Chances of Dementia and Alzheimer’s
In one 20-year study with 2,300 participants, Dr. Jari Laukkanen and his colleagues at the University of Eastern Finland revealed that routine heat exposure helped lower the chances that participants would suffer from both Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Rejuvenates the Skin
During the cold plunge stage of contrast hydrotherapy, skin pores minimize rapidly. This effect helps to halt the overproduction of oil that leads to skin issues. The end result is a natural reduction of acne, pimples, blackheads, and blemishes.
Get a 5% Discount on RENU Contrast Hydrotherapy
RENU hand-makes its hot and cold therapy tubs 100% in the USA. RENU delivers the best warranty coverage, and we always strive for 100% customer satisfaction!
We offer a wide selection of beautiful cold plunge tubs and hot plunge tubs that will blend with your home's design features. Act now and get a 5% Discount for a contrast hydrotherapy combo!
Enjoy the Benefits of Contrast Therapy at Home
Email or call RENU Therapy today to learn how you can get free curbside delivery and easily set up your own at-home contrast therapy system. Contact us for a 5% Discount on a Hot Sauna and Cold Plunge Combo!And if your preference is hot water instead of a sauna, keep an eye on the RENU Therapy website to stay informed about the upcoming release of our new RENU Japanese Hot Soak Tubs!