What is Cold Water Immersion?
There are many benefits one can get from the effectiveness of cold water immersion therapy, especially if we regularly immerse our bodies in cold water temperatures for short periods of time. In the last decade, studies have been coming out with more and more benefits of immersions in cold water.
Consequently, CWI is gaining more and more popularity and advocates from athletes and people with physical ailments to entrepreneurs and professionals alike. Because of the effects of cold water therapy, the human body responds to immersion and the influence that cold water brings.
Ready to take the plunge yourself? Take a free cold plunge at Renu Therapy!
Reasons to You Should Be Doing Cold Water Immersion
Cold water immersion helps activate your body's natural healing ability, which relieves the symptoms of various medical conditions, like inflammation, as it reduces muscle soreness—providing fast recovery.
If you’re curious as to why you should purchase your own cold plunge tub and what the effects of hydrotherapy are, let's discuss why you should partake in cold water immersion
1. Improves Your Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is composed of vessels that run throughout your body. It helps flush away bacteria, microbes, and wastes from your cells, thus cleansing your body.
2. Improves Your Blood Circulation
Cold Water Immersion stimulates your body's blood flow into your vital organs, letting your heart pump efficiently which results in a better blood supply in your system, giving it the nutrients and oxygen it needs.
3. Reduces Muscle Inflammation
High-intensity workouts and other activities may cause muscle soreness and inflammation, which can be painful and uncomfortable. CWI, on the other hand, reduces swelling, cramps, and arthritis—numbing your nerve endings to bring immediate pain relief.
Essential Factors to Consider on Cold Water Immersion
To learn more about how to start getting the benefits of cold water immersion, here are some essential factors to consider:
1. Setting the coldness to your liking
You can always set the water temperature you're comfortable with to help you gain consistency and get an improved response to cold water.
You can also make the water colder as you progress on your regular routine.
2. 30 days of cold showers
It is highly recommended that you start doing a 30-day cold shower before investing in a cold plunge tub, this will help you determine your body's physiological responses to an ice bath and how to manage it.
3. Purchasing your first cold plunge tub
It is crucial to get the right cold plunge tub for your regular cold water immersions routine. To get the best recommendations, you may contact our team at Renu Therapy and discuss which tank is best for your immersions in cold water needs.
4. Preparing your mind and body
Calming your nervous system is crucial prior to cold water immersion. Doing breathing exercises or humming can help activate your body's parasympathetic system and boosts nitric oxide production—resulting in your cells becoming more receptive to oxygen.
Is cold water good for your immune system?
There are some studies that prove cold water can increase the body's ability to fight off illnesses and muscle damage. This stems from the ability of incredibly cold water temperatures to speed up the body's production of white blood cells (WBC), the sickness-fighting leukocytes of the body.
Whether the increased WBC production is due to faster metabolism or optimized lymphatic function is still uncertain.
Some believe that exposure to low water temperatures boosts one's metabolic rate which consequently, accelerates one's immune response. With the body metabolizing faster, it also produces WBCs at a faster rate, thereby protecting it against infections more effectively, resulting in better immune function.
Meanwhile, there are those who believe that immersion in cold water causes lymph vessels to contract as the body cools down, thereby forcing the lymphatic system to pump lymph fluids throughout your body more efficiently, effectively flushing out wastes.
This process then triggers the body's immune system to release WBCs to attack and destroy the unwanted substances in the lymph fluid.
Whether the body is more efficient at fighting off illnesses due to faster metabolism or improved lymphatic drainage, CWI is proven to have some effect on a person's natural disease-fighting mechanism, resulting in enhanced well-being.
How Do You Immerse Yourself in Cold Water?
There are several ways of doing CWI. You can swim in open waters, take an ice bath in a tub, or take a cold plunge in a cold plunge tub or pool.
Whatever method you choose, make sure to follow these basic guidelines:
1. Get checked by your doctor or health practitioner before trying anything new, like cold water therapy or a CWI.
2. Know the 4 phases of CWI and know the difference between safe and life-threatening CWI.
3. Practice CWI regularly in short sessions of no longer than 10 minutes at a time, making this a habit. It is best to consult your doctor for the safest max time for your body. If you want to do it more often, slowly build up your endurance to cold water.
4. Always have someone around to help you track your blood pressure and body temperature; this is incredibly important to avoid accidentally becoming hypothermic or entering cardiac arrest from cold stress.
Is a Cold Water Plunge Good For You?
No one can tell you whether something is good for you without thorough knowledge of your health situation. Each person is unique, hence it's vital that you follow the steps outlined above and always consult your doctor before you consider CWI and introducing your body to cold exposure.
Although CWI has been studied and shown to produce great health benefits and improved well-being, it should be practiced with care—so educating yourself about immersions in cold water and body temperature are key factors.
Remember that if you do CWI wrong, you won't reap health benefits. You will be wasting time and you might even suffer permanent and possibly, life-threatening consequences. However, if practiced correctly, CWI can help you reach your peak physically, mentally, and even emotionally.
Ready to take a cold plunge? Learn more about CWI and the many benefits of cold baths, contact us at Renu Therapy today!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is cold water immersion effective?
The physiology behind cold water immersion is relatively simple. Plunging into cold water causes certain responses in the body that are undeniable. More and more research has been peering into the long-term benefits of this therapy, finding that regular practice over time can produce tremendous benefits.
When you immerse your entire body in cold water, the sudden temperature change causes blood vessels to constrict upon entry. When you get back out of the cold water immersion tub, your blood vessels then dilate, opening up to allow blood to flow back to the skin and muscles.
The process of constriction and dilation of blood vessels helps flush the circulatory system of metabolic wastes produced by the body over time, especially after a workout. Repeating this process regularly also helps increase vascular elasticity.
These physiological principles also hold true for the lymphatic system, which produces bodily fluids made up of white blood cells and fluid from your intestines. This system flushes away cellular wastes and toxins throughout the entire body, essentially giving it a thorough cleansing on the inside.
What are the 4 stages of cold water immersion?
One of the primary concerns for CWI practitioners is remaining ever-aware of the 4 stages of cold water immersion to ensure safe cold-plunging.
The 4 stages of cold water immersion include the following:
Stage 1 - Cold shock responses such as shivering and shortness of breath
Stage 2 - Swimming failure due to incapacitation of limb function
Stage 3 - Hypothermia
Stage 4 - Bodily system failure
Are cold water plunges healthy?
While cold water immersion can be performed just about any time, with many people enjoying the effects on a daily basis, there are some reasonable limits to the health benefits. For example, it’s not good to get into water that is below 39ºF when taking a cold water plunge, because it can induce a state of hypothermia, which is extremely dangerous and certainly not healthy. It’s also important to limit your sessions to ten minutes.
Also, cold water immersion shouldn’t be practiced when you’ve suffered from heatstroke (hyperthermia), as counter-intuitive as that may seem. Similarly, if you’ve recently suffered from cardiovascular complications such as a heart attack, it’s not a good idea to expose yourself to extreme swings in temperature. Regardless of your medical condition, it’s still always smart to consult your doctor before starting cold water immersion as a regular practice.
Beyond the precautions, however, cold water plunges can provide tremendous and long-lasting health benefits for regular practitioners.
One of the best times for a cold immersion therapy session is directly after an intense workout. This can help reduce the severity of delayed onset muscle soreness and the post-workout inflammation that can cause joint discomfort.
There are also mental health benefits to be gained from cold water immersion as well. CWI can promote a sense of peace and well-being, reducing stress levels throughout the entire day. There’s also strong evidence from research linking long-term regular cold water immersion routines with preventing Alzheimer's and dementia.
Jim O'brienCleobella fashion
"A mood changer, a holistic approach to feeling better, and one of the pillars from Wim Hof's breathing books."
Scott EmpringhamFounder of Empringham Media
"My energy is through the roof, my immunity is fantastic. I just feel fantastic."
Molly LaingHealth Enthusiast, Cleanse Counselor and Health Coach
"If you are thinking about purchasing one of these cold plunge pools, I highly recommend the Renu Therapy product"
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Renu Therapy Ice Bath Tubs For Sale
Renu Therapy's ice bath tubs are 100% hand-made in the United States. They also come with the best warranty and have 100% customer satisfaction!
You won't need to prepare a cold tub by loading your bathtub with ice from an ice machine. You don't even have to think of ways to DIY your CWI. Renu Therapy's ice bath tubs come in just the right size so you feel comfortable taking an ice bath.
They are also designed to become an integral part of your home so there's a model that fits your interior be it minimalist or grand. Browse through our products and choose an ice bath tub for sale to fit your needs.
To learn more about the body benefits of ice baths, contact us at Renu Therapy today.