My experiences with cold plunges and ice baths have helped my menopause and heat intolerance.
My journey into cold plunges and Ice baths began in 2022. I was dealing with unbelievable chronic nerve pain. As a wholistic health practitioner pharmaceutical drugs was not an option for me, as I know how much harm and addiction issues can come out of western medicine “pain management.” Cold plunging once every two weeks at a local spa immediately helped my nerve pain calm down. It helped me focus, remain present in the discomfort of the freezing cold ice water, and cured my night sweats from menopause.
Just recently I bought for $100 on Amazon a portable ice bath for my garden. And an almost daily ritual has begun. I love to begin my day with going out in the garden to sun for 30 min, which in Tampa, Florida is really hot anytime after 9am, so we get the natural wet sauna effect. A 1-5 min ice bath is the prefect way to cool down after the heat! Try to get in up to the top of the neck, more experienced people can dunk under for the full brain enlivening effect!
As I have gotten older my tolerance to heat dwindled rapidly, and overheating was a risk for me more and more. Now with the almost daily ice baths, I no longer suffer from intolerance to heat. That’s a wonderful healing quality for a menopausal woman!
Cold Plunge vs Ice Bath
You might have noticed that I use the terms “cold plunging” and “ice bathing” interchangeably throughout this article. However, since they might not have the same meaning to everyone, let’s define them.
As far as I’m concerned, cold plunging is an umbrella term used to describe the submersion of your body in cold water. That could mean 32-degree water or 60-degree water — or anything in between.
On the other hand, ice bathing typically refers to submerging yourself in water that’s cold enough for ice to form (around 32 to 33 degrees Fahrenheit).
In general, I’d argue that the colder the water is, the more benefit you get. However, it all depends on your tolerance level. If you’ve never taken an ice bath or cold plunge, my recommendation is to start at a temperature that’s uncomfortable but safe.
We will be offering this holistic healing modality soon at ZOE Yoga Lifestyle Holistic Wellness Center!
Here are my top ten reasons to explore ice baths and cold plunging! To your wholistic health!
The only contraindication is for those who have heart disease. Please consult your doctor before making a decision about Ice Baths, and cold plunging.
Studies are attached as well for some benefits because it’s science based facts. We know the western medical world is light years behind holistic medicine in many ways.
1. Improves Mood
Cold exposures increases norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter in the body that affects attention and mood. Therefore, cold therapy can reduce depression and anxiety.
2. Improves Sleep
Ice baths and cold plunges can bring down cortisol which can help with sleep.
3. Boosts the Immune System
Studies have found that people who take ice-cold showers or swim in ice-cold water were less likely to get sick than the general population.
4. Speeds Up Physical Recovery Time
Cold water immersion is a popular method of reducing stiffness, eliminating fatigue and reducing muscle damage after sports performance.
5. Helps you Integrate Trauma
By going through the fight or flight phase ice baths induce, one can process trauma by moving fully into parasympathetic nervous system aka rest and digest state
6. Mental Focus and Discipline
By overcoming the mind while doing Ice Baths and cold plunging, one learns how to overcome fear, aversion, and the be in control of the body.
7. Offers Neurocognitive Benefits
Scientists have found that cold-plunges can reinvigorate and replace synapses in the brain lost over long periods of sleep and in Dementia patients.
8. Improves Cardiovascular Health
Cold water immersion causes a constriction of your blood vessels, which leads to a temporary increase in blood pressure and reduced blood flow to your extremities, but increased blood flow to your vital organs (including your heart).
Once you get out of the cold water and start warming up, your blood vessels dilate and blood flow to your extremities increases. All that back and forth between constriction and dilation is like a workout for your blood vessels, which helps improve cardiovascular health.