Cold therapy is a form of therapy that uses ice or cold temperatures to treat certain injuries and conditions. It can be used for cosmetic reasons, as well as to help with weight loss. Cold therapy can also be used for immunity and skin health, so it's not just for the sick!
Win Hof is a huge advocate for taping back into the colder temperatures our ancestors used to naturally survive in. His methods of cold therapy, such as cold showers, ice baths, cold rivers swims have been widely adopted by many household names such as David Beckham, Russell Brand and Joe Wicks.
There are various other ways to add Cold Therapy to your routines, but first let's talk about why cold therapy works in the first place.
Cold therapy can help with depression, anxiety and insomnia. In fact, it's useful for almost any type of mental health issue.
Cold therapy has been shown to reduce stress levels in both the short term and long term. Stress causes inflammation in the body that can lead to depression, anxiety disorders, chronic pain and fatigue.
In addition to treating mental health problems like depression, it can also be used as part of a treatment plan for chronic headaches (such as migraines) or fibromyalgia alongside other therapies such as medication or massage therapy.
Cold therapy can help you burn more calories!
Cold therapy increases the production of brown fat, which burns calories to help regulate your body temperature. The mechanism is not completely understood, but there's evidence that cold temperature stimulates the production of a protein called UCP1 in brown fat. As this protein converts energy into heat and raises the body's metabolic rate, it can actually increase your overall calorie expenditure. In one study published in 2000, researchers found that after three days of ice-water immersion at 10 degrees Celsius (50 Fahrenheit), participants experienced an average rise in their metabolism by 4%. In other words, they were losing more calories than usual during this time period because they were burning more energy due to increased brown fat activity.
Furthermore, these effects may be long-lasting: A smaller 2017 study found that after ten minutes of ice application on participants' faces every day for three weeks—without any other changes made—their bodies kept burning more calories even after they stopped using ice packs altogether! So while using an ice pack may not lead directly to weight loss per se (and will certainly not make up for poor diet choices or lack thereof), it could definitely help prevent further weight gain by keeping your metabolism high all day long.
There are several ways to do it. If you want to be like the pros, you can use ice packs or hold them against sore muscles for 20 minutes at a time. Ice baths work well too, as does taking cold showers or using cooling towels after workouts. Whatever method you choose, make sure not to leave the ice on for longer than 20 minutes at a time and don't let it get uncomfortably cold (or else it will numb your skin and could cause ice burns).
You may not be ready to jump into an ice bath or have a cold shower just yet, so here are 5 easier ways to incorporate cold therapy into your day to day life:
Drink a large glass of cold water as soon as you wake up
Have your morning (iced?) coffee outside
Use cold eye rollers to boost your skin's blood flow first thing
Keep your windows open to ventilate your bedroom at night time, even in the winter months
Try running the water slightly cooler for 1 minute before, or after your warm the shower in the mornings
Cold therapy can have cosmetic benefits. The cold helps with acne and wrinkles, skin tone, cellulite and even stretch marks. Cryostar is a non-invasive device that uses temperatures as cold as -4c. If you're keen to try cryotherapy for cosmetic purposes, our blog How does Cryostar work? explains how the technology uses our bodies natural processes combined with cold temperatures to reduce stubborn fat pockets.
Cold therapy is also helpful for those who suffer from skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. Cold therapy treatments can help heal these chronic conditions by reducing inflammation in the body and speeding up cell regeneration. This can also be helpful for people who have achy joints or muscles due to overuse, injury or just getting older.
Cold therapy is touted for its ability to increase fat loss and reduce inflammation, but it can also be used for other benefits.
There are a lot of surprising benefits to cold therapy. For example, cold therapy is great for your skin as well! CryoFacials have shown to help produce more collagen in the skin, increasing elastin and making the facial skin tighter, lifted and toned - reducing the appearance of pores and fine lines.
Cold therapy is an easy way to get some relief from stress and pain. It's also good for your body and mind, so you can feel better about yourself in the long run. Try adding in these easy cold therapies everyday and see the benefits yourself.
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