Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental health disorders and affect a large majority of people worldwide. Every mental health condition is different, but evidence suggests that cold water therapy offers a distinct number of benefits such as easing symptoms of depression and reducing stress and anxiety levels. So what exactly is cold water therapy and how does it improve our mental health?

Cold water therapy is a non-invasive treatment that can help people with depression and other mental health conditions. It can also be used to lower stress levels and boost your mood after a stressful day. 

Cold water therapy has been around for many years, but more recently it has become better known in the form of cold showers and ice baths. The cold water immersion can put your body in a temporary shock state and activates electrical impulses that are sent to your brain and nervous system. It also releases endorphins, which are happiness hormones that can lift your mood and lead to feelings of well-being and positivity.

Cold showers
While the thought of a hot steamy shower is often more appealing, regular short cold showers can provide a real positive impact on your health and wellness. You can either ease yourself into it by gradually reducing the temperature to below 20°C and taking some very deep breaths or you can skip the warmup and go straight to the cold temperature. It is key to immerse as much of your skin as possible, so make sure you cover your entire body in the cold water. 

Taking a cold shower at least 2-3 times per week can help:

  • Improve your circulation
  • Improve your metabolism
  • Release endorphins and lift your mood
  • Lower stress and anxiety levels
  • Increase your level of alertness

Ice baths
Ice baths are commonly used by athletes after physical exercise to relieve muscle soreness, but dipping into an ice bath for 10-15 minutes can also be an effective way to positively impact your health and wellness. The temperature of your ice bath should be 10-15°C. If you’re taking an ice bath at home you can use a thermometer to help you achieve the ideal temperature.

Regularly dipping into an ice bath can help:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve your immune system
  • Boost energy levels
  • Lift your mood
  • Deepen your sleep
  • Recover your muscles after physical exercise

It is important to remember that cold showers and ice baths are not some magical cure for mental health conditions, so they should be used as a supplement rather than a replacement of traditional treatments. It is also advised to talk to your doctor about using cold water therapy as cold water immersion affects your blood pressure, heart rate, and circulation.

Finally, to reap the benefits of cold water therapy you have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable for short periods of time. To make your cold water therapy experience as pleasant as possible, why not talk to our team about how you can transform your bathroom into a wellness sanctuary?

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