For many decades and across many cultures, people have used cold therapy (also known as cryotherapy) to improve physical health and wellbeing. There are many different types of cryotherapies, such as from using an ice pack, having a cold shower, using coolant sprays or taking an ice bath.
Cryotherapy is a technique where the body is exposed to cold temperatures for several minutes in order to receive a number of health benefits such as reduced inflammation, improved focus and attention, reduced recovery time and enhanced sleep quality.
Sleep is a critical element of recovery in order to enhance athletic performance. Without proper rest, it is impossible to perform at your absolute best. It is during sleep that our muscles grow, hormone release occurs, our cortisol levels decrease and tissue repair occurs. A study utilising sleep tracking technology showed that following cryotherapy participants experienced a longer and deeper sleep at night, allowing for a more significant natural recovery.
The hormone Norepinephrine has been shown to be released in large amounts following a cryotherapy session. Norepinephrine is responsible for improving focus, mental acuity, and attention, all of which are important for allowing athletes to gain a competitive edge.
Cryotherapy has been shown to reduce inflammatory markers in the blood. This can help to reduce both acute and chronic pain caused by inflammation, stiffness, and general muscle soreness. By reducing systemic inflammation and allowing the body to recover appropriately, athletes can enhance their performance using cryotherapy and gain a competitive advantage.
When booking a session in our ice baths you also get access to our rehabilitation hydrotherapy pool set at 35 degrees, giving you the option to try contrast therapy.
Contrast therapy, also known as hot/cold immersion, involves exposing the body to a contrast of temperatures such as both ice baths and warm pools. It works on the concept of vasodilation and vasoconstriction of the blood vessels, resulting in alternating the blood from flowing to the internal organs (when in cold) and the extremities (when in hot), which helps reduce swelling, inflammation, enhances sleep, and improves circulation.
Use of ice baths appears to be safe for most individuals, however, individuals with cardiovascular issues or cardiovascular disease and/or individuals with low blood pressure should consult their GP or local physician first. If you have any other medical conditions, please speak to your GP or local physician before using the ice baths.