A Therapy for the Ages
Posted August 30, 2016
Imagine a natural therapy that improves athletic performance, speeds up recuperation and injury repair, and lowers body fat. That same treatment also aids in alleviating depression, anxiousness and sleep deprivation. No drugs, no meds. Now imagine that all of these benefits are attainable with Ice Bath Therapy at practically negligible cost.
The use of water for improving health has a long history from the temperature controlled baths of ancient Rome to the healing spas of Switzerland. It fell out of favor in the United States in the 1900s, as pharmaceuticals started to become more prevalent, but almost a century later, due to negative side effects and prohibitive costs, the natural water therapy is making a definitive comeback.
Performance and Recovery – It is well documented that Ice Bath Treatment (IBT) is effective for recovering from a hard work out. Two recent studies have concluded that the treatment not only reduces soreness and promotes recuperation and injury repair, but that it also enhances overall athlete performance. In a comparative study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, it was discovered that the level of hemoglobin were lower, and tissue oxygenation were higher, in runners who used the cold ice bath. These factors stimulate better performance as it reduces exhaustion and enhance muscle revival.
Weight Loss – Ice Bath Treatment induces significant physiological and biochemical changes in the body such as increase metabolism, among other factors. The most publicized benefit of cold-water exposure is the metabolic advantage of activating a unique kind of fat tissue known as ‘brown fat.’
Unlike the more familiar white fat that collects around our hips and stomachs, brown fat burns through calories at quite a high rate because it has a very important job: raising body temperature. Further research has convincingly demonstrated that cold exposure, especially applied to the areas where brown fat is active, stimulates the growth of brown fat deposits and therefore enhances calorie burn, and eventually weight loss.
Other Benefits – IBT also has a completely different set of benefits stemming from the hormetic effect of the experience itself. ‘Hormesis’ is a biological phenomenon whereby a beneficial outcome (improved health, growth or longevity) results from exposure to low doses of an agent that is otherwise toxic or lethal when given at a higher dose. Hormetic stress is one that makes one stronger by forcing one’s body to overcompensate for a minor injury. This applies to cold exposure. Specifically, it’s helpful for immunity.
As mentioned in a recent study, exposure just up to the point of adaptation and recovery, as it is in IBT, bumps up one’s immune response: men who sat for 2 hours at 41 degrees Fahrenheit had higher levels of immune cells after the treatment.
A few other significant benefits are worth mentioning. Ice Bath Therapy increases testosterone and sperm counts in men, and an important research lately found this therapy as a natural treatment for depression, anxiousness and sleep deprivation.
To attain these benefits simply reserve an appointment at CrossFit Los Feliz 5121 Sunset Blvd LA, CA 90027.
Each bath is only $8 for members/ $10 for non-members. Please visit our website at www.crossfitlosfeliz.com for more information.