The Many Benefits of Contrast Therapy
For centuries, hot and cold immersion has been used as a tool to achieve positive physical and mental benefits, invigorate the soul, and build resilience through the power of the mind.
In recent years, however, contrast therapy has become increasingly popular, being used as a means of increasing longevity, recovering from vigorous physical activity, boosting hormonal health, and of course, building mental toughness.
Though popularized in modern biohacking communities, it has now become a prevailing topic studied amongst health researchers and scientists alike.
With a culture of health and vitality being atop many people's priority list in today's society, it’s no wonder contrast therapy has caught a second wind. With benefits off the charts, contrast therapy should be a part of everyone’s health and fitness regimen.
What is Contrast Therapy?
Contrast therapy is a training technique used to gain complete control over the mind whilst placing your body under stressful demands involving extreme temperatures. While the act of contrast therapy is simple, the bodily functions at play are complex and the benefits are profound.
As mentioned, there are two phases of contrast therapy; cold exposure, and heat exposure. When performed in combination, one after the other, amazing things happen.
Starting with cold exposure, begin by immersing yourself in an extremely cold environment, preferably an ice bath, for a period of time typically between 2-4 minutes depending on your experience level and tolerance threshold.
Immediately, you’ll begin to experience the initial shock of extreme cold, however, this is simply a natural stress response. By focusing on your breath and holding a calm, quiet mind, you’ll begin to experience the release of physical tensions. Moreover, the sheer mental strength that you’ll gain from remaining immersed is insurmountable.
Below are the benefits of cold exposure therapy:
- Releases Dopamine
- Aids in Fat Loss
- Increases Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Energy Production
- Builds Mental Toughness
- Linked to Longevity and Several Health Improvements
- Improved Mood
- Increased Cognition
We need to begin to expose ourselves to discomfort and acute stress (otherwise known as hormesis) to grow as individuals and get out of this culture of comfort. With cold therapy, we put ourselves in uncomfortable situations and learn how to control our responses to them, thus building our mental strength and acuity.
The second phase of contrast therapy is heat exposure. While benefits can be elicited through a hot shower, the majority of research has been done using saunas. As such, begin by turning the dial up to 175 degrees fahrenheit or more. By sitting in this heat for 15-30 minutes, you increase the benefits immensely.
Below are the benefits of heat exposure therapy:
- Improves Endurance
- Increases Blood Flow
- Enhances Muscle Hypertrophy
- Stimulates Brain Function & Cognition
- Increases Overall Health & Longevity Through Hormesis
In relation to these benefits, one can begin to experience deep relaxation and calm, increased red blood cell count, improved recovery and muscle building, increased focus and attention, boosted mood, reduced depression and anxiety, improved memory and retention, and again, longer lifespans.
Due to the increase in heat shock proteins; a group of proteins that help protect all cells, sitting in a sauna 3-4x per week has been shown in research to decrease the risk of early mortality.
Stress and discomfort aren’t always something you should avoid, and in the majority of cases, can provide incredible benefits…
Get Your Sauna & Ice Bath Combination Today!
Contrast therapy can and should be used to achieve positive physical and mental benefits. As discussed, for those that remain committed to a consistent contrast therapy regimen, such benefits include muscular and cardiovascular health, brain function, mental resiliency, anxiety reduction, and more.
In the market for your very own sauna and ice bath? Lucky for you, we here at Salus Saunas have you covered! Offering a range of sauna options inclusive of infrared and traditional saunas and through our partnership with companies like Renu Therapy who supply cold plunges, we’re your one-stop shop for all your contrast therapy combination needs!
To learn more or to purchase yours today, visit us at https://www.salussaunas.com.