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When exposed to the cold of an ice bath the body undergoes multiple physiological adaptions that attempt to actively rewarm the body. Such responses to the cold work to improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, improve mental resilience and aid in muscle recovery. 

 

Ice Baths

Deliberate cold exposure is one way to activate hormesis, an advantageous biological reaction to a mildly stressful stimulus whereby a range of adaptive bodily responses are activated. These responses have been found to contribute to reduced inflammation, improved immune function, enhanced athletic performance, and quicker muscle recovery.
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Energy, Focus, Resilience

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Lethargy, Soreness, Stress

Ice Bath Locations

Ice Baths

Deliberate cold exposure is one way to activate hormesis, an advantageous biological reaction to a mildly stressful stimulus whereby a range of adaptive bodily responses are activated. These responses have been found to contribute to reduced inflammation, improved immune function, enhanced athletic performance, and quicker muscle recovery.
arrow

Energy, Focus, Resilience

arrow

Lethargy, Soreness, Stress

Ice Bath Benefits

Enhance Your Immune System

Cold water therapy has the potential to stimulate your body’s immune system, according to some evidence. This suggests a possible improvement in your body’s ability to combat pathogens.

Research has explored whether regular practices such as cryotherapy, breathwork, and meditation could enhance antibodies in the body.

Subjects exposed to a bacterial infection, particularly those implementing these methods, exhibited fewer symptoms. They produced more antibodies and fewer cytokines in response to the bacteria.

While the study found that breathwork techniques were more impactful than ice baths in reducing cold and flu symptoms, cold water exposure was associated with developing resistance to stress over an extended period.

Detoxify

The lymphatic system, an intricate network of tiny vessels throughout the entire body, serves as a crucial component for removing unwanted toxins from cells. In simple terms, it constantly processes toxins, cleansing the system.

This process relies on muscle contractions to pump fluid through the vessels, as the lymphatic system lacks a dedicated pump like the cardiovascular system. If the lymphatic system becomes congested with toxins, it may slow down, becoming less effective and allowing toxins to accumulate.

During an ice bath, the cold temperatures prompt the contraction of lymph vessels, activating the lymphatic system to flush lymph fluids back into the system through the lymph nodes. This action mobilizes the white blood cell brigade, also known as the immune system, to attack any unwanted foreign bodies in the fluid.

Relieve Sore and Aching Muscles

Cold water therapy, a recovery technique, has demonstrated its ability to reduce inflammation and alleviate DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). This is achieved through the improvement of blood circulation and the constriction of blood vessels.

Enhance Blood Sugar Regulation

Cold exposure for half an hour has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. However, individuals with diabetes should consult with a healthcare professional before attempting ice bath therapy.

Alleviate Stress

Immersing the body in cold water can significantly impact stress levels, primarily due to the stimulation of noradrenaline, a key player in mood regulation, as mentioned earlier.

Diminish Inflammation and Swelling

Many medical professionals acknowledge that cold temperatures are effective in alleviating swelling and inflammation.

Consider an ice pack applied to a sprained ankle; it achieves this by constricting blood vessels, thereby reducing swelling and buffering the nervous system, leading to pain reduction. This makes immersing the body in cold water an evident treatment for managing injured athletes or assisting in the recovery process.

Try one of our Ice Bath protocols

We have combined Ice Bath with other equipment into specialized health protocols

Immune

Benefits

  • Energy
  • Focus
  • Resilience

Equipment

  • Ice bath

Refresh

Benefits

  • Energy
  • Focus
  • Resilience

Equipment

  • Compression

Detox

Benefits

  • Energy
  • Focus
  • Resilience

Equipment

  • Infrared Sauna
  • Ice Bath
  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Pro tip

Cold exposure immediately after resistance training may blunt muscle adaptations necessary for muscle growth and strength. As such, if muscle growth is your goal, avoid engaging in any form of deliberate cold exposure for 4-6 hours following strength training.

Understanding Ice Baths

When you immerse your body in an ice bath, the body initially responds by constricting blood vessels. This is a physiological reaction known as vasoconstriction. This constriction helps preserve core body temperature by directing blood toward vital organs, in turn reducing inflammation and swelling throughout the body. Further, upon exiting an ice bath the body then actively attempts to re-warm itself by recirculating blood back towards the extremities. The changes in blood flow both during and following an ice bath allow for more oxygen and nutrients to be transported to the organs, muscles and tissues within the body. This is particularly beneficial for healing injuries, reducing muscle fatigue and decreasing inflammation within the body.

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Brisbane

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FAQs

How long should I stay in an ice bath?

Despite popular belief, it's not a case of "longer is better" in ice baths, as each person's tolerance to cold will differ. It's crucial to prioritise safety, listen to your body, and take appropriate precautions to avoid any adverse effects such as hypothermia or other health complications. While there currently is no “gold standard” for how long individuals should spend in an ice bath in a single session we have the general recommendation of accumulating one minute of cold immersion per degree (e.g., 6 minutes maximum for our 6 degree ice bath), not only is this sufficient time to gain the benefits of ice baths but also ensures no adverse effects are seen.

Should I do an ice bath after training?

If strength and size are your primary training goals, research suggests that you should refrain from using cold exposure to aid recovery by at least 4-6 hours after training. This is because cold exposure will blunt the muscular adaptions following strength training necessary for muscle growth. Comparatively,for individuals wanting to recover their muscles and improve their athletic endurance, cold exposure straight after training can assist greatly in reducing inflammation, and enhancing muscle recovery.

Who should not engage in ice baths?

Individuals with open or infected wounds, diabetes, high blood pressure, untreated epilepsy are under the age of 16 or are pregnant are not recommended to engage in ice baths. If you are ever unsure, always consult with your medical practitioner first when wanting to try new forms of therapy.

What is the best time of day to do an ice bath?

When you expose your body to cold water, it stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which is associated with the "fight or flight" response. This activation can lead to increased alertness and a feeling of wakefulness. Additionally, intentionally exposing the body to cold temperatures in the morning amplifies the body's natural processes associated with the wake-up phase of the circadian rhythm. In line with this, in order to make use of the increased energy, focus and wakefulness provided by cold exposure, we recommend utilising ice baths in the early hours of the day.

All Equipment

Traditional Saunas

Theragun Treatment Therapy

The 4th generation of percussive devices from Therabody sports

Ice Baths

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Chambers

Infuse your body with oxygen under pressure to improve recovery, boost cognition, and alleviate inflammation.

Compression Boots Therapy

Contrast Therapy Pools

The contrast therapy procedure encompasses alternating sequences of hot and cold, creating a pumping action in the blood and muscles that enhances oxygen and nutrient supply to the body tissues. These changes in blood flow contribute to many of the established benefits of this therapy, including reduced swelling and inflammation, improved energy and focus, and stress reduction, which in turn promotes relaxation.

Steam Rooms

Secure your inaugural relaxation session at our Brisbane Spa today.

Full Body Cryotherapy Chambers

Infrared Saunas

Our premium infrared saunas provide a fantastic chance to relax and alleviate stress.

Ice Baths