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How Cold Therapy Can Improve Your Immune System

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

Are you searching for ways to improve your immune system? Your immune system protects from infection and disease; fighting off everything from cold and flu viruses to more serious conditions. Cold water therapy aids in reducing inflammation, increasing circulation and decreasing overall stress. Inflammation, circulation and stress are all factors in immunity reactions.


What Is Cold Therapy?

Cryotherapy, which is also known as cold therapy, is the general use of low temperatures for medicinal purposes or therapy. It may also be used in surgery ultimately called cryosurgery which uses extremely low temperatures to destroy diseased or abnormal tissue.

Cryotherapy has been used for decades by athletes to relieve ailments such as sore muscles or sprains. Now that you understand the what, let’s move on to the why.

Immune System Benefits

Ice plunge tubs can strengthen the immune system by reducing inflammation. Constricting the flow of blood to muscles is the body’s natural response to cold temperatures & reduces inflammation and swelling.

Cold exposure therapy increases circulation by activating blood flow. When you plunge into cold water, blood rushes to surround your vital organs making your heart pump more efficiently. This process provides a rush of oxygen and nutrients needed by your body.

Jumping in an ice bath improves your stress response. Very cold temperatures can cause hormonal responses releasing adrenaline, noradrenaline, and endorphins. This can have a positive impact on stress, anxiety and depression.

As an added bonus, cold water therapy is also attributed to increasing your metabolic rate through shivering. When you shiver, your body is working to generate heat, resulting in an increase in your metabolism.

How Do I Start?

If your intention is to improve your immune system, it is imperative that you continue to take an ice plunge two or three times a week. With this routine, you will activate your immune system to elevate blood concentrations of “catecholamines” which help you fight off those nasty bugs.

In order to achieve the results, it is recommended to use a temperature of Between 50-59 degrees Fahrenheit. You will want to wear clothes during your bath and have a warm towel/robe at the ready for afterwards. We recommend starting with 5 minutes, and not exceeding 15 minutes.

If you’d like to know exactly how you can begin your therapy at home, please see our handy article on “How to use an Ice Bath at Home“.




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