The power of ice baths for mind and body

Millions of people globally are enjoying the physical and mental benefits of regular cold exposure therapy thanks to the popularity of pioneers like Dutchman Wim Hof.
Kym Burls

We spoke to Kym Burls, a certified Breathwork Coach and Wim Hof Method Instructor in Adelaide. 

“Cold exposure therapy is any form of short-duration exposure to the cold – below 15°C, air or water temperature,” says Kym. And one of the best ways to experience cold exposure therapy is through ice baths.

“Ice baths, and other cold exposure therapy, are a form of stress training – it’s the body’s response to the stress of the cold that delivers the benefits,” says Kym. You might think ice baths are reserved for footy players after games but anyone able to can challenge themselves and reap the benefits of ice baths.

Ice baths, and other cold exposure therapy, are a form of stress training – it’s the body’s response to the stress of the cold that delivers the benefits.

The mental and physical benefits of ice baths include:

  • Mental energy boost
  • Improved mental health 
  • More mental resilience
  • Improved stress management
  • Better sleep
  • Increased metabolism
  • Lower inflammation
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Decreased pain

The Wim Hof Method is a particularly interesting approach to cold exposure training. “It is a natural, science-based approach to help you lead a happier, stronger and healthier life. It consists of ‘3 pillars’ – a unique breathing technique, regular cold exposure and various mindset techniques,” says Kym.

“Anyone can stand under a stream of cold shower water or submerge into a bath filled with ice, however, it’s the underpinning philosophy of the Wim Hof Method – of connection to self and to your body’s natural processes – that I believe sets it apart in what is becoming an increasingly crowded space,” says Kym.

The Wim Hof Method stands alone when it comes to practices with such a broad impact on the entire body. “The combination of breathwork and cold exposure powerfully influences every system in the body including your nervous, circulatory, respiratory, endocrine immune, digestive and reproductive systems,” states Kym.

While cold exposure has been part of many cultures for hundreds of years – think Northern Europe, arguably it has been Wim Hof who has single-handedly made it as popular and widespread as it is today.

The Wim Hof Method stands alone when it comes to practices with such a broad impact on the entire body.

Important health disclaimer:

Cold exposure is not suitable for everyone. Those with any concerns or medical issues should consult a healthcare professional before starting.

kymburls.com @kym_burls

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