Cold Plunging for Health

Benefits of Cold Plunge Tubs for Health

Cold therapy can help many people with a range of health issues, and can also produce a range of health benefits, including reduced inflammation and swelling, which aids in injury recovery and general systemic inflammation; relief from sore muscles, aiding in post-workout recovery; as a pain reduction technique for chronic conditions including arthritis, gout, fibromyalgia and others; increased joint mobility; immunity strengthening; as well as mental health benefits, including increased feelings of wellbeing, and decreased depression, anxiety, and grief.

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An ancient practice, backed by modern medicine

Humans have practiced cold therapy for thousands of years for a range of reasons.

Hippocrates, the ancient Greek responsible for modern medicine, believed cold water therapy (aka cryotherapy) could help with mental and physical energy; Romans used cold plunging for fevers; and in the 1700s, medical experiments conducted by James Curie established medcial relationships between cold plunging, respiration, circulatory health and more.

But don’t listen to us or those who were around 3000 years ago or in the 1700s, see what modern medical professionals say:

Use of Cryotherapy for Managing Chronic Pain: An Evidence-Based Narrative. Pain and Therapy (Academic Journal).
See this article on Springer


Peripheral blood flow changes in response to postexercise cold water immersion. Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging (Academic Journal).
See this article at the National Library of Medicine


Cryostimulation for Post-exercise Recovery in Athletes: A Consensus and Position Paper. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living (Academic Journal).
See this article at the National Library of Medicine


Cold for centuries: a brief history of cryotherapies to improve health, injury and post-exercise recovery. European Journal of Applied Physiology.
See this article on Springer


Cryotherapy Reduces Inflammatory Response Without Altering Muscle Regeneration Process and Extracellular Matrix Remodeling of Muscle. Scientific Reports (Journal).
See this article at the National Library of Medicine


A Cold Splash–Hydrotherapy for Depression and Anxiety. Psychology Today.
See this article at Psychology Today


Human physiological responses to immersion into water of different temperatures. European Journal of Applied Physiology.
See this article at the National Library of Medicine


What are the benefits of cryotherapy? Medical News Today.
See this article and Medical News Today


6 Proven Health Benefits of Ice Baths. GoodRX Health.
See this article on GoodRX Health


Effects of winter sea bathing on psychoneuroendocrinoimmunological parameters. Explore (Academic Journal).
See this article at Science Direct


Cold Exposure (Ice Plunge). Mental Health Center of America.
See this article at the Mental Health Center of America


So depression is an inflammatory disease, but where does the inflammation come from? BMC Medicine (Academic Journal).
See this article at BMC Medicine


Norepinephrine versus Dopamine and their Interaction in Modulating Synaptic Function in the Prefrontal Cortex. Brain Research (Journal)
See this article at the National Library of Medicine


Cold-Water Face Immersion Per Se Elicits Cardiac Parasympathetic Activity. Circulation Journal (Academic Journal).
See this article on J-STAGE


Open water swimming as a treatment for major depressive disorder. BMJ Case Reports Journal.
See this article at the National Library of Medicine


Winter swimming improves general well-being. International Journal of Circumpolar Health.
See this article at the National Library of Medicine


Scientific Evidence-Based Effects of Hydrotherapy on Various Systems of the Body. North American Journal of Medical Science.
See this article at the National Library of Medicine


Cryotherapy Reduces Inflammatory Response Without Altering Muscle Regeneration Process and Extracellular Matrix Remodeling of Muscle. Scientific Reports (Journal).
See this article at the National Library of Medicine


Human physiological responses to immersion into water of different temperatures. European Journal of Applied Physiology.
See this article at the National Library of Medicine


The Origins and Fate of James Currie’s Cold Water Treatment for Fever. Medical History (Journal).
See this article at the National Library of Medicine


Got questions?

Frequently asked questions about cold plunges and health

People and medical professionals report that cold tub plunging can have a number of positive effects on the body including: 

  • Faster injury recovery & workout recovery
  • Reduction of general systemic inflammation
  • Managing chronic pain
  • Increased joint mobility
  • Increased immunity
  • Increased energy/focus
  • Triggering of dopamine and norepinephrine release
  • Fat and weight loss

Your results may vary. Please see our list of medical studies below to see a sampling of what medical professionals have found.

People and medical studies report a range of health benefits from cold plunging that include reduced inflammation and swelling, which aids in injury recovery and general systemic inflammation; relief from sore muscles, aiding in post-workout recovery; as a pain reduction technique for chronic conditions including arthritis, gout, fibromyalgia and others; increased joint mobility; immunity strengthening; as well as mental health benefits, including increased feelings of wellbeing, and decreased depression, anxiety, and grief. Some people report no longer needing medication for depression with regular cold water therapy.  Results may vary depending on your underlying health conditions.

Some medical professionals point to the body’s initial stress response of cold plunging as being the catalyst for other body functions that increase feelings of psychological well being, decrease stress and show changed immune markers.

According to the Mental Health Center of America, “Cold exposure increases the production of a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine (focus, attention, vigilance, mood). As a result, cold therapy can produce a feeling of calm, happiness, and well-being, which can support the mitigation of mental health symptoms such as depression and anxiety.”

Another study found significant increases in both noepinephrine and dopamine levels in test subjects after cold water exposure. Noepinephrine and dopamine play important roles in motivation, experiencing pleasure, stress response, sleep and alertness. 

A study of the effects of cold water therapy on open air cold water swimmers found after several months “tension, fatigue, memory and mood negative state points in the swimmers significantly decreased.” 

Some medical professionals also consider depression to be related to chronic inflammation in the body system, and  “sources of inflammation may play a role in other psychiatric disorders, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism and post-traumatic stress disorder.”  Cold water therapy has been shown in some contexts to reduce overall inflammation through vascular constriction. 

This depends on the temperature of the bath, the height and weight of the person, and their general sensitivity levels to cold. Many people gradually increase their cold plunge exposure over time as they become used to regular cold plunging; 3-5 minutes is a general recommendation. 

Medical doctors suggest that the initial shock and resulting body response from cold water submersion is what drives health benefits from plunging, and this only takes a few minutes to achieve. 

Do what you can and use common sense; hypothermia is possible from over exposure. If you notice skin color changes or you start shivering uncontrollably you should get out of the cold plunge right away.

Cold therapy can be very helpful for some conditions, but we recommend discussing cold plunging with your medical professional before taking it up. Pregnant women and children should not use cold plunges. People with heart conditions, high blood pressure, circulatory problems, or other conditions related to cold sensitivity specifically should discuss whether cold plunging is okay for them with their doctors.

There is debate on how often a person should cold plunge to achieve particular health benefits; it likely depends on what benefits you are hoping for from the experience. If you are using cold plunging to aid after-workout recovery, do it after workouts. Other people do it two or three times a week, others daily, others twice daily.

Many people cold plunge daily or twice daily. It is up to you to determine how often you’d like to do it and how much you can take.

Beyond what the doctors say

Then there’s what our customers say about their cold plunge health experiences….

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Cools to 39 degrees

Our 1/4 Horsepower Cold Plunge Tub

from Original price was: $3,048.00.Current price is: $2,978.00.

Our 1/4 horsepower cold plunge tub is quiet, attractively designed, and is great for indoor and outdoor use. The included electric chiller makes your ice bath experience ice-free, and the tub’s amazing insulation makes it energy efficient and highly functional in hot climates. Child-safe! Great price point!

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The 450 Wide Grizzly Cold Plunge Tub

from $3,400.00

Want it a little wider? You spoke and we listened. Our Wide Grizzly 450 Cold Plunge is 7.5″ wider than the Original. The Wide is for people hoping for a tandem plunge experience, who like to sit crosslegged while plunging, or just generally would like to stretch out a bit more while plunging. Like the original, this plunge also comes with a 1/4 horsepower chiller, is quiet, functional in hot climates, and has the safety and convenience features of the Original.

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