How to Ice Bath Safely

IMPORTANT: Safety Precautions and Recommendations for Ice Bath Usage

Never get into a dangerous body of water. Also, never do deliberate hyperventilation (Whim Hof/Tummo breathing) before or during cold water or any water immersion.

Ice baths can offer numerous benefits when used properly. However, there are certain individuals who should exercise caution or avoid using ice baths altogether.

Please adhere to the following guidelines before using the CUAN Ice Bath:

DO NOT USE if you fall into any of the following categories:

- Under 18 years of age

- Pregnant

- History of heart disease or high blood pressure

- Diabetes with complications such as neuropathy or retinal damage

- Wear a pacemaker

- History of frostbite

- Open wound or recent surgery

- Epilepsy or any other health concerns or risks

Using an ice bath significantly lowers your body's core temperature. Immersion in cold water causes blood vessels to constrict and slows blood flow, which, when combined with certain health complications, can increase blood pressure and the risk of cardiac arrest or stroke.

Possible Side Effects:
While the primary side effect of an ice bath is intense cold, prolonged exposure may lead to:

- Hypothermia

- Frostbite

- Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)

- Arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythm)

- Allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock

Always prioritise your safety and well-being. Before incorporating ice baths into your routine, it is strongly recommended to consult with a healthcare professional who can evaluate your individual circumstances and provide personalised guidance.

Start slow (warmer than colder) as cold shock is possible, you’ll need to find the right temperature for you, yet prioritise safety. Despite potential risks, when used correctly, ice baths offer numerous health benefits. We strongly advise starting with brief sessions in the ice bath, gradually increasing the duration over time. Always listen to your body and never push beyond your limits. Your well-being is our priority.

Please note that this warning is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace professional medical advice. If you have any concerns or questions about your suitability for ice bath therapy, seek guidance from a qualified healthcare provider.


About cold water therapy

Learning to adapt to the cold is a scientific process that begins and ends with your breath. Initially, your cardiovascular system may react to the icy water by causing erratic breathing. To gradually build up tolerance, start by finishing your hot showers or baths with cold water that gradually decreases in temperature over time. Within a few weeks, your body will adapt and become more tolerant to the cold. As your tolerance increases, you'll gain better control over your breath, maximising the benefits of cold water immersion.


How cold?

Each individual's response to cold exposure is unique, but a good rule of thumb is to push yourself just enough to elicit the thought "this is really cold, but I can handle it safely." Remember, the colder the stimulus, the shorter the exposure time needed. With consistent practice, you can gradually increase your comfort level and confidence in colder temperatures, similar to building strength in the gym or improving your running time. Studies show that you can reap the benefits of cold water immersion at 15 and even 20 degrees so you don't need super cold temperatures to get the positives from your CUAN Ice Bath.


The Importance of Gradual Warmth

Experiencing the invigorating world of cold water immersion can be truly transformative. Yet, the key to reaping its full benefits lies not just in the dip but in the careful transition that follows. After your ice bath adventure, you might be tempted to jump straight into a steaming hot shower, but here's why taking it slow matters:

1. Dress Warm: After your cold water adventure, wrap yourself in warm clothes, like the CUAN Robe, to retain the benefits of your ice bath. This cosy addition keeps you snug while allowing your body to gently return to its normal temperature.

2. Skin Love: Cold water can leave your skin feeling extra sensitive. Subjecting it to sudden hot water can result in discomfort, redness, or even mild burns. Gradual warming with lukewarm water helps your skin recover gently. 

3. Guarding Against Thermal Shock: Rapid temperature changes can place strain on your cardiovascular system. Transitioning from cold to hot abruptly may lead to thermal shock. Gradual warming gives your body the time it needs to recalibrate, reducing this risk.

4. Muscle Rejuvenation: Cold immersion can work wonders for your muscles by reducing inflammation and enhancing recovery. Rushing into hot water can negate some of these benefits. Gradual warming enables your muscles to ease into relaxation, supporting their recovery process.

5. Circulatory Boost: Gradually raising the water temperature promotes healthy blood circulation. This aids in flushing out waste products and ensures an adequate supply of oxygen to your muscles, facilitating their recovery.

6. Mental Clarity: A gentle warming process allows you to maintain mental clarity and mindfulness, contributing to your overall well-being and post-immersion experience.

7. Stress Reduction: While hot showers can be wonderfully soothing, they may not be the best choice right after cold exposure. Opting for a gradual warm-up ensures relaxation without adding stress to your system.

8. Hydrate and Enjoy: Sip on a hot drink like herbal tea or a warm beverage of your choice. This not only helps warm you from the inside but adds to the relaxation experience.

Remember: Everyone's body reacts differently, so always listen to yours. If you're feeling unusually cold or uncomfortable, prioritize your safety and comfort. Gradual warming, coupled with warm clothing and a hot drink, is the golden rule for a smooth and enjoyable recovery after cold water immersion.


A Solid Basic, Science-Supported Protocol

A recommended protocol for deliberate cold exposure is to aim for a total of 11 minutes per week, divided into 2-4 sessions that last 1-5 minutes each, spread throughout the week. It's important to note that the water temperature should be uncomfortable yet safe enough to remain in for a few minutes. While you can certainly do more, sticking to this minimum amount will allow you to reap the benefits of cold exposure. Alternatively, you can also opt for very cold, brief exposures to trigger an adrenaline release, but the 11-minute protocol is based on a recent study that examined a range of effects and provides a solid foundation for ongoing use.


Day or Night?

Following cold exposure, the body temperature rises. The increase in body temperature can make us more alert, whereas a decrease can induce sleepiness. Therefore, it's advisable to incorporate cold exposure earlier in the day, avoiding close proximity to bedtime. If cold exposure impacts your sleep, consider performing it during the earlier hours or avoiding it altogether. While doing it late is an option, it's better to prioritise your sleep if it's being affected.