Thailand is hot all year round, with no true Winter season. There are no natural locations, such as rivers or lakes, that offer cold exposure or cold water swimming. The great news is you can still enjoy an ice bath at our studio in Bangkok, Thailand all year.
With regular workshops around Thailand too, its possible to get a your chill on at one of our many workshops. Below we give more insight into what an ice bath is and why people are going crazy for this activity.
What is an Ice Bath?
A true ice bath is a tub, bucket or bath, filled with ice cubes to bring the temperature of the ice water down below 15 degrees celsius. At 15 degrees celsius temperature studies have shown benefits are gained.
If the bath has no ice, either its cooled by a machine or the ice has melted. Technically its no longer an ice bath. The key word here is the word “ice”.
When measuring the temperature of the ice bath, many use floating thermometers which only measure the ice its sitting on. Dont be fooled into thinking the entire contents are at that temperature. This is why we use thermometers that measure the temperature at the bottom, mid and top. We make sure our baths are close to zero as possible.
Breath Inspired Ice Baths are as close to Zero Degrees Celsius as Possible
Ice bath, also known as cold water immersion (CWI) or cold exposure, is usually practiced after intense physical activity. the body is submerged in ice water for a fixed duration of time. Studies shows that regular ice baths can benefit the mind and body in a myriad of ways.
No surprise then, an increasing number of sportspeople are incorporating it in their routines. Athletes from different parts of the world take an ice bath post-practice or game to boost their recovery and strength. Some studies suggest that an ice bath alleviates muscle damage and discomfort when taken after intense physical activity.
Ice baths, as part of the 3 Pillars of the Wim Hof Method, give additional benefits then an ice bath alone. Remember the WHM is made up of 3 pillars. Practicing the WHM requires all 3 pillars to be completed.
Ice Baths – Old or New?
Many think that the technique is new, but it isn’t. Cold water treatment has been around for thousands of years. The Scandinavian countries have been immersing themselves in the experience of saunas and cold water for more than 2000 years now. Most countries in this region have saunas, hot water springs and cold water baths sprawling all over their land.
Countries such as Norway and Sweden have heated thermal baths and are popular tourist destinations. Found indoors and outdoors, one can find a range of scented, hot and cold water saunas. This is referred to as Contract Therapy.
First, take a hot bath or sauna; this releases tension in the muscles. Follow it up by dunking yourself in cold water, or you may also roll over the snow which is possible in the cold countries.
Hypothermia and Cold Weather Injuries
Hypothermia, as we know, is a medical condition in which the body loses heat much quicker than it can produce heat and happens when one is exposed to cold water, wind, air and rain. Often, one may even encounter some severe injuries, popularly known as cold weather injuries. These may include frostbite, frostnip, chilblains, immersion foot, trench foot and hypothermia.
To overcome hypothermia and other related conditions, it is essential to train your body to withstand cold temperature, and in this endeavour, ice baths can prove helpful. Taking ice baths can increase your body’s resilience against low temperature and make it stronger over time. However, regular practice is the key to ensure desired results.
Our Wim Hof Method instructor has full experience and qualifications to take you through ice bath training. It is imperative you only use a certified Wim Hof Method instructor. Their are many fake instructors advertising that they teach the method. We are aware of many that teach dangerous cold exposure training. The only person that will be at risk is you. So don’t accept anyone who’s not a certified instructor.
Benefits of Ice Bath
Below is a short breakdown of some of the most studied benefits of ice baths.
Moves Body Fluids
When a person sits in ice cold water, his blood vessels start constricting. After some time, when he moves out, the vessels start dilating again. This process proves helpful for flushing out the metabolic waste. Simultaneously, it challenges your body mentally by exposing it to different stresses and stimuli.
Besides, ice baths are advantageous for your lymph, a body fluid that contains white blood cells (WBCs) and intestinal fluid. As a fact, lymph nodes do not have a pumping process of their own. But an ice bath is known for opening up vessels and pumping blood throughout the body. It has a similar effect on the lymph nodes, and the stagnant fluid in these nodes also starts moving.
Above all, ice baths boost blood flow which implies that the cells receive more nutrients and oxygen and faster recovery.
Scientifically, any human body can tolerate a 10-degree drop or a 5-degree increase in temperature. All warm-blooded mammals have an inherent mechanism to keep themselves warm, and this is called thermogenesis. Everyone knows this, but are you aware that even an ice bath can induce thermogenesis? Yes, it does and is popularly called cold thermogenesis.
Just like how sweat helps you keep cool, cold thermogenesis helps raise body temperature. In research, it was found that cold thermogenesis activates brown cells. These brown fat cells raise the body’s metabolic rate in cold conditions. So, when you decide to take cold therapy such as ice baths, you put your body under extreme conditions to boost your health and fitness.
As discussed earlier, it activates brown fat cells and helps burn calories. Besides, there is an increase in metabolism by 3 to 5 times and due to shivering. It can also ease delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). However, it should not be self-induced and must be done under the vigilant eyes of an instructor.
Cold shock is a kind of stress that causes hormesis. Hormesis is a biphasic dose-response of an environmental agent to a low dose that causes physiological benefits in the long run. This cold shock treatment has been in practice for years. When used in the right doses, it can stimulate hormonal and physiological reactions to deal with various threats.
The best thing about cold stress is its impact on the immune system. A mere 20 minutes of exposure to ice baths can lead to a 200-300 per cent increase in norepinephrine that inhibits inflammation-causing hormone, cytokines. Also, cold exposure activates the lymphatic system speeding up the release of toxins from the body.
Cold shock increases antioxidative cellular defence. This includes the superoxide dismutase pathway and internal antioxidant glutathione improving immune cell functioning. Another eye-opening benefit of cold therapy is for the mind. Cold therapy boosts neurotransmitters that can lower pain and is also helpful in treating ADHD and depression by enhancing mood and vigilance, focus, and attention.
Besides, hot conditions can also raise oxidative stress levels of a mammalian body and stimulate some positive effects. One of the finest examples comes from Wim Hof, popularly known as The Ice Man. The secret to his resilience to extreme cold is shock proteins. They are special proteins produced by the human body when facing a random drift in climatic conditions.
Shock proteins reverse the negative impact due to temperature change and safeguard your cells and stimulate body healing. For example, exposure to an ice bath produces antioxidants throughout the body and saves it from inflammation while also increasing immunity. On the other hand, exposure to heat turns body cells more robust against any stress and lowers cellular ageing.
Wim Hof Method Ice Baths
Below is a list of the 3 pillars of the Wim Hof Method:
As you can see, the cold exposure is a major part of what the WHM is all about. When practising the WHM cold exposure, ice bathing is the preferred way.
Hiking up sub zero mountains and swimming in near freezing lakes is also popular in countries lucky enough to have this.
Ice Baths Bangkok, Thailand
Southeast Asian countries have no natural resources for cold water. It stays relatively hot throughout the year and a significant rainy season with high humidity levels. However, it doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy the ice bath here. We offer the best Ice Bath Bangkok experience available.
We are the only facility in Bangkok to offer you a real ice bath. Don’t settle for anything less. Learn and experience ice bathing, cold exposure and cold water immersion from the best.
Sign up for one of our Ice Bath Bangkok workshops or a Wim Hof Method workshop to experience real ice baths. Each ice bath has 350 kg of ice or sometimes more. The temperature is well maintained between zero to two degrees.
This is real cold exposure. This is a real ice bath!