Doctors believe frequent controlled exposure to extreme cold can have health benefits.
Cold exposure can speed up the metabolism as the body looks to generate more heat, while low temperatures can reduce swelling and muscle soreness.
Cold therapy also enhances sleep and improves the body’s immune system response.
That’s why many athletes take regular ice baths in a bid to speed up their recovery after performing.
Cryotherapy – cold showers and ice baths – are an important feature of the Wim Hof Method.
What the scientists say about cold therapy
Tests showed that Hof and his students who were injected with the same pathogen as a group who did not follow his training techniques showed an increased immune response and fewer symptoms of infection than the non-Win Hof Method group.
Other studies are underway to test how the Wim Hof Method influences stress, the body’s metabolism and inflammation.