The science behind cold plunges
It's more than just an Instagram trend...
While cold plunging seems to be all the rage these days. I’ve jumped on the bandwagon for health and resilience reasons vs. it’s cool to post about it on Instagram.
I shared earlier this week that I’ve had the pleasure of attending 2 Wim Hof workshops. During these workshops we were presented with the science behind the method (which includes cold exposure).
Wim Hof conducted his first research study in 2011 with Radboud University.
I learned at my first Wim Hof workshop that there was a purpose behind the Wim Hof method (which includes breathwork, cold exposure and commitment). When the scientific research studies continued he wanted to show that he could replicate his method results with others. Could he demonstrate the ability to control the sympathetic nervous system and immune response? And he was able to.
I really appreciated reading into the research because some of the results showed the bodies ability to increase anti-inflammatory markers. As someone who lives with multiple sclerosis (MS), this is extremely important to me as I battle inflammation on a daily basis.
The latest research coming from the Wim Hof method in 2022 is that “the combination of practicing the breathing exercise and cold exposure is the most effective one in decreasing the inflammatory response of the body and alleviating symptoms.” So it’s not just the breathing method and it’s not just cold exposure but a combination of both.
While I’ll be tackling the Wim Hof breathing method on a daily basis in February as that month’s resilience challenge, I’ll need to figure out a good schedule of both cold plunges and breathwork in the future.
Wim Hof Method Benefits
There are many other benefits that we can receive when practicing the Wim Hof Method on a consistent basis.
Wim Hof Method Benefits:
Reduced stress levels
Heightened focus & determination
Stronger immune system