Demystifying Cold Water Immersion | Bota Bota, spa-sur-l'eau

TUESDAY JUNE 18 | The water circuit will exceptionally open its doors at 1 p.m. Reservations for treatments and massages are maintained. The Meditation Room will be closed until 3 p.m and the City Sauna will be closed all day.

TUESDAY JUNE 18 | The water circuit will exceptionally open its doors at 1 p.m. Reservations for treatments and massages are maintained. The Meditation Room will be closed until 3 p.m and the City Sauna will be closed all day.

TUESDAY JUNE 18 | The water circuit will exceptionally open its doors at 1 p.m. Reservations for treatments and massages are maintained. The Meditation Room will be closed until 3 p.m and the City Sauna will be closed all day.

TUESDAY JUNE 18 | The water circuit will exceptionally open its doors at 1 p.m. Reservations for treatments and massages are maintained. The Meditation Room will be closed until 3 p.m and the City Sauna will be closed all day.

TUESDAY JUNE 18 | The water circuit will exceptionally open its doors at 1 p.m. Reservations for treatments and massages are maintained. The Meditation Room will be closed until 3 p.m and the City Sauna will be closed all day.

TUESDAY JUNE 18 | The water circuit will exceptionally open its doors at 1 p.m. Reservations for treatments and massages are maintained. The Meditation Room will be closed until 3 p.m and the City Sauna will be closed all day.

TUESDAY JUNE 18 | The water circuit will exceptionally open its doors at 1 p.m. Reservations for treatments and massages are maintained. The Meditation Room will be closed until 3 p.m and the City Sauna will be closed all day.

TUESDAY JUNE 18 | The water circuit will exceptionally open its doors at 1 p.m. Reservations for treatments and massages are maintained. The Meditation Room will be closed until 3 p.m and the City Sauna will be closed all day.

TUESDAY JUNE 18 | The water circuit will exceptionally open its doors at 1 p.m. Reservations for treatments and massages are maintained. The Meditation Room will be closed until 3 p.m and the City Sauna will be closed all day.

Bota Bota

Demystifying Cold Water Immersion

There are three steps to the water circuit at Bota Bota: hot, cold, and relaxation. The second step can be accomplished through a cold shower or cold water immersion. On its own, a cold water immersion can also be beneficial to our overall health.

What Is Cold Water Immersion?

The cold plunge, or cold water immersion, is a practice that involves submerging one’s body in water where the temperature typically falls below 15°C. After engaging in rigorous exercise, the body undergoes a period where it needs to recover and heal — cold water immersion plays a significant role in this recovery process. The practice is believed to help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain, which are common physiological responses after intense physical exertion.

What Are the Benefits of Cold Water Immersion?

Beyond providing pain relief, the cold plunge can also have a positive impact on blood circulation. The cold temperature of the water stimulates blood vessels, causing them to contract initially, a reaction which can help minimize swelling and inflammation, and then expand once the body begins to warm up again. This contraction and expansion process can help flush out toxins and metabolic waste from the muscles, thereby promoting faster and more efficient recovery.

Cold bath immersion isn’t just beneficial for physical health; it also has psychological benefits. Many people find the practice invigorating and rejuvenating. The act of immersing oneself in cold water can potentially help improve mood, reduce stress levels, and even enhance mental resilience. Therefore, it can provide both physical and mental health benefits.

It’s worth noting that the benefits of cold bath immersion aren’t limited to post-exercise recovery. Regular practice can lead to long-term benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, better sleep quality, increased metabolic rate, and enhanced mood stability.

Are There Any Risks Associated with the Practice?

It’s important to be aware of potential risks before beginning to practice cold water immersion.

  • Hypothermia: occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature. Symptoms can include intense shivering, loss of coordination, slurred speech, and in severe cases, a decrease in the heart rate. Hypothermia is, however, extremely unlikely in the context of intense but short exposure as can be experienced at the spa.
  • Shock to the cardiovascular system: the sudden change in temperature can cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, which could potentially be risky for individuals with pre-existing heart conditions. The shock varies greatly depending on the person and it is important to explore the reaction to cold gradually, avoiding putting your head under cold water if you are not used to it.
  • Overreaction of the body’s cold shock response: this can lead to a response which includes gasping for air and hyperventilation.

While cold bath immersion can have many benefits, individuals should be aware of these potential risks and always consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any new health practice.

Where to Start?

There are several ways to start practicing cold water immersion. At Bota Bota, in addition to our existing cold baths, we offer workshops with Sebastien Zappa, Ph.D., who has been teaching mindful breathing and cold exposure since 2018. His accessible approach will teach you more about the practice while guiding you through the motions. Sébastien adds that “science is far from having delivered definitive conclusions on the benefits of the cold plunge, but that does not prevent many followers of this practice from reporting benefits, between general well-being and mental health.” You can find out more about his upcoming workshop on March 24 here.

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