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Benefits of hot and cold immersion

3 minute read ↓

Native State

Hot & cold explained

A luxurious bathhouse session is part of a cherished self-care routine for many, leaving those with a lingering sense of relaxation and wellbeing.

Yet, how often do we pause to really think about why? The mystery behind why we feel so good afterward, is not so mysterious. It invites us to explore the science and profound benefits that unfold within the tranquil spaces.

The ancient method, commonly known as contrast immersion therapy, is a technique that involves alternating between hot and cold environments.

How does it work?

The science behind contrast therapy involves controlling and altering blood flow. Cold therapy increases blood flow and heat therapy decreases blood flow.

The approach’s effectiveness lies in the swift adjustments it induces within your circulatory system as you transition from intensely warm environments to icy cold water.

When you submerge your body in cold water, the tiny blood vessels known as capillaries respond to the chill by constricting—a process referred to as vasoconstriction.

Conversely, immersion in warm environments prompts a contrasting reaction, causing your blood vessels to expand — a phenomenon known as vasodilation.

Why does it work?

These shifts in temperature allow your body to improve its ability to adapt quickly to different temperatures, which has a range of health benefits, including improved circulation, reduced inflammation, rapid muscle recovery and elevated mood.

More specifically, the heat from the sauna and steam room prompt blood vessels to dilate, improving blood flow, while the cold from the cold plunge increases blood circulation and reduces muscle soreness.

Cold plunge in detail

At a brisk ten degrees, the Native State cold plunge ignites your body at the cellular level. It’s a plunge that demands you to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

The Wim Hof Method is often attributed as popularising cold immersion therapy. Breathing is core to the practice and is essential to accessing the benefits of the cold plunge.

Our suggested immersion duration ranges from one to three minutes — an initial shock to the system that can steal your breath and set your heart into a brisk rhythm. With controlled breathing and determination, it is possible to reach a level of relaxation.

Warm up in detail

Both our mineral vitality pool, saunas and steam rooms allow the body to warm up – contrasting with the cold. Steam rooms offer a humid heat, while the wood sauna promotes sweating with a dryer heat. Infrared saunas offer radiated heats. In all examples, heat shock proteins are activated and provide various health benefits, such as repairing cells and reducing stress.

There are many ways you can experience the bathhouse and often varies with guests’ experiences with contrast therapy. If you are not sure where to start we have a guide on how to make the most of your Native State visit.

If you have any underlying medical conditions, we recommend discussing your use of this contrast therapy method with your doctor before visiting.