Want to improve brain function, curb pain and inflammation, increase metabolism, boost mood and improve sleep? Try cold therapy!
Whether in the ocean or in your shower, try for a full minute. The first ten seconds might feel dreadful. But as you continue this practice it will get easier and easier, and even welcome- especially as you begin to notice better energy and sleep.
This concept, known as biohacking, focuses on mitochondria resiliency. If you don’t recall from fifth grade science class, mitochondria are the organelles responsible for cellular respiration and energy production. Activities like cold therapy help our mitochondria be more resilient. The shock of the cold water causes weak mitochondria to die, thus allowing them to be replaced by strong ones. Furthermore cold water causes lymph vessels to contract lymph fluid, flushing waste from the body and improving immune function.
If cryotherapy is the last thing you want to explore 🥶, mindfulness, deep breathing and “forest bathing” are great alternatives. These ‘gentler’ practices are also known to increase overall brain coherence, resulting in more creativity, more focus and deeper levels of intelligence. Like cold therapy they train your nervous system to remain calm in a “rest and digest” mode (parasympathetic) rather than express “fight or flight” (sympathetic) behavior.
It’s a rainy day here, and I think I’ll enjoy my book in a warm bath first. Who’s down to join me for a quick cold rinse?!