You will see my first ice bath at home. The temperature only gets down to the mid-40s but it is cold enough to elicit the hormetic stress response. This activity is designed to help properly regulate your immune response to stress, teach you to be confident and calm during extremely stressful situations, and it makes you feel great. The responses can get quite scientific as to why they help your body function more properly. This also helps you train your cardiovascular system to maintain and improve health in those areas by stimulating the contraction and dilation response especially when combined with Tumo breathing (Wim Hof Style breathwork).
You will see that there is a post experience horse stance exercise done to warm the body up after the exposure. It is important to actively recover and not to just jump in a hot shower afterward. Warm your body up by using our breath and muscles, then go take a nice hot and comfy shower, it will feel amazing. Then you get to feel better the rest of the day because of the hormonal responses to the work you just did, such as you endocannabinoids and adrenaline and been stimulated and this will help you the rest of the day. I can say that this experience is not easy, but after the initial shock, there is a sort of calm that comes over your body to help you maintain where you are.
I use this breathwork and cold exposure everyday. This has helped me overcome some chronic issues and is helping me reduce other chronic issues such as back pain that weren’t responding well to more traditional treatments. I can say after over a decade my pain that started in my back during my service in Iraq is finally starting to reduce down. I am confident that it will continue to become less and less and easier to manage. I still need to do the other things right, like proper nutrition, sleep, exercise, physical therapy, but this is helping me make everything just a little bit more effective.
Please ask a professional if your a safe to complete this action before trying it on your own. I have been practicing the Wim Hof Method for almost a year now, but I have concentrated on the breath only to this point, now I am working on the cold exposure. The responses of my body and mind have been more than worth the few minutes of discomfort needed to practice this method. As always don’t go crazy and jump in a frozen lake or tub without a buddy, at least until you figure out how your body will response.