A STATE OF CALM - Ice Baths & Your Nervous System

The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system come out to play during an ice bath, both working in very different ways.

The sympathetic nervous system is your body’s response to stress. The ‘fight or flight’ response is stimulated due to the cold temperature. This is essentially your body’s survival mode.

However, as your body begins to regulate in temperature and adjusts to the cold, your parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated.

The vagus nerve is an important part of this system. Having a low functioning or impaired vagus nerve can lead to stress or depression, so keeping it functioning is hugely beneficial for your mental health.

Pushing through the initial shock of an ice bath leads to a feeling of calm and relaxation, due to the vagus nerve.

We have seen many cases of people turning to ice baths and cold water therapy to combat chronic stress, anxiety, depression and other disorders.

Deep breathing and meditation are also great ways to increase parasympathetic function.

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