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What is cold water therapy?

This centuries-old practice has gained significant attention and popularity in recent years due to its numerous physical and mental health benefits


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Before you start taking ice baths, be sure to consult with your doctor first to ensure it’s safe for you. People with heart conditions, who take specific medications and older adults may be at higher risk of experiencing complications. Additionally, an ice bath, much like a pool or hot tub, should have controlled access to prevent children from accessing the ice bath without adult supervision. This could lead to accidental drowning, which is the leading cause of death for children 1 to 4 years old.

By Police1 Staff

Cold water therapy is a therapeutic technique that involves applying cold temperatures to the body for various physical and mental health benefits.

The history of cold water therapy can be traced back to ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Notable figures like Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates and Ancient Rome physician Galen advocated for ice baths and their use for treating various ailments. Today, this centuries-old practice has gained significant attention and popularity due to its numerous advantages.

Physically, exposure to cold water stimulates circulation, constricts blood vessels and boosts the lymphatic system, leading to improved immune function, reduced muscle soreness and accelerated recovery from physical exertion. Moreover, cold water therapy has been found to have a positive impact on mental health, alleviating symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress, as well as improving mental toughness and resilience – something all first responders need.

The video below gives a brief overview of the history of cold water therapy, as well as more examples of the physical and mental health benefits responders may experience while participating in cold water therapy.

If you’re not taking ice baths yet, then what’s stopping you? Join Police1’s 30-day ice bath challenge on our YouTube channel and Instagram page. Tag us by using #Police1IceBathChallenge and we’ll include your ice bath challenge video in an upcoming article!

Police1 is using generative AI to create some content that is edited and fact-checked by our editors.