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The Therapeutic Benefits Of Ice Baths

2 Reasons To Pack Your Costume For The Big Retreat Festival

When you step into a cold bath or plunge into an icy welsh waterfall, you’re more likely to think about how fantastic it feels than about the health benefits. Cold water treatment has benefits for our skin, core, muscles, pelvic floor, mental and sexual health. And if you can’t get to a mountain lake, then you can try them at home with an icy bath or shower or at our wellbeing festival. During lockdown, people even filled their outdoor bins with water that would freeze in the winter months.

But cold water also has a spiritual component. From the ancient Greeks to ancient Rome through to the Renaissance era. Spas and hydrology became increasingly popular as time and technology improved, and their use for medical purposes began to proliferate. Cold water was used to cure both physical and mental disorders.


The decrease in core body temperature from using cold water comes with physiological benefits. Dr Mark Harper states that ‘modern lifestyles tend to promote inflammation. This means we are constantly in an unhealthy zone. What we need is something that attenuates that response and keeps us in the healthy zone.’

Cold water is known to improve your circulation and your blood flow. As you enter cold water your body recognises this as stress. The blood vessels in the skin start to close, which increases the resistance of blood flow. Your heart rate also increases. Regular exposure to cold water is alleged to keep everything functioning smoothly. Regular exposure to cold water can improve your long term stress response. Cold therapy appears to boost mitochondrial health through a process known as "mitochondrial biogenesis," which basically means the production of additional mitochondria Mitochondria, the cells in our bodies where fuels are burned and energy is captured. You can read the amazing illness defying experiments that Wim Hof has completed over the years. After you have read his experiences don't tell me that you don't want to jump into your nearest river.


At our next wellbeing festival Anna Gough will be leading breathwork and ice bath sessions. Anna is the founder of Breathing Tree 21. A qualified Oxygen advantage coach and Yoga Nidra teacher. Join her over in the Soul Space to breathe and ease your way into a real ice bath. We guarantee you will never feel more alive.


If you prefer being out in the wild elements we have We Swim Wild running cold water swimming sessions. Founder Laura says ‘ There is nothing better than being fully immersed in the landscape - it will change your life’. Sign up on site with We swim Wild who also have some ‘Secret Swim’ sessions with the likes of Matt Pritchard, Ayo Akinowelo and other special guests joining them in the water.

So if you are not sure if cold water therapy is for you, The Big Retreat Festival is without a doubt the best place for you to find your feel good.

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