Ice-cold Plunges - Punishment or Cure?

Charles Mitchley • 12 May 2019

More and more people are discovering that the shock of cold water on the body is more than just invigorating - in fact it leads to an astonishing number of health benefits. Improvements have been found in a very wide spectrum of conditions, ranging from inflammation, low immunity, to relief from migraines. How can this be so?

There are a number of reasons, but a lot has to do with our mitochondria. These provide power to our cells and produce almost all of the body’s energy. Consider this: our bodies contain about 35 trillion bacteria, but from 15 to 50 quadrillion mitochondria.

Dr Lee Know, a naturopath, was carrying out research in this area, initially relating to infertility, but through this he came to realize “the connection of healthy mitochondria to not just age-related female infertility but to pretty much all degenerative diseases, including the aging process.”

The main recognized ways to boost our energy though their effects on mitochondria include exposure to extreme hot and cold temperatures, exercise, intermittent fasting, and certain supplements. In addition, with a cold-water shock, production of norepinephrine in the brain increases, which improves our mood, as well as focus. So, ice-cold plunges can play a key role in our health, vitality and well-being.

To start experiencing the benefits, you do not need to search for the nearest frozen lake - simply finishing off your shower by turning off the hot tap and enjoying the cold for a minute or so will make a big difference.

It should come as no surprise that coMra-therapy also has a significant role to play in mitochondrial biogenesis - the process of increasing the size and number of mitochondria - and we will take a look at this exciting aspect in another article.