Everything you need to know about Water Contrast Therapy
What is water contrast therapy and how does it work?
Water contrast therapy is when you alternate between hot and cold water for set intervals during a shower.
Cold water increases respiration and decreases blood flow, whilst hot water restores respiration, increases blood flow and relaxes the muscles. Switching between the two helps to stimulate the body and improve blood flow, promoting vitality and detoxification.
What are the benefits?
There are lots of reasons why we would recommend giving water contrast therapy a try, especially if you’re an athlete or a highly active individual.
Firstly, it’s said to speed up recovery from fatigue and musculoskeletal injuries so if you’re suffering from a sprain or strain it can be a great way to get you back to health.
One of the most common reasons for contrast bathing is to prevent DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and other exercise-related injuries, as it almost immediately reduces muscle inflammation.
Exposing your body to contrasting temperatures also increases blood circulation. Your body will have an instant response to the change in temperatures, forcing faster circulation to protect your vital organs. Making this a regular practice will make your circulatory system quicker and more efficient over time.
Finally, contrast bathing can have a great effect on your immune system, and though unproven, it is said to aid weight loss.
Thinking of giving it a go?
The method for contrast bathing is super simple, but here it is in five steps if you’re trying it for the first time:
1) Shower under hot water for 3-5 minutes
2) Reduce the temperature and shower under cold water for 1 minute
3) Focus the cold water on the areas where you are feeling pain or discomfort
4) Continue alternating 3-5 times, with 3-5 minutes of hot water and 1 minute of cold
5) End with cold water
Please note: Those with arthritis are advised to end with hot water whilst people suffering from heart issues are advised not to try contrast bathing at all. If you suffer from any health issues at all please speak to your GP before trying this at home.