Heat: In heated environments such as a steam room, sauna, hot tub and even a regular shower, our bodies try to regulate the heat by dilating blood vessels. This sends blood to the extremities to cool off and protecting our vital organs; pores dilate and the body sweats to cool itself down. All of these can help rid the body of unwanted impurities, helping it to detoxify.
Cold: In cold environments such as an ice bath, cold lake or cold sauna, our bodies try to stay regulated by constricting blood vessels, shunting blood to our core to protect our vital organs, and our skin from developing bumps caused by tiny Erector Pili muscles. These muscles are attached to our hair follicles and when they contract, they pull the hair into an upright position in an attempt to trap heat between the hair and the skin. The more hair you have, the better this works. Also, our muscles begin to contract over and over again to generate heat in the body.
Rest: Rest enables the body to heal. When we are resting, our parasympathetic (relaxation) nervous system is stimulated. This results in increased blood flow to our organs, including our digestive system, allowing for proper digestion and elimination. When we are resting, our bodies can heal any injury, can battle infections and restore balance.
When we put these three into action, we can boost all of our body’s systems. Contrasting bathing enables our circulatory system move blood back and forth between the abdomen and the extremities. This is helpful in speeding up the healing process though out the body. It also helps relieve swelling in areas by flushing unnecessary fluids out. It is recommended to spend more time in heated environments compared to the colder ones. An easy way to look at this is to spend 2/3rd of the time in heat, then 1/3rd in cold (10 minutes heat, 5 minutes cold). If you are using extreme temperature, ensure you are only staying in for the maximum allotted time, for example, a cold sauna that goes to -110C has a 3 minute limit. After doing a few cycles of contrast bathing, whether it be in steams, saunas, cold rooms, a Kneipp waterway or just on one area of the body with a heating pad and ice compress, ensure you leave a nice amount of time to rest afterwards. The effects of contrast bathing can be strong, so rest in needed afterwards, allowing for maximum benefits.
KurSpa at Sparkling Hill Wellness Resort offers guests different areas to experience contrast bathing. Currently the Kneipp Waterway and all of the pools are open for our guests to experience.