A sauna that’s cold – what?!

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There have been a few reports lately on some new spas in North America that offer cold saunas.  This is nothing new to Europeans where it has been used since the 1800’s, and they are even used worldwide in some Olympic facilities to heal and invigorate athletes before and/or after their performances.  Let’s see why they have become so popular.

Cold saunas are said to be extremely beneficial for joint pain and to help reduce excess inflammation in the body.  Those who have braved the cold say that it makes them feel more invigorated, very relaxed, and in a state of euphoria.  Some spa owners claim that people have seen relief from depression, anxiety, and fatigue after a few sessions.  Everyone asked says their skin looks and feels much better and they experience a glow that lasts for days.  Psoriasis patients are being studied using cold saunas as it is believed to make the symptoms and irritations disappear.

If this sounds good to you – let me now explain how it works and how cold it really gets!    You will be instructed to remove all your clothing and jewelry. Then you are given non skid stockings and a special robe or shorts to put on.  You are also given a mask to cover your mouth, a headband to keep body heat in, gloves, and usually earmuffs as well.  You then enter a series of 3 cold chambers starting at approximately -10C, then on to -60C, and finally -110C.   You will stay in each one for a maximum of 3 minutes.  Some spas offer music to play while you are in the chambers, others have someone go in with you in order to talk and distract you.  You must keep moving in order to get your adrenaline going and boost your circulation, and not suffer frostbite.  All spas will have someone accompany you, or at least watch through a window, for your own safety.  You are not forced to stay in the chamber for the full time – if you cannot bear it anymore you can leave.  At least 3 treatments, at least a day apart, are recommended to help medical conditions such as arthritis and inflammation, but for general health and relaxation most people will see results after only one treatment.

As these cold saunas pop up more and more at spas and treatment centers I would definitely think they are worth a try – even if it’s just to see if you can withstand the cold.


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