The journey of temperature and water therapy.
With its health benefits becoming more well known, the centuries old practice of hot and cold temperature and water therapy has gained much traction in recent years. More than just a passing fad, practitioners report many health benefits including a stronger immune system, increased energy, reduced inflammation, heightened focus, improved physical performance and better sleep quality.
Peninsula Hot Springs, located on the Mornington Peninsula an easy hour’s drive from Melbourne, offers its very own hot and cold therapy experience – ‘fire and ice’.
The fire component of the therapy takes place in the two 30-person saunas at the hot springs. Signifying the fire component of the therapy are one wet and one dry sauna, each set to 90 degrees celsius. Along with helping to release toxins and cleanse the skin, saunas fight illness, burn calories, improve cardiovascular performance and enhance sleep quality.
Following the ‘fire’ component, the cold plunge pool and ice plunge pool at the hot springs contrast the temperature of the sauna. With temperatures between two and minus 10 degrees celsius, these pools are based on the theory of cryotherapy. Originally made popular in Japan in the 1970s, cryotherapy is said to help reduce inflammation, optimise brain function, improve sleep quality and boost metabolism and collagen production.
This idea of alternating between hot and cold temperatures was originally practised in Scandinavia, with the rest of the world adopting the theory in recent times. Practising this therapy forces the tissues in your body to adapt to the sudden changes, which in turn, stimulates metabolic and circulatory action. This increased circulation, over time, encourages the circulatory system by increasing its efficiency and flexibility. The dilation and contraction of the blood and lymph vessels create a pumping action for blood and healing lymphatic fluid to move more efficiently around the body. Along with these benefits, hot and cold therapy is said to reduce fatigue, muscle soreness, and swelling.
If you don’t have access to this therapy or the idea of going from a sauna into a cold pool makes you nervous, then you can always practise at home. By alternating between hot and cold settings in the shower every 30 seconds you are still able to experience some of the health benefits. If just the thought of adding a cold setting to your shower sends shivers up your spine, start gradually by turning off the hot tap for a few seconds for example at the end of your shower, and submerging one body part at a time. With an option to suit everyone, when is your next fire and ice therapy experience?