Even if it’s not a placebo effect, it’s not clear which components of cold water swimming may contribute to the reported improvements in mood and health, says Mike Tipton, professor of applied and human physiology. at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, said. who studies the body’s response to harsh environments. Swimmers not only immerse themselves in the frigid waters, but they also regularly exercise, socialize, spend time outdoors and take on challenges – all of which can help boost mental health. God. “Nobody has done studies on this active ingredient yet,” he said.
Why do people think cold water is the key?
There are several reasons to think that cold water may be beneficial for mental health. Immersing yourself in cold water triggers the release of stress hormones, such as noradrenaline and cortisol. This may be why people say soaking in cold water wakes them up, Dr. Tipton says.
Some studies have also reported an increase in brain chemicals that regulate mood, such as Dopamine, after a dip in cold water, this may explain people’s feeling of “high” after swimming. Also, submerging your face in cold water can activation of the parasympathetic branch nervous system, helping the body relax after a stressful event. This can help people feel calm and reduce inflammation. Certain conditions, including DepressionMark Harper, a consultant anesthesiologist at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, who is researching cold water swimming as a treatment for depression.
Some researchers have also hypothesized that acclimating to the shock of cold water might improve a person’s ability to cope with other stresses. Small Research 2010 showed that people accustomed to cold water had a stress-reducing response when they were subjected to a different strain – in this case, working in a low-oxygen environment. However, sustained hypoxic exercise is not the same as enduring psychological stress, and requires more work.
Although cold water immersion obviously has some physiological effects“There hasn’t been enough high-quality research” to recommend it as a mental health treatment, says Sophie Lazarus, a clinical psychologist at Ohio State University. Other treatments for anxiety and depression, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, has more scientific backing, she said. They can also be safer.
Is cold water bad for you?
Yes. Researchers know more about dangerous cold water than its potential therapeutic effects. One of the most obvious manifestations is hypothermia, which usually begins after about 30 minutes in adults. But cold water has significant risks long before that.
The initial shock of being dropped into cold water can cause arrhythmias and heart attacks. The risk of arrhythmia is get a raise when people face down in the water while experiencing this initial “cold shock”. This combination activates opposing branches of the nervous system, which send opposing signals to the heart. Cold shock also activate the panting reflex, followed by hyperventilation. If your airway is underwater, this can lead to drowning. Adding to the risk of drowning is the fact that swimming in icy water quickly lead to burnout.
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