As we head into the season of romance, what better way to bond and spend quality time with your person than to share a Swedish cold bath at home with them this Valentine’s day. It’s a great way to relax, unwind, and reset your minds together while indulging in the thrill of communal ice bathing that many travel thousands of miles to enjoy. Ice Barrel not only brings that adventure right to your home but also allows you to bask in these types of Swedish ice baths as often as you’d like.
What Is the Swedish Tradition?
One of Sweden’s greatest outdoor winter traditions is ice bathing; Swedes refer to the custom as kallbad, and retreats known as bathhouses (kallbadhus) are strewn along the coastline and several lakes and rivers throughout the country. It’s a place for relaxation where enthusiasts go to relish in the icy outback and swim in subzero waters, whether to clear their heads or take an invigorating open-air dip.
Nordics have long been practicing communal cold baths for decades now and have adopted it as a ritual for wellbeing and improved mental and physical health.
The Health Benefits of Swedish Cold Baths
Just simply taking a plunge into ice-cold water resets the brain, heightens mood, and recharges the body’s overall functions so you feel revitalized. Scientific studies conducted on winter swimming over the years show that routine cold bathing comes with a host of health benefits. They range from reduced tension and stress levels to increased energy and improved memory and sleep.
Therapeutic Cold Water Swimming
Cold water swimming has a long list of therapeutic and mental health benefits; studies show that cold water immersion can relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety while improving emotional and psychological wellbeing. A case study done on a weekly program involving cold water swimming saw an immediate improvement in mood after each swim and a sustained and gradual reduction in the symptoms of depression. It showed that cold water swimming could treat depression as it activates the sympathetic nervous system and increases the concentration of norepinephrine, which is in part responsible for how a person reacts to stress and anxiety.
Cold water swimming in groups can also offer an invigorating bonding experience and a unique kind of emotional support. Communal Swedish swimming is popular simply for that reason, plus it’s more fun when braved with others. It’s a way that individuals can reach new levels of mental wellness (improving somatic, emotional, and behavioral symptoms) and share their healing and recovery process together.
It should be noted that though the benefits outweigh the risks of cold water swimming, if not managed properly, cold bathers can experience possible reactions like frostbite, hypothermia, and anaphylactic shock. Once you understand the dos and don’t of cold water therapy, however, there are little to no undesirable side effects.
Cold water therapy has a specific effect on various systems of the body. Exposing the body to subzero temperatures can prompt multiple impulses to your brain and gently jolt your system in such a way as to improve alertness and clarity. In the process, the body also releases endorphins that act as a pain reliever and anti-depressant for several hours.
Routine exposure to cold therapy has been proven to heighten the immune system, making people more resilient to illnesses. A clinical trial in the Netherlands to determine the cumulative effect of routine cold bathing on sickness, quality of life and productivity, found that cold baths led to a 29% decrease in people missing work due to illness. There are even medical hypotheses that have also linked cold showers to improved cancer survival.
One of the principal effects of hydrotherapy in the much lower temperature range can also diminish muscle fatigue, especially after a training session. Scientific evidence-based research on hydrotherapy shows that cold water immersion reduces pain and accelerates the recovery of exhausted and strained muscles and can therefore improve your workout regime over time.
Communal Cold Baths for Couples
Aficionados who seize the thrill of ice bathing tend to lead happier lives and are usually more fulfilled. The Swedes have even taken things up a notch to fully embrace public nudity and skinny dipping in the icy waters during the autumn and winter seasons.
Not everyone is as fortunate to escape to the chilly lakes and rivers of the Nordic outback, but they can sure recreate that experience. Those living in warmer climates can immerse in this type of Swedish ice bathing all year round by transforming their home into a mini bathhouse with the clever implementation of an Ice Barrel, regardless of the temperature outside.
A portable ice bath unit like Ice Barrel can go anywhere with you, for that matter, so whether you want to do a couples’ plunge at home come this Valentine’s day or somewhere outdoors in a picturesque setting (like the Swedes do), the choice is as simple as that. Another great suggestion would be to incorporate an aromatherapy ice bath; these are becoming quite the trend and would be the perfect way to make your Swedish ice bath more romantic.
Take a Swedish Cold Bath at Home with Ice Barrel
Once you’ve decided on his and her Ice Barrels, simply place them beside each other, load with ice and water, and your bath is ready! Sharing a Swedish traditional ice bath with your special someone this Valentine’s Day is an Ice Barrel or two away from becoming a reality.
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