Director of Nutrition Sara Jackson explains more about cold water immersion following OHC client Tam’s video interview on her wild swimming adventures:
1. Cold water adaptation may help stimulate the vagus nerve which connects your brain to organs including your heart and lungs.2. The cold water of wild swimming may help reduce pain and inflammation as the cold water forces the blood vessels to constrict, restricting the blood flow which may decrease inflammation.3. Immersing the body in cold water can help boost dopamine levels and increase the release of endorphins.4. Being outdoors and connecting with nature has a proven, positive impact on mental wellbeing5. Cold water may help with immune support: cold water may help to boost the white blood cell count as the body is forced to react quickly to changing conditions. Over time, your body can become better at activating its defences including the stress response.And even for those who can’t go to a wild swimming location or a pool, start with a few seconds under the cold tap in the shower to stimulate those nervous system receptors, too.
If gentle movement is within your current energy envelope, we have some tips and benefits to share about cold water immersion inspired by our video with OHC client Tamsyn.
Please also be aware of health and safety guidelines, we recommend for example: join a local swimming group for safety, listen to your body, bring warm layers and never swim alone.
Thinking about going wild swimming? Consult your practitioner for further advice on understanding your energy envelope or if you want further information on this topic.