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Embrace the chill

Chill Tubs

Incorporating a chill tub into your wellness routine can provide numerous physical and mental health benefits.

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A chill tub, also known as an ice bath, cold water immersion or cryotherapy, is a therapeutic practice that involves immersing the body in cold water, typically with the addition of ice or ice packs.

Immersing yourself in cold water can be incredibly refreshing and invigorating. The shock of the cold water against your skin can awaken your senses and leave you feeling rejuvenated.

While chill tubs have gained popularity in the athletic and wellness communities, their effectiveness and safety can vary from person to person. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional or sports trainer if you’re considering using ice baths as part of your recovery or wellness routine.

It is commonly used in sports and physical therapy for its potential benefits. Here are some key points about chill tubs and how they can improve your well-being: Muscle Recovery, Pain Relief, Improved Circulation, Mental Benefits.

chill tub relaxing
Cold Water Immersion

Health Benefits

  • Improved circulation: When you immerse yourself in cold water, your blood vessels constrict, which helps to improve circulation throughout your body. This increased blood flow can help reduce inflammation and promote faster recovery after exercise or injury.
  • Reduced muscle soreness: Cold water immersion has been shown to be effective in reducing muscle soreness after intense exercise. This makes it an excellent option for athletes looking to speed up their recovery process and get back on track quickly.
  • Boosted immune system: Regular exposure to cold water can help boost your immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells in your body. These cells play an essential role in fighting off infections and keeping you healthy.
  • Enhanced mood: Cold water immersion has been linked to the release of endorphins, which are chemicals in your brain that help improve your mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. This makes chill tubs an excellent option for those looking to improve their mental well-being.

The Science Behind It

The exact mechanisms of how cold water immersion works are not fully understood, but it is believed to impact the body in several ways:

  • Vasoconstriction: Cold water causes blood vessels to constrict, reducing blood flow to the extremities and potentially helping to reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Release of Endorphins: Cold exposure can trigger the release of endorphins, which are natural mood elevators.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: It may decrease the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and increase anti-inflammatory cytokines.
chill tubs as part of your routine

Improve your wellness

Norepinephrine Boost

Cold exposure can significantly increase the production of norepinephrine in the body, with a consistent increase of 200-300% that does not diminish over time. The colder the temperature, the more pronounced the body’s response to the increase in norepinephrine production. In fact, a 20-30 second immersion in near freezing water can elicit the same level of increase as a 6 hour walk in 16°C weather.

Protein Power

Cold exposure can stimulate the production of a protein called PGC-1 alpha, which can increase metabolism at a cellular level. PGC-1 alpha is being targeted by pharmaceutical companies in the development of treatments for obesity, diabetes, and cardiomyopathy. In muscle tissue, the increased energy released from the production of PGC-1alpha can improve aerobic capacity and endurance, as well as increase resistance to fatigue.

Increased Killer T Cells

Cold water immersion, particularly in the winter, can challenge the immune system and the way hormones communicate with the body. Studies have shown that regular winter swimmers experience adaptive reactions, including an increase in the production of the antioxidant glutathione. Just a few cold water sessions over a 6 week period can increase the number of lymphocytes, a type of immune cell. Some research has even found that males exposed to 4°C for 30 minutes had an increased number of “killer T cells,” which are cells that help to eliminate viruses. These findings suggest that cold water immersion may have immune-boosting effects on the body.

Immune Boost

There is widespread anecdotal evidence that suggests that cold water immersion can boost the immune system. Many people report feeling healthier and less prone to illness after regularly taking ice tubs. While the immune system is complex and difficult to study, it is believed that the cold can help to adapt and harden the body to disease and infection. Despite the lack of robust scientific studies on this topic, many people believe in the immune-boosting benefits of cold water immersion.

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