Stressed to serene: a simple guide on how to have ice baths at home #30

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Do you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed, struggling to focus, or lacking the mental and emotional resilience to face life’s challenges? Are you searching for a holistic, invigorating practice to help you regain balance and inner peace? If so, you’re in the right place.

Today, we’re diving into the chilling world of ice baths, otherwise known as the less-exciting sounding cold immersion. That’s right, we’re exploring how to have ice baths at home, and trust me, it’s not as daunting as it sounds!

Welcome to We Are Already Free, the podcast that sparks your inner guide to break free from internal and external limitations. I’m Nathan Maingard, breathwork facilitator, transformational guide, empowering wordsmith, ice bath fan, and your host, bringing you authentic conversations with down-to-earth visionaries who defy societal norms simply by living their rooted truth, as well as powerful tools for personal liberation. Together, let’s shake off limiting beliefs and embrace the freedom within, empowering you to transform your life and deeply connect with yourself and the world. Let the transformation begin!

Ice baths have gained popularity in recent years, with countless people experiencing their incredible benefits for the mind, body, and soul. From reducing inflammation and boosting athletic performance to enhancing mental clarity and resilience, the potential advantages of ice baths are simply too good to ignore.

In this episode, I’ll share the powerful benefits of ice baths, discuss how to safely and effectively set up an ice bath at home, and share tips for maximising your experience. So, grab a warm blanket, get cozy, and let’s dive into the icy depths of this transformative practice together!

And, stick around to the end for a special ice bath challenge for listeners of this podcast, with a prize included!

Some of the key topics covered in this episode:

  1. Why cold immersion and ice baths offer numerous benefits such as increased energy, reduced inflammation, improved mental clarity, and a boost in dopamine levels, resulting in increased motivation and joy.
  2. How to have ice baths at home with minimal equipment: a bathtub or container, a timer, a towel, warm clothes, and courage.
  3. Why breathwork plays a crucial role in preparing your body for ice baths.
  4. Why consistency is key in experiencing the transformative power of ice baths.
  5. How to ensure your safety and wellbeing throughout the ice bath journey.
  6. And heaps more!

Episode Highlights

  • [00:01:02] Introduction to Cold Immersion and Ice Baths
  • [00:03:15] The Benefits of Ice Baths
  • [00:05:22] Ice Bath Safety Tips and Precautions
  • [00:08:34] How to Set Up an Ice Bath at Home
  • [00:12:45] The Optimal Ice Bath Temperature
  • [00:15:12] How Long to Stay in an Ice Bath
  • [00:18:07] Tips for Building Ice Bath Tolerance
  • [00:21:58] How Often to Take Ice Baths
  • [00:24:21] The Role of Breathing Techniques in Cold Immersion
  • [00:27:46] The Pain and Pleasure of Ice Baths
  • [00:30:29] Wim Hof: The Ice Bath Guru
  • [00:33:04] Ice Bath Daily Routine Benefits
  • [00:35:18] Conclusion and Key Takeaways

JOIN THE ICE BATH CHALLENGE

Use the hashtag #wearealreadyfrozen to share your ice bath journey, and win a free coaching session PLUS shoutout and guest slot on this podcast (optional)

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Step by Step – How to have ice baths at home:

  1. Step 1: Fill your bathtub or container with cold water. The temperature should be between 50-59°F (10-15°C). Then, add enough ice to make the water as cold as you want.
  2. Step 2: Prepare yourself mentally. Take a few deep breaths and try to relax. Remember, this is about breaking free from limitations, so embrace the challenge.
  3. Step 3: Slowly immerse yourself into the icy water. Start with your feet, then work your way up to your neck. Don’t take too long! It’ll be uncomfortable at first, but stay focused on your breath and try to remain calm.
  4. Step 4: Once you’re fully submerged, start your timer of 1-3 minutes. If you’re new to cold immersion, start with 1 minute and gradually increase your time as you become more comfortable.
  5. Step 5: Focus on your breath. Inhale deeply, then exhale slowly. This will help you stay calm and present in the experience.
  6. Step 6: When the timer goes off, slowly get out of the water and wrap yourself in a warm towel. Gently pat yourself dry and put on some warm clothes.
  7. Optional Step 7: My recommendation is do your favourite strength training workout!

Now, take a moment to reflect on your experience. How do you feel? Empowered? Refreshed? Energised? Whatever you’re feeling, embrace it, and remember this moment of breaking free from your limitations.

There you have it! A simple guide to starting your cold immersion journey. As you continue to practice, you’ll find that it becomes easier, and the benefits will multiply. Just remember to always prioritise safety and never push yourself too far.

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CONNECT AND REVIEW:

Frequently Asked Questions about Ice Baths which I answer in this episode:

  1. Are ice baths dangerous?
  2. Why would the body react positively to something that causes pain?
  3. Will an ice bath kill fat cells? Will ice baths help lose weight?
  4. Why ice bath after workout?
  5. Can I use my bathtub as an ice bath?
  6. How many ice baths a week?
  7. When should you not ice bath?
  8. How painful are ice baths?
  9. Who is the famous ice bath guy?
  10. Why ice bath daily?
  11. How cold should an ice bath be?

It’s been a pleasure.

I hope this has shown you everything you need to know about how to have ice baths at home. 

See you next week, dear wanderer…

Transcript

[00:00:42] Nathan Maingard: Do you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed, struggling to focus or lacking the mental and emotional resilience to face life's challenges? Are you searching for a holistic invigorating practice to help you regain balance and inner peace? If so you are in the right place. Today, we're diving into the chilling world of ice baths otherwise known as the less exciting sounding cold immersion. That's right. We're exploring how to have ice baths at home. And trust me, it is not as daunting as it sounds.

[00:01:14] Welcome to we are already free. The podcast that sparks your inner guide to break free from internal and external limitations. I'm Nathan Maingard, breathwork facilitator transformational guide, empowering wordsmith, ice bath fan, and your host. Bringing you authentic conversations with down to earth visionaries who defy society's norms simply by living their rooted truth.

[00:01:39] As well as covering powerful tools for personal liberation. Together let's shake off limiting beliefs and embrace the freedom within, empowering you to transform your life and deeply connect with yourself and the world. Let the transformation begin.

[00:01:54] Ice Baths have gained popularity in recent years with countless people experiencing their incredible benefits for the mind, body and soul.

[00:02:02] From reducing inflammation and boosting athletic performance to enhancing mental clarity and resilience. The potential advantages of ice baths are simply too good to ignore. In this episode, I'll discuss how to safely and effectively set up an ice bath at home and share tips for maximizing your experience. So grab a warm blanket, get cozy, and let's dive into the icy depths of this transformative practice together.

[00:02:27] And stick around to the end for a special ice bath challenge for listeners of this podcast with a prize included.

[00:02:34] A huge thank you to my sponsor for this episode, Zencaster, the ultimate web-based podcasting solution. I've saved countless hours since I moved over to their platform. If you're thinking about starting a podcast or already have a podcast, but maybe struggle with the time and the technicalities of getting good recordings, I personally recommend Zencaster. Zencastr's Modern podcasting stack allows you to do everything you need for your podcast from record to publish in one place.

[00:03:03] I particularly love how it allows me to record in the best quality, even though the internet connection in my off-grid solar powered studio is not the most stable. It records tracks locally and then it uploads them for maximum backup and safety. If you've ever lost a recording, you know how much it sucks when that happens.

[00:03:21] So thank you Zencaster for solving that problem for me. Their automatic post-production save me hours of work and makes me and the guests sound amazing. Go to zencaster.com. That's zencastr.com/pricing. And use my code, WEAREALREADYFREE and you'll get 30% off your first three months of Zencaster Professional.

[00:03:45] I want you to have the same easy experiences I do for all my podcasting and content needs. It's time to share your story.

[00:03:52] And if you want to help this podcast eventually be ad free. You can find a link to Patreon in the show notes and links to the resources ice bath solutions and many other things covered in this episode, all available now at alreadyfree.me/30. That's just the number 30. And now on to this community supported episode, which will teach you everything you need to know about how to have ice baths at home and why you really should.

[00:04:19] Before we dive in. I want to remind you that the information and advice I share in this podcast is for general informational purposes only. It should not be considered as professional or medical advice. Cold immersion can be intense and may not be suitable for everyone. If you're pregnant, have a heart condition or any other health concerns, please consult with a medical professional before attempting cold immersion.

[00:04:43] Always prioritize safety and listen to your body. Now let's dive in. So there are so many reasons to ice bath. It's actually crazy. I'm not going to go too much in detail to the science around this. I'll cover what has been shown to be some of the benefits and some of the sort of challenges and pain points that people experience that this can help you overcome.

[00:05:04] So I'm going to run through this as quick as I can, because I want to get to the juicy bits of like, how to actually do it. But it's super important that you know what's available. So stress and anxiety cold immersion activates the body's stress response. Which when practiced regularly helps to improve stress, resilience and reduce overall stress levels.

[00:05:22] Depression and mood regulation. Cold exposure can increase the release of mood boosting neuro-transmitters like endorphins and nor norepinepherine. Which can help alleviate symptoms of depression and improve overall mood. It also massively increases dopamine production. For up to hours afterwards, I think. And I've noticed this myself and everyone, I, I share ice baths with says the same it's like this feeling of just,

[00:05:46] powerful positive energy and motivation and action taking. Inflammation and pain relief cold immersion has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body which can help alleviate chronic pain and promote faster recovery from injuries or intense physical activity. I've lived with chronic pain for many years. And I noticed that,

[00:06:05] on the bad days. If I just get in an ice bath, it noticeably gets better. And I mean, seriously noticeably. So I found that it's one of the best ways I've discovered to manage that. And as I do my other healing practices and slowly. Heal myself at the, at the core root level. Boosting the immune system.

[00:06:22] Regular cold. Exposure can improve immune function by increasing the production of immune cells, potentially reducing the frequency and severity of infections. Improving circulation can help improve blood circulation causes the blood vessels to constrict and dilate, promoting better oxygen and nutrient delivery to muscles and organs.

[00:06:41] Increasing mental clarity and focus. The intensity of that cold forces you to concentrate on your breath and be fully present, which helps to sharpen the mental focus and clarity. It's like forced mindfulness. I think Scott Carney, one of the previous guests on the podcast called it, which I already loved.

[00:06:57] Enhancing willpower and discipline. Consistently practicing ice baths are cold immersion requires overcoming the natural resistance to discomfort helps to build mental strength, discipline, and willpower. Encourages personal growth. cold immersion can help break through self-imposed limitations and fears, pushing you outside of your comfort zone, expanding your comfort zone, promoting personal growth and self discovery.

[00:07:20] Can help with poor sleep quality. Helps to regulate the body temperature, promote the production of melatonin. That's a hormone that regulates sleep. Leads to improved sleep quality.

[00:07:30] Low energy levels. By stimulating the release of adrenaline and other hormones cold immersion can lead to increased energy levels and a feeling of invigoration.

[00:07:40] It is worth the pain. I promise you this, like so many people, every time we stand in front of that iceberg, that's cold immersion. It's like, I don't want to do it. And then every time we do it, it's like, Oh, thank God I did that, I just feel so much more alive and awake.

[00:07:52] Can I help with difficulty with weight management. Um, it increases or can increase the metabolic rate and activate brown fat, which helps to burn more calories and can aid in weight management.

[00:08:03] On a sort of more spiritual level right here, more brown fat we have in the body, this isn't fattening fat, it's slimming fat it's, it's, it's more dense, more concentrated, and the reason they call it brown fat, or one of the reasons it's more, um, it's a different color.

[00:08:15] And the reason for that is the mitochondria inside of that is much, much, much more dense than it is in what we normally think of as fat or white fat. And so when our body uses fat as a way to produce energy, which is what happens when you practice cold immersion correctly. When that happens then your body starts to form these, these deposits of this brown fat. And that is more rich.

[00:08:37] And what that is, mitochondria is energy storage for the body. So we basically, and what is energy, but light? So, what we're doing is we are actually increasing our body's capacity to store light energy and heat energy. So we are literally becoming more enlightened. So we become capable of processing and transmitting and transforming more light in our bodies. Pretty rad.

[00:08:59] some of the other things that can help with is recovering from exercise speeds. Up muscle recovery reduces muscle soreness. lack of mental toughness. Again, as I've spoken about already. Uh, by choosing to step into the discomfort. You building resilience, you're building perseverance, which makes it easier to tackle those, when you have big challenges externally in your life, you realize, Hey, I know how to do hard things. I do hard things every day in my ice bath.

[00:09:24] Can help with procrastination and lack of motivation. Again, you're using discipline. to consistently practice cold immersion, which is helping you to foster a more proactive mindset, increased motivation to tackle other important tasks, goals, visions in your life. Can also help with social anxiety and a fear of judgment by imprint embracing that discomfort of cold immersion, pushing through personal limitations. This can translate into increased confidence, in other areas of your life, whatever else is going on out there, Reducing fear of judgment in social situations, et cetera.

[00:09:56] Difficulty in managing emotions. The practice of cold immersion can help you to develop emotional regulation skills, because it requires you to say super calm and focused during what is a very intense and very uncomfortable experience. And obviously that has applications then externally in your life.

[00:10:13] Some of the risks around ice baths. as I mentioned earlier, this is up to you to really decide for yourself whether or not this is safe for you. Please do see a medical professional, if you are unsure. Some of the risks around it is too much, too cold, too soon. So trying to do it in water that is too cold for you.

[00:10:30] you do it for too long. And you push to do that before you are ready, basically. So we'll get into a little more of how to get started as we go forward. But I just want to give you some of the potential risks here. Also having no support. I really recommend if you can, even an online support, like if you want to reach out to me as a guide for your cold immersions, I'd happily do that for you.

[00:10:49] I've spoken to a lot of people who think, oh, I'm going to do this myself at home. And when they try, they get immediately out. Even if it's not dangerous, it's mentally a lot harder to do it alone. And I know this as well from experience. So getting support is really important, whether that's, you're doing this with a friend.

[00:11:03] just from a safety perspective as well. If you get overwhelmed for whatever reason, although if you do this properly, you shouldn't have any shouldn't overwhelm your system. So please do slow. also Contra indications, as I mentioned before, things like heart conditions, pregnancy, recent operations.

[00:11:20] unstable emotional stuff, like. Saying that, I've had a lot of people come through ice baths with me. I've never had anyone having an issue. Even some people who did have contra indications. That was their choice to still go ahead. I'm not suggesting you should do that. I'm just saying you it's really important that you find what is safe for you. Start at a temperature that is definitely safe for you.

[00:11:39] And feel into it yourself. Good. Continuing. So how to prepare for the ice bath. What is it that you need? So in, in short, you need a bathtub or a large container that can hold ice and water. this could even be a shower. A lot of people do cold immersion as a shower. I think it's a very different experience.

[00:11:57] In some ways it's harder. And I know some people who actually would prefer to do an ice bath, then a cold shower, because with the cold shower its like hitting pieces of your body at a time and you have to kind of get in and it takes time. So anyway, if that works for you, start with cold showers, ideally I would say moving onto something like having a bath or a portable ice bath, which I will have links to in the show notes where there's lots of really cool little inflatable pools and things that you can buy these days online, that, that don't have to be very expensive, and then you fill them up with water yourself. Um, that's the portable option. So either a shower, a bath, a portable inflatable, foldable option and then the chest freezer, which is what I use. And it's actually really easy to set up. I'll share a YouTube video in the show notes, not one that I made, but it's, and I'll describe it to you now just in case.

[00:12:43] And also I'll put the description in the show notes, but. A chest freezer, as you would like a big freezer, you put stuff into, you basically buy one of those, make sure it has the capacity to handle water weight plus your weight. And you basically just at all the seams where water could leak out, you just sand those lightly, and then you seal them with a nice sealant, like sikuflex or something you buy from any hardware store. Just ask them there.

[00:13:07] There'll be able to tell you, you seal that up. Let that dry. And then you fill up the ice, the, the chest freezer with water, or like to a certain level where, you know, you can sit in that. And then plug it in for sort of three days or so have, have one of those little pool temperatures in there. I'll put a link to the one that I bought as well and then that'll let you know when it's at the temperature you want and we'll get into more about that in a bit, but that's the route I've gone.

[00:13:30] I would say do that when you kind of know you're a bit more committed initially, just start with cold showers with having a bath and. Yeah. And then that brings us to the next piece, which is ice. You're going to need a lot of ice. It uses more ice than most people think. Unfortunately, that comes with a waste of plastic because ice often comes in small bags. So I recommend going directly to an ice distributor.

[00:13:49] you can also of course go do like an ice bath person who does ice baths. Like, that's a great way to start as well, but if you want to do it at home, yeah. That's the first thing is fill up your bath with cold water and get in and see how that feels and then add some ice to see how that feels, et cetera.

[00:14:02] Also having a timer is really important. It helps to know, you think, oh, I've been in, I've definitely been in minutes and it's been like 30 seconds or vice versa. So that's really good is get yourself a timer. Your phone is fine. a towel and warm clothes for afterwards. And finally, and very importantly is courage.

[00:14:18] So courage is what's going to get you in there and keep you in there. And really the simplest way for that is using these mental and physical preparation techniques, using things like gentle breath work, slowing your breathing down, stretching your body beforehand, thinking positively, being kind to yourself in your mind, using the voice that is not the internal critic of the.

[00:14:39] The critical parent voice of you suck, you should do better. Why aren't you doing well? Enough, all those old stories that so many of us walk around with all the self doubt and the insecurities. Start practicing a voice. That's much more like the kind of parent that you either are, or that you wish you had, or that you'd like to be et cetera, as like, I know it's hard and I'm here with you.

[00:14:57] And we're doing this because it's good for us and you know, how good we feel after we do this. So like, that's okay. I'm with you in a much more supportive. Inside your own mind. And as I said, if you want my support with that, I help people to do this. I act as that kind external voice until you can develop your own.

[00:15:13] So. I kind of step by step guide to your at-home ice bath. So, first of all, you need to obviously fill the tub and get to the right temperature. So the temperature for most people. And I actually, you know what, I'm going to look this up quickly. 14. Celsius. So around 57 Fahrenheit and 14 degrees Celsius, I just looked that up really quickly.

[00:15:38] Um, is a, is a good starting point for a lot of people, which when people hear that they think, oh, that's not cold at all. For many of us as a starting point, that can be really cold. So I start with. Higher than you think you need. And then go down from there, make it colder over time. Your body actually gets resilient really quickly. So I'll find if I haven't done an ice bath in a few weeks and I get in.

[00:15:59] If I'm getting in at like seven or eight or 10 degrees Celsius, which for me would be generally quite, not warm, but not an ice bath in a sense that can be really hard for the first time. But then if I do it again, even the same day or the next day immediately, it's like, oh, that's so much easier.

[00:16:15] So I actually, I'm going to put a link in the show notes to a calculator that someone shared online, where you basically put in the numbers of the liters that you have and how much ice you want to use. And then that tells you what temperature you're going to end up at. It's quite, there's an actual calculation for that, which I don't know off hand.

[00:16:31] But as I said, I put it in the show notes. And you can make a decision around what that temperature should be for you. And as I suggest, start warmer. Than you think or less cold at least. Then you think there's no rush? There's no, there's no where to go. It's a practice. You're going to get better. You will get better over time. And for me now, like I generally am going in between two and six degrees Celsius.

[00:16:50] which is like, what keeps it nice and challenging for me?

[00:16:53] So once you've got the bath to the right temperature, of course, it's time to get in. the breathing techniques and the preparation are important. I think it was Mike Tyson, who said everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. And I say that because an ice bath or a cold immersion can really feel like that it's intense.

[00:17:09] You are consciously activating your sympathetic nervous system, your fight or flight system. So it just comes online because that's what it's designed to do. And what you do then is that you choose to breathe slowly and relax. So even before you get in standing next to the bath, next to the tub, slow the breathing down, slow. The out-breath.

[00:17:30] Extend the out breath notice where you're holding tension. Notice the stress, the resistance, the voice in the head saying, I don't want to do this. I'm scared. Why am I doing this as a stupid. Notice all of that and just keep the breath slowing down. Keep the shoulders, softening the face Softening.

[00:17:44] And then when you feel ready, take that last breath in. Breathe out. If you want to hold your breath in, feel free, but as you take that last breath and step in lower yourself, and then it's going to kick off, it's going to start your body's going to want to shake and shiver. Your mind is going to say this sucks. I want to get out. All those stories are normal and expected.

[00:18:03] This is where you just. soften the out-breath.

[00:18:11] Just soften. Just all your job is to do is to notice what's happening. Notice if there's tension, you're holding on to notice the resistance and just breathe and let it go. Keep breathing, keep letting it go. Keep breathing, keep letting it go. And then stay in for as long as feels good for you.

[00:18:25] How long to stay in the ice bath and when to exit.

[00:18:28] I think, especially in the beginning, at least a minute is good. Cause it gives you a chance to calm down your nervous system. Cause what'll happen over time. Is that as you breathe softly and gently and softening. Your body switches over from sympathetic nervous system to parasympathetic, which is your calming system, your rest system, your healing system.

[00:18:48] And then your body starts to use fat instead of kinetic energy. So instead of moving and shivering and shaking, it drops into fat burning. And this might not happen the first time for you. You might, and actually even throughout, if your body stays in shivering, let it do that. That is still building your resilience. And over time you will notice more and more and more. Capacity and ability to calm down to rest, to soften you feel that sense of release and relaxation it starts to actually feel really pleasurable that's when you really know, like, okay, I've really dropped into a different state of being.

[00:19:19] as I said, stay in at least a minute. I would say no more than three minutes to start, although that's up to you, you know what your boundaries are, but you will probably have core temperature drop off afterwards. So you want to make sure that you're kind of prepared for that. You don't want to make yourself so-cold in the bath, that when you get out, you get really, really, really cold and you're shivering for ages.

[00:19:38] Like that's also fine, but start slow, start slow and build up. And the goal as per research, the most current research is 11 minutes a week. So a minimum of 11 minutes of cold immersion a week, what is cold immersion even mean? It means. Water so-cold that you feel very uncomfortable doing it, but you know that you safe going into it and you can stay calm while doing so.

[00:20:01] Oh, at least you can find calm. You can return to calm. Even if initially when you get in, you don't feel at all calm. You just wanna get the fuck out. Just know that if you can return to that state of calm, that's cold immersion. You're doing it. So if you do three minutes on a Monday, five minutes on a Wednesday, whatever you want to do,

[00:20:17] I love an everyday ice bath practice. First thing in the day. Because it just really sets me up. I've done the hardest thing I can do that day. Everything else gets easier after that. And I just feel so very good. So after the ice bath, however long that is. When you get out. you're going to be cold. So warming up. This is the part about your post ice bath recovery. Keep your breathing slow, stay calm. Often the urge is to like shout and jump around. That's fine, but it's going to activate your sympathetic nervous system. Again, you're trying to stay in that parasympathetic state, trying to stay calm.

[00:20:49] Gentle keep the breathing slow. Let yourself stay cold. As long as you can, the longer you stay cold safely along, you safely stay cold. For the more resilience you are building. So, if you go into a warm shower, you immediately switch off the bodies. Um, processes that it's going through to increase your resilience, to grow brown, fat, to all that, do all that beautiful stuff.

[00:21:08] I have done hot showers at times after an ice bath, because I just was cold and I needed to get on with my day and I was too cold. So, you know, you feel it out. Do what works for you. It's all good. You can do some exercises. And again, I'll share a video too. To some sort of exercise. Wim Hof shows, which I really enjoy that can just like gently start to warm your system up, move energy, move blood, et cetera.

[00:21:31] My personal favorite thing to do after an ice bath is a strength training workout. There is very little research about this, but there is quite a lot of anecdotal information available, especially from Thomas P Seager, who is one of my previous podcasts on. Previous guests on this podcast. He's an amazing dude. And he is in his fifties and he massively increased his testosterone from doing, workouts after ice baths, instead of before them.

[00:21:58] And that's been one of my absolute favorite things to doing, using a nice kettlebell. Uh, if you watching this on video, you can see my kettlebell behind me over there. My pro kettlebell, which I also am an affiliate of. Cause I freaking love them. So that there's a link to that in the show notes. They, they make, I think probably the world's best kettlebells. So that's from me who is madly fanatical about them. So I generally will do a kettlebell workout afterwards, a strength training.

[00:22:22] And it just feels so amazing. It's like, it pre-cools my muscles so I can get more out of my workout. I also find myself, it just like adds to the good feelings. So, and it also warms me up. So I find it's a great thing on, on every level. So that's kind of the basics of it, of the whole ice bath process.

[00:22:39] I want to give you some little tips for enhancing your ice bath experience.

[00:22:43] So one of those is that you can incorporate mindfulness and meditation practices. So if you already are someone who meditates bring that into your ice bath, observe the discomfort, observe the sensations without reacting. Can I just witness this pain, this discomfort, this desire to get out. Witness it breathe into it and just let it go. Keep softening, always coming back to the breath. That is your practice. That is your mindfulness. And as I said earlier, ice baths, can be like forced mindfulness. If you find that you aren't able to relax, you aren't able to let go.

[00:23:15] You might need some support because that is the objective and that is what needs to happen. If you find you get in your ice bath and every time you like gasping and you shaking and you just can't calm down. You are in an activated state and you're not experiencing the benefits that you're looking for. And I would suggest seeking support about how you can improve your cold immersion experience.

[00:23:33] Another thing you can do is use music, use aroma therapy, use other sensory aids, make it a ritual light Sage say prayers, make it sacred. It is sacred. It is a transformative experience. As Wim Hof says, you have to die once a day to really live. And the ice bath gives you an opportunity to visit death safely, to visit that.

[00:23:55] That moment of transformation. The moment of shrugging out of the cocoon, the moment of coming out of the womb, the moment of entering from one state into another, and then returning to life. It's a very powerful thing. Make it a fricking ritual. It is beautiful. I'm also curious to know if you'd like an ice bath playlist. I'm thinking of putting one together.

[00:24:14] Some songs you could put on that might make you chuckle and giggle a little. And actually this is a bonus point. I hadn't thought of this until now, but smile when you're in there and you're like taking it very seriously and everything's intense and you're overwhelmed. Remember to smile, you are choosing this experience.

[00:24:29] It is your choice. So tracking your progress is also a really fun way. Like setting goals decide for yourself, you know, how long do I want to do this for my brother just did a 21 day ice bath challenge where every day for 20, 20 days, I think it was, he got in there and it was amazing. He had huge benefits from it.

[00:24:45] Time your cold immersions notice. Did I stayin for a minute today? Was it two minutes? Was it three? Was it 30 seconds. It's all fine. Just consistency over like quantity is much more important, even if you're going in everyday for a few seconds. Better than, than trying to do big ones and then not getting to do it that often.

[00:25:04] Again, aim for a goal of at least 11 minutes a week over time. So 11 minutes over seven days, you could definitely do that. I believe in you. this is a part I want to offer you this as this sort of ice bath challenge for you. And I basically want to support you in finding that freedom from within, as we know, we are already free and yet, so many of us have forgotten that. And because of the way our society is because of the.

[00:25:27] The conditioning that we've experienced. So I want to bring in this ice bath challenge to you. So the way to participate is to use the hashtag #wearealreadyfrozen. So hashtag we are already frozen. And share that on Instagram, share a photo or a video, like, is it you in the shower safe for work, et cetera. And a photo of your ice bath or a photo of your, you ticking off your calendar on the wall, or however you want to do that. Um, the goal is for consistency over time. It's not about long sessions in one go. Although if you are more advanced and comfortable with that, you know, go ahead. It's your choice. But the main thing is, can I do this?

[00:26:04] Again, and again, and again, over time, that is when you will experience the massive transformation in your body. and let me know how it's going reach out on Instagram. Use the, we are already frozen hashtag, which I will be following, and the winner will get a shout out on this podcast. And if you so desire, you could even come on as a guest and talk about your experience. So I'd be super excited to, to have that.

[00:26:24] So the winner will basically be decided based on how motivated you are, how well you do, how excited you are and just various kind of things like that. Uh, I'll just see it in, in whatever resonates. So if you want to get into that, please do. #wearealreadyfrozen on Instagram. Use that hashtag. Be responsible. Please get the support you need check with a medical professional. You are responsible for yourself. I cannot take responsibility for you.

[00:26:48] I trust you. And I know that you have a body that is sending you messages. So trust that as well.

[00:26:53] I want to get to frequently asked questions about how to have an ice bath, because these are the questions a lot of people are asking. I just want to make sure that I cover those. in case some of these questions are yours and feel free as always to reach out to me in the show notes or by commenting on the show notes or on my website too, to if you have any more questions.

[00:27:09] Are ice baths dangerous? Fuck yes, absolutely. Lots of things are dangerous. Life is dangerous. And if you push yourself too far, if you try to get into water that's too cold, if you get in after doing an, intense breath work session, do not do that. Do not do big breath holds in an ice bath. Just be super safe. You want to be in the calmest state possible before you get in and you want to stay as calm as possible while you are in.

[00:27:35] If you do those things, you should be safe. Again. I cannot take responsibility for this for you. There is a risk. It is tiny. I've never had anyone have an issue in any of my ice baths. And, and I've seen some people who are really struggling to stay in, but they did well and they were fine. Like I said it, but it's up to you. So just note that there is danger in there, but it is minimal. And the rewards, if you do it properly,

[00:27:57] will change your life. So another question. Why would the body react positively to something that causes pain? And this is the amazing thing. We've all got so used to comfort in our society of just sitting on the couch, clicking a button, tapping the phone, ordering a meal. We forgotten that we are designed to expand. We are designed to transform and transformation is uncomfortable.

[00:28:21] So the body reacts when we put it into an ice bath into an uncomfortable, painful situation. The body's like, oh, I guess we're someone who does hard things. Let me come online and build up the resilience necessary physiologically mentally psycho, psychologically in every way, spiritually, let me build up resilience so that we can continue to do more hard things. What does that mean? That in the rest of your life, those other hard things that you have to face become a little easier.

[00:28:50] So it's choose to do the hard things that you know are good for you, so that the hard things you don't get a choice about become more within your capacity. another question is will an ice bath kill fat cells? Or in other words, will ice baths help lose weight? Yes, this is a part of the result of, I ice baths it can be part.

[00:29:09] Because what you do is when you slow your breathing, you stay calm over a few minutes. Your body drops into parasympathetic, which is where it burns fat to generate energy. And so over time that can increase your metabolism, that can help your body to burn off the excess fat, et cetera.

[00:29:27] And then why ice bath after workout? So this is the common way that most people have done ice baths is they'll have a big workout. They'll hop in an ice bath. A lot of sports people and athletes will do this. This helps with recovery. There is research coming out more recently that shows that it can actually slow down your, how quickly you grow muscle and how quickly you grow a stamina.

[00:29:49] This is because the ice bath is so good at reducing inflammation that it's actually really helping you to heal faster. So if, if you are like someone who's maybe professional and you're playing a bunch of games in a row, you need to have that recovery. You play a game you need to get in that ice bath that helps with the recovery really quick. So you can play again the next day, et cetera.

[00:30:07] But if you're like me or someone like me, you know, where we just looking for the, the bigger benefits over time, I personally recommend doing an ice bath before a workout for the reasons I mentioned earlier. And I will have a link to Thomas P Seager talking about that in the show notes. and also if you do want to do an ice bath after a workout, just wait like four or five hours and then do the ice bath so that you, you have time for your muscles to kind of get the goodness that they need out of that workout.

[00:30:34] Can I use my bathtub as an ice bath? Yes, you can. That's the simplest way. If you have a bathtub at home, fill it with cold water and then use the calculator in the show notes to decide, you know, how much ice do you need for that to get it to the temperature you want it to be at. Well done, you will need to keep replacing the ice of course, but there you have it.

[00:30:53] How many ice baths a week? Again, it doesn't really matter how many, but what's most important is that consistency of 11 minutes over time. And I would recommend spreading that out over the week. So a few minutes on Monday, a few minutes, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, whatever. However you want to do that.

[00:31:09] that's more important is the consistency over time, rather than how many ice baths and getting that 11 minutes in.

[00:31:14] When should you not ice bath? So ice bath, I don't like ice bathing when I'm feeling a bit sick or under the weather, generally I find if I haven't had enough sleep, it actually really helps to like, just wake me up and get me back in present. So I find that really helpful. Um, and obviously if there's Contra indications, please check those out for yourself. I will share in the show notes, some more of the contra indications.

[00:31:34] But that's really up to you to look into. So there are times where it's not recommended also not straight after big breathwork sessions. I think people are confused about this because of Wim Hof's breathing method, but he never recommends that I know to go straight in, after breathwork. If you do do powerful, circular breathing, wait at least 10, 15, 20 minutes, half an hour for your whole system to calm down again, slow your breathing, slow your system. Do some pranayama, some gentle breathing techniques. Again, that I'd be happy to share with you. If you'd like, just reach out.

[00:32:04] But calm yourself and then go in. how painful are ice baths?

[00:32:10] They are painful. It hurts. It's like, depending on how cold you go in. So if you really challenge, if you're going in at like 6, 5, 4, 2 degrees. It is. It feels intense. Your body goes into a state of like I'm in deep trouble. I think I'm dying. That's normal. And it's painful, but the pain is the price of the pleasure. It's the price of the transformation. So again, knowing your own limits, finding what works for you, but that pain becomes.

[00:32:37] It's like the indication, the signpost on the road that we're heading in the direction of healing, the direction of wholeness and joy. So, I mean, one of the things they say is that women who have given birth are generally the best people, the people who are best at ice baths for their first time. So, you know, most first timers really struggled with it. Women who've given birth, tend to be, they're able to handle it because they know pain of that level. So if that gives you an indication.

[00:33:02] But again, don't start that cold and start it like 14 degrees or 10 degrees or whatever, and work your way down. There's no rush. There's nowhere to go with it. Who is the famous ice bath guy? That question, the answer to that would be Wim Hof Uh, he's the dude who's popularized it around the world. He's a big inspiration for me. And for many other people, he did not invent ice baths. This is being used cold immersion has been used by everyone around the world where cold water was available.

[00:33:29] It's a deep part of being human. So, but that's the dude. If you want to look him up. Why ice bath daily? As I've said, it's not necessary to ice bath daily, but it does feel amazing. It. Dopamine massive dopamine spike. First thing in the morning, four hours onwards, it helps us. Motivation helps with joy, helps with connection.

[00:33:48] Just like so many good reasons to do an ice bath every day. But as I said, once every few days, getting up to that 11 minutes a week and you're good to go. How cold should an ice bath be again, as I've said, it should be as cold, so cold enough that you don't want to get in, but that, you know, you're safe.

[00:34:04] That's really as simple as it is. So when it's cold, see you like, oh, this feels like it's going to be uncomfortable, but you don't think, oh, I might die doing this. Like, literally you'll be good then. Make it uncomfortable and build up over time.

[00:34:17] So conclusion, this brings us to just recapping some of the key takeaways. All you need is really a bathtub or container, or even a shower, a timer, towel, and worn clothes and courage. Start slow and build up. Consistency over time. Be sure that you know that it's safe for you. Find support if you need.

[00:34:36] I really encourage you to explore the transformative power of ice baths. Please do share your experiences. Join the ice bath challenge, interact with the podcast community, using the show notes to comment.

[00:34:48] send me questions. I'd be so excited to, to support you in this journey. It really, as you know, I just think it's one of the best things that, that I've ever discovered and be sure to use the hashtag. #wearealreadyfrozen, which I'll also share in the show notes. So you can use that.

[00:35:03] That's it a simple guide to starting your cold immersion journey, your ice baths. And as you continue to practice, as I've said, you'll find it easier. The benefits will multiply. please remember to prioritize your own needs, your own safety. Don't push yourself too far. There's nowhere to go. It's all good.

[00:35:18] Thank you. Thank you for joining me on this icy adventure. I hope you feel inspired to dive into the world of cold immersion to experience the incredible benefits for yourself. Remember, the goal is to break free of our self-imposed limitations and society's constraints please. Don't be afraid to challenge yourself to explore new horizons.

[00:35:36] I mean, this is what we came here for. If you're looking for more guidance on cold immersion or ice baths, please reach out to me personally, links to chat with me are in the show notes as always at alreadyfree.me/30. Just the number three zero. Before we wrap up. I'd like to remind you to always listen to your body. Your wellbeing is your top priority. That is the most important thing.

[00:35:59] So dear listener. Are you ready to take the plunge and experience the transformational power of cold immersion? I believe in you. And I know you have the strength to face your fears and shatter your limitations. Let's do this together.

[00:36:12] Until next time. Remember. We are already free. The power to break free lies within all of us to remember that simple truth. Stay curious, stay adventurous, and most importantly, stay true.

Nathan Maingard

Nathan Maingard

Nathan Maingard is a wordsmith giving voice to those who feel isolated and lost in these times of mass delusion and dis-ease. A breathwork instructor, modern troubadour (empowering songs, poems & stories) and ILS pro coach, Nathan empowers down-to-earth seekers to be their authentic selves. In this way we can feel, heal, and grow a beautiful world together.

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