Boosting your metabolism with Cold Therapy
What is brown Fat?
Brown fat is an important and efficient energy source for the body that boosts your metabolism when activated. Named for its differentiated color, brown fat is found mostly around the spine and near the collar bone. It’s function is to heat up the body when cold is detected on the skin. This thermogenic effect is triggered by cold exposure and is the body’s natural adaptation to survive.
Intentional cold exposure, such as in a cold plunge or ice bath, can harness this mechanism to maximize the health benefits of this natural metabolic booster. The thermogenic effect stimulates the power house of brown fat to pull sugar and fat from the bloodstream for energy, resulting in increased brown fat (energy burning) & decreased white fat (energy storage) which can lead to obesity.
Scan of brown fat activation in the human body.
Dr. Susanna Soberg studied brown fat in winter swimmers.
Dr. susanna soberg
The uptick in cold plunge popularity by celebrities and compelling data by scientists such as Dr. Susanna Soberg & Dr. Andrew Huberman on social media have made the population curious about this cure-all health trend, and the actual experience has created true believers in the benefits.
Dr. Soberg is a metabolic scientist who studied brown fat adaptation in winter swimmers and became a beleiver herself in the numerous benefits of cold water exposure. How cold? Dr. Soberg says the water should be “uncomfortable but safe.” She recommends full body immersion for a total of 11 minutes per week over a few sessions.
While there are many protocols for contrast therapy, Dr. Soberg recommends ending with cold to maximize the metabolic benefit of the body reheating itself naturally without the aid of the sauna. This has been named the “Soberg Principle”.
benefits of contrast therapy
The alternating use of both hot and cold therapies for maximum benefit is called Contrast Therapy and is exactly what is offered inside the new Fire and Ice Room at Clark Salon and Spa.
- Improved Circulation
- Decreased Swelling
- Reduced Inflammation
- Increased Metabolic Function
- Reduced Muscle Soreness
- Elevated Mood
- Increased Energy & Alertness
protocols for contrast therapy
There are a variety of recommended protocols to effectively combine the cold plunge tub and sauna. The result is a rejuvenating experience that increases blood flow and endorphins. It’s basically a workout for your circulatory system and a test of your mental toughness.
A sauna session before a dip in the cold plunge will awaken your body systems and stabilize your mood. A few rounds of alternating contrast will leave you feeling relaxed and invigorated.