Cold – We associate this with winter, frost, snow, but also with soothing coolness after an unpleasant visit to the dentist or a refreshing cool footbath after a long day on your feet.
Cold therapy is one of the oldest treatment methods known to mankind. Whether it is for a fever or for a sore throat – cold and warm compresses can bring relief for a wide variety of conditions. Cold casts for health promotion were already recommended in the 19th century by the german reverend Sebastian Kneipp! He used cold infusions to strengthen the immune system. Kneipp baths are still considered a common therapy method in spa and rehabilitation centres worldwide.
PAIN TREATMENT WITH THERMOTHERAPIES
Cold helps the body to help itself. While warmth provides for relaxation, cold stimulates the organism to trigger a reaction. As soon as cold stimuli touch the skin, the human body reacts with defensive measures to compensate for the loss of heat, e.g. by increasing blood circulation! But why is this so?
Humans have more cold receptors than heat receptors.
Correspondingly, we are sensitive to cold. As soon as the body comes into contact with something cold from the outside, the blood vessels contract in the affected area. The result: the blood withdraws and then, after the cold impulse has passed, blood flows through the body more quickly and intensively. In other words: blood circulation increases!
The matter with blood flow has been explained, but why does cold relieve pain?
The effect of cold causes the operating temperature of the affected area to drop below 37°C. The temperature of the skin is then reduced to a minimum. As a result, the nerves and pain receptors become “more tired” than at normal body temperature. Our sensitivity decreases due to the cold and a temporary local anaesthetic effect occurs. In short, cold relieves pain.
Even in the case of acute sports injuries or insect bites, the first treatment is often: cool it, cool it, cool it!
❄️ Reduces swelling ❄️
❄️ Relieves pain ❄️
❄️ Relaxes the muscles ❄️
❄️ Helps reduce inflammation ❄️
STRENGTHEN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM!
Kneipp already stated that alternating hot and cold showers stimulate the immune system – if one is not deterred by them. A little bit of effort and willpower is needed to switch the beautiful, warm water jet to polar temperatures. After an alternating hot and cold shower, even your morning coffee becomes unnecessary.
It is also important to keep a cool head when sleeping. A proverb says: “A cool head and warm feet, makes the best doctors poor”. While the feet should be cuddly and warm, the head can be a little cooler. After all, a room temperature of 18°C is recommended for a good night’s sleep and the head is rarely buried under the blanket. You can find more tips for a good night’s sleep here!
Cold therapy is a versatile technique that can help us in many areas of life. In this sense: Stay Cool!