Learn More: Contrast Therapy

Contrast therapy: Enhancing recovery and wellness

Contrast therapy is a powerful and rejuvenating practice that combines the benefits of heat and cold to promote overall well-being. 

What is contrast therapy?

Contrast therapy, which has roots in ancient healing practices, harnesses the power of temperature variations to achieve desired physiological effects. Alternating between heat and cold treatments stimulates blood circulation, reduces inflammation, relieves pain, and promotes healing. 

The benefits of contrast therapy

Contrast therapy is an effective technique for enhancing recovery, relieving pain, and promoting overall well-being. By alternating between hot and cold treatments, you can experience improved blood circulation, reduced inflammation, and enhanced healing among other benefits.

Improved circulation

Contrast therapy has a significant effect on your body’s circulation. When you’re in the Sweaty GOAT Sauna, the blood vessels expand, promoting increased blood flow and improved circulation. In contrast, Chilly GOAT Cold Tub sessions cause the vessels to narrow, temporarily reducing blood flow. The alternating cycle of vasodilation and vasoconstriction in contrast therapy gives your circulatory system a dynamic workout. 

Accelerated muscle recovery

Recovery is just as important as your time in the gym — whether you are a CrossFit athlete, marathon runner, or fitness enthusiast. Contrast therapy is a valuable method of recovery, supporting long-term health and athletic success.

Incorporating contrast therapy into your post-workout routine can reduce muscle soreness, reduce inflammation, and promote recovery. In addition, contrast therapy sessions improve athletes’ perceptions of fatigue and their recovery. Research shows that the shift in how they view their recovery can improve athletes’ performance in training and in competition.

Joint pain relief

Contrast therapy can alleviate joint pain associated with conditions like arthritis, promoting better joint function. Scientific research shows that contrast therapy is an effective treatment for managing knee pain, reducing inflammation, and increasing range of motion.

Cold water immersion can improve joint inflammation and swelling. Sauna therapy increases  blood flow and eases muscle tension. Together, and on their own, both sauna bathing and cold water can help to reduce pain.

Immune system support

Contrast therapy puts your body under stress — the good kind of stress. 

The stress placed on the body during contrast therapy triggers an immune response, potentially enhancing overall immune function.

Mood enhancement 

Sauna therapy and cold water immersion each have been shown to have mood-boosting effects. Infrared saunas enhance the generation and reception of natural antidepressants in the brain, including dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Cold water immersion increases the production of beta-endorphins, noradrenaline, and dopamine — all of which can elevate your mood.

When sauna and cold water are combined as part of contrast therapy, you take the results to the next level and get that extra boost to your mood.

Contrast therapy at home

Incorporating contrast therapy into your home routine is a wonderful step toward nurturing your body and mind.

Sauna therapy and cold water immersion

Sweaty GOAT Saunas and Chilly GOAT Cold Tubs allow you to bring home the rejuvenating benefits of contrast therapy. 

Start with 15 to 20 minutes in the Sweaty GOAT Sauna. If you find the initial duration comfortable, you can gradually increase it over time, but always listen to your body. Sweaty GOAT Saunas can be set to up to 150 degrees, with the infrared heat penetrating your skin and causing physiological changes.

After your sauna session, move to the Chilly GOAT Cold Tub for the contrast phase. You only need to spend two to three minutes in the cold water to see the benefits of contrast therapy. 

Many people complete two to three rounds of contrast therapy per session. Consider shortening the sauna time to 10 to 15 minutes for subsequent sessions and cold plunging for one to two minutes.

Valaris contrast therapy tub

Part hot tub, part cold tub, the Valaris contrast therapy tub allows you to seamlessly alternate between hot and cold water. Set the water temperature of the hot tub up to 104 degrees. On the cold tub side, you can chill the water to 40 degrees. The best water temperature, though, depends on your physiology and your experience with contrast water therapy. 

Contrast hydrotherapy protocols can vary. However, you can start with 10 to 15 minutes in the hot tub followed by one to two minutes in the cold tub. Subsequently, immerse yourself in the warm water for 10 minutes and then the cold tub for a minute. With each round, you’ll decrease the duration in the hot tub. You can do several rounds, depending on your comfort level and preference.