A cold plunge after a sauna session has real benefit for rheumatoid sufferers.
In many Nordic cultures, a full sauna session includes 15 or 20 minutes in the heat followed by an ice-cold run outside, dip in cold water, or cool shower. This hot/cold is repeated until there’s not an ounce of tension in the body. The alternate extremes provide a different, intense experience. Ice swimming is an increasingly popular activity in sauna-loving Finland.
Dr. Mark Tinnerman in “Health Benefits of Sauna,” posted in January on the North American Sauna Society website, says the combination of heat and cold can have some health advantages. The sudden cold makes skin blood vessels constrict rapidly, elevating blood pressure.
Once again science shows that traditions lasted for centuries for good reason. Taking the time (and exhibiting the bravery!) to take an icy plunge, snow bank or cold shower after a sauna gives you more benefit than the sauna alone. Do check with your doctor before taking a sauna followed by an icy shower.
Posted by Jessie Andrews