While Cold Therapy has been gaining a lot of popularity recently its origins way back. Way, way back to ancient times.
The oldest known surgical treatise on trauma, dated 3500 B.C, already made numerous references to the use of cold as therapy to treat inflammation. Since these early days it has become a very modern type of therapy used not only for sports injuries, but also for sports recovery, the treatment of certain nervous system related illnesses, self improvement and even meditative purposes.
Another recorded example of use of cold therapy in ancient times was with the Greeks in 400 BC, when Hippocrates used cold water to treat swelling and pain. After that, in 1050 AD, Anglo-Saxon monks used ice as a local anesthetic.
James Arnott, an English physician discovered in 1845, that applying cold was a very effective treatment for nerve pain and migraines. Fascinated with his discovery he continued his research on other possible therapeutical applications of cold. One finding was that tumors shrank when in cold was applied.
In a 2014 Dutch study by the Radboud Unversity on Hofs method, it was proven that the effects of infections can be reduced by breathing exercises and exposure to cold. Not only by hof himself, but by anyone that uses his method.
In 2018, in the study ‘brain over body’ published in NeuroImage the famous Wim Hof was researched. Researchers found that Hof is able to use his mind to artificially induce a stress response in his body that helps him resist the effects of cold. It was established that Hof can activate an internal painkiller function by conducting breathing exercises, then exposing himself to a threat like extreme, sudden cold.
Today cold therapy is used by millions, It supports athletes in sports recovery, and helps people boost their immune system, and lead a more fulfilled life by being strong, healthy and happy.