Cold water therapy

13 September, 2012

Its been believed for a long time that cold water treatments will promote well-being and assist in the healing process. Many elite athletes use cold water therapy to improve recovery.

On DMM's Frankenjura trip this May, during which time we enjoyed almost two weeks of unbroken sunshine, we definitely welcomed the opportunity to use the conveniently located Kneipp pool, directly below Sector Eldorado and the famous Moffatt classics such as Ekel and Stone Love.

In the accompanying clip, Chris Igel explains why after a day getting super-pumped on the crag, bathing your arms and legs in icy water, may be just what the doctor ordered.

Kneipp Therapy is a holistic system for improved overall health devised by the 19th century Bavarian priest, Sebastian Kneipp, based on the healing powers of cold water, medicinal herbs, exercise, diet and an ordered life. His faith in the power of hydrotherapy was inspired after overcoming his tuberculosis with several immersions in the Danube River during the winter of 1849.

Ekel (7c+) Eldorado
Jim McCormack on the short but extremely steep Moffatt classic, Ekel 7c+, Eldorado. © Ray Wood

Proponents of the therapy believe that alternating hot and cold water treatments will stimulate the circulation and strengthen the body's immune defence system.

It's very important to remember that cold water treatments should be very short and only applied to parts of the body that are already warm!

Ekel (7c+) Eldorado
Photo: Jim McCormack on the short but extremely steep Moffatt classic, Ekel 7c+, Eldorado. © Ray Wood