Cold water therapy risks: woman bathes in frozen river as part of this therapy and dies | Univision Health News

His case illustrates how getting into too cold water carries risks and can even be fatal.

The mother, whose name has not been disclosed, lives in Manchester and has paid £200 (about $250) to attend a two-hour session at the Breatheolution ice water camp in Buxworth, Berbyshire, with several friends. that Daily mail.

He plunged into the water and he was adjusting when he suddenly fainted.

A few minutes before he “laughs”declared to Sun instructor and camp owner Kevin O’Neill, who immediately pulled him out of the water and performed CPR. But he couldn’t save her: shortly after he was pronounced dead in hospital.

“I’ve put 1,100 people in the water over the past two years and nothing like this has ever happened. This is a horrific incident and sadly someone lost their life,” O’Neill told the media, clarifying that all patients with heart disease signed a waiver form and were asked about their medical history.

But regardless of the health status of the woman in question, a ice water dip (which, needs to be clarified, is very different from a traditional cold shower) is a danger to anyone and the evidence about the risks outweighs the benefits.

Now that ice water therapy where people intentionally enter lakes, rivers or even baths or pools with very cold temperatures has become popular, keep in mind its impact on the body.

What motivates people to purposely dive into icy water?

For centuries it has been hypothesized about the health benefits of ice water. Hippocrates believed that water therapy relieves fatigue.

Thomas Jefferson showered icy water every morning for decades to “take care of his health.” Doctors from the 18th century recommended these baths to treat conditions such as fever.

A lot is said about the benefits of iced water to improve circulation.

Nowadays many people, including celebrities like Lady Gaga or Madonna, use this take an extreme bath—whether a river, lake, or tub of ice—to revitalize, relieve injuries, and elevate your moodbecause ice water supports the release of hormones.

The exercise has been popularized by extreme athlete and fitness guru Wim Hof, the self-proclaimed Dutchman’ iceman’ (Iceman) and who have appeared in events like Goop Lab with Gwyneth Paltrow.

What’s that? cold water therapy a cure for depression, anxiety and other ailments?

Several recent studies have shown that the so-called cold water therapy Maybe I serves as a treatment for mental illnesses such as anxiety and depressionLike another woman in the UK who started swimming in cold water and was able to stop her depression medication after four months, according to a medical case study.

“Cold water therapy has been shown to have a significant effect on clients and although it can be harsh, ending uncomfortable sensations in the body, the benefits are tremendous,” reads the website of the Breatheolution camp attended by the woman who died.

Among the benefits they list are relieving sports injuries to helping with Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome or anxiety, “not to mention what the flu does with our immune and nervous systems.”

But the evidence is not conclusive and maybe it’s purely because placebo effect or other factors, some experts warn.

Also, this positive results may pale before risk it is quite evident that immersion in icy water represents organisms.

What are the dangers of soaking in ice water?

A systematic review of the risks and benefits of ice water immersion therapy was published in Physiological Societywho attempted to answer the question of whether it was a cause of death or a cure, concluded that the available evidence favors the former.

While they do not rule out that there are credible reasons for this therapeutic benefit, they do point out that sometimes the data remain speculative or anecdotal; while a large body of evidence supports it as a “significant” cause of death worldwide.

In their analysis they confirmed that this therapy can vary from beneficial to harmful depending on very subtle factors such as the duration and intensity of exposure to ice water and the nature of the activity undertaken.

Cold water shock kills in seconds

While what comes to mind when talking about frozen water is the risk of hypothermia, this usually takes up to 30 minutes to be fatal, so wouldn’t explain a case like one of those women spending less time in frozen water. .

A lesser known and extremely dangerous phenomenon that might explain his death and many others is from cold shock from ice watercold water shock) which is defined as what happens when an organism is suddenly immersed in very cold water causing a “gasping response” and uncontrollable hyperventilation which increases the risk of inhaling water into the lungs and puts a lot of stress on the heart, which can cause irregular heartbeat and cardiac arrestexplain in an article by Conversation Mike Tipton, Professor of Human Physiology at the University of Portsmouth.

That cold water shock can cause death within the first minute of immersion. If the person manages to survive by taking the first breath of air which causes panic and aspiration, then the body will experience paralysis causing the muscles to stop working.

At what temperature does cold water become dangerous?

Ice water shock can occur at water temperature 70 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) or lessalthough it may vary slightly between people.

“Actually anything below your own body temperature can harm you,” he explained to Today Ryan Stanton, spokesman for College of Emergency Doctors, about another case where a mother and another person died when they jumped into a frozen lake to save a four year old girl who had fallen into it.

Entering icy water in a controlled environment, as proposed by cold water therapy in its various variations, under the supervision of an expert and with certain measures, it can reduce risk, but never eliminate it completely, as what is happening in the UK shows.

Among the recommendations for avoiding suffering from cold water shock are: consult your doctor before trying this therapy you enter slowly and gradually into the water to adapt better.

How your body reacts depends on the amount of water your skin is exposed to and how quickly the temperature changes. Wearing a suit or cooling the skin first with water can help.

Stuart Martin

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