DIVE INTO THE WELLNESS WORLD’S HOTTEST (ACTUALLY, COLDEST) ADDITION
Article by Mindy Hargesheimer
Photography by The Cold Plunge
Are you ready to take the plunge? It’s a question you may not have asked yourself before but will now. So what is “The Cold Plunge?”
In short, it’s a brisk, three-minute immersion into a cold tub that triggers the body into a state of regulation, greatly improving levels of energy, mental and physical strength and blood circulation.
The profound effects of The Plunge can impact your overall health, from reducing chronic pain and inflammation to boosting metabolism and focus and creating better sleep and mental clarity.
Co-founded by two entrepreneurs who bonded over their love for health and business, Ryan Duey and Mike Garrett found a friendship and created a vision to rejuvenate people. Two to three minutes a day of plunging into 39-55 degrees of cold water stimulates the mind, body and soul and sets your day into optimistic motion.
Mike and Ryan both previously owned their own flotation therapy centers. Early pioneers in that space, they discovered they shared many of the same values, business practices and interests. Therefore, the formulation of a business together became inevitable. With finding himself feeling sick on a consistent basis, Ryan found solace in cold plunging. With an engineering background and having built his own chest freezer, Mike found cold plunging tubs on the market unattainable. Together, they set out to create a more realistic solution for half the price.
“Everything else on the market was $10k, and it’s not really achievable for a lot of people,” they say.
But as the business began to set in, so did the 2020 pandemic, forcing both to shut down their primary businesses, which turned out to be a blessing. It offered time for Mike to begin designing the product that would look, feel and cost significantly different.
In a short 12 months, The Cold Plunge quickly garnered attention as a result of organic growth, wellness influencers who embraced the product, and a pandemic that forced people to focus on their health and added time at home.
It’s also worth noting that the likes of Tony Hawk and Kerri Walsh Jennings swear by their cold plunges for their athletic recovery.
“It’s an interesting moment in time. There’s this heightened sense of, ‘how do I become more resilient, how do I boost my immune system?’ Health and wellness is way more in the spotlight, and the trend of more people being at home has launched a new consumer process,” they say.
It doesn’t hurt that they are designed with your home in mind. The elegant and unique physique makes it an easy decision for everyone to appreciate.
“The design passed the wife test—everyone was happy to have it! We appreciate aesthetics and design, that’s been a key piece. It fits with a beautiful home and we are proud of that.”
Everyone from homeowners to commercial businesses are hopping on the train to add these beautiful accessories into their space. Hot or cold environment, home or commercial studio—the tubs were built with design and longevity in mind.
“The one thing I’m still bullish on is I know it works,” Ryan says. “Anyone who gets a unit from us, their true testimony is that this would go onto their top three things they would NOT give up for their health and wellness. Right now the cold plunge is “kind of trendy, it's kind of cool, but it's effective. Two to three minutes, or even 60 seconds a day—there are very few things out there that give you the return you get from this.”
Different protocols are needed for different desired results. They recommend one style of plunging for increasing metabolism and fat loss and a different, more deliberate process for muscle recovery or inflammation, mental clarity and so on.
Ryan also compares it to working out, citing weightlifting as an example. “The whole thing is tearing your muscles down so they become stronger. You are going through an intentional stressor. You will get a relaxed response after, but you are intentionally putting yourself into a fight or flight state. It’s uncomfortable. You are literally going through an override of that natural internal process, and that sends signals back into the body that creates these different activations.”
The goal with the cold water is to lower your core body temperature, and it takes time to do that. “Water cools your body at 25 times what cold air does. Cold water is the quickest activation to do it.”
Ryan shares his sentiment on doing something uncomfortable first thing in the morning to make the biggest, most positive impact on your day. What you can expect to feel is, “I did something first thing in the morning that I didn’t want to do, but I know it is good for me.”
“What’s also exciting about this is that we have partnered with American Neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Huberman, who has a very specific protocol: Get in for sixty seconds, get out for sixty, do three to five rotations and get to the point of a shiver,” he says.
Ryan also knows over the next one to two years they are going to learn so much about cold plunging. As more people do it, there will be more anecdotal data and validity to the practice.
Ryan has his own process—getting in, breathing four seconds in and four seconds out, transitioning his hands in and out of the water because their different nerve endings create a different blood flow and kick off the fight or flight mechanism. His nervous system then calms down and his mind sets into calmness roughly two and a half minutes in. After a three minute plunge, he comes out super energized with mental clarity.
“It feels like a back door to meditation for people who don’t meditate, i.e. two to three minutes vs twenty,” he says. “It’s a totally different process, but you push out the mental chatter and you become more present.”
Cold plunging can be done daily or multiple times a day. It’s all about getting people to explore what works for them. They may offer up recommendations, but ultimately it’s you building a relationship with your cold plunge. Many like the morning plunge, others enjoy nighttime. For some, it cools the body down resulting in better sleep.
“A lot of people who come for our product just want to do hard things, uncomfortable things. They say, if it's good for me AND it’s difficult, then they are completely motivated by that.”
The Cold Plunge offers four different models, all the same size, all cold at 39-55 degrees, and one that can turn into a hot tub at 103 degrees. The heat can be great for clients in really cold environments. There is also an app to control the temperature via bluetooth.
“One of the things that has been rad that we did not anticipate is parents doing it with their children,” he says. “It’s become this ritual where they do it together, a family plunge.” CrossFit frontman Rich Froning told the team that the coolest thing about having The Plunge is doing the plunge together every night with his daughter. It’s another layered benefit for their clients to know, one of creating special time around doing something uncomfortable and getting healthier, together.
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Foot Care Specialist
Lees Summit, MO
Joel Foster, DPM, earned his undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Kansas and received his doctoral degree...