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  • Thanks, MamaGrok and Otzi for answering my questions. I have a few more!

    So I'm doing the cold showers for a variety of health benefit reasons, but the spot icing is purely to reduce areas of stubborn fat (and abdominal inflammation reduction would be great, too!) My questions are:

    Since what I've read about the Zeltiq states that they use a one-time application, which then takes 2-4 months for the fat cells to be destroyed and consumed by lymph cells, do you think that spot-icing daily (which I'm doing) is either unnecessary or excessive? MamaGrok, I seem to remember you mention that you spot-iced repeatedly, which probably answers my own question again, but just wanted to see what you folks thought of this.

    Also, since I'm trying to reduce inflammation (both systemic and localized) does it seem wise to spot ice, since it seems that this produces an inflammatory response to the destroyed/dissolved fat?

    And if someone has a crappy detox system, as I suspect I do (I've been reading that peeps with chronic fatigue syndrome have a detox system that is more or less in failure), how do you think that person would respond to CT? I'm a little worried about upping both the free-floating toxins in my body while simulateously increasing temporary inflammation. I guess I'm looking for a little reassurance.

    And lastly, since I also suspect that I am experiencing mitochondrial failure (I'm taking steps to imrove this, but it's a slow process) which means that my mitochondra aren't producing ATP efficiently or fast enough, do you think CT is likely to help or hinder the ATP energy production process?

    That was a lot! The more i learn about something, the more questions I have. I wish I could be a profesional question-asker.

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    • dunno (I think zeltiq has a special technique, but dunno), dunno (but would suspect it's not a problem for inflammation), and my chronic fatigue has LIFTED and I've detoxed heavily (although most of my detox took place during GAPS, some picked up again with CT). When you expect detox, take detox baths and learn to use activated charcoal. Wonderful things! (1-2C of epsom salts, unrefined sea salt, baking soda, or ACV in a tub of warm water, or some have tried dissolving it in less water, then adding to cold bath; dunno if it works)
      5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
      Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
      Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
      Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
      ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***

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      • Originally posted by BestBetter View Post
        Thanks, MamaGrok and Otzi for answering my questions. I have a few more!

        So I'm doing the cold showers for a variety of health benefit reasons, but the spot icing is purely to reduce areas of stubborn fat (and abdominal inflammation reduction would be great, too!) My questions are:

        Since what I've read about the Zeltiq states that they use a one-time application, which then takes 2-4 months for the fat cells to be destroyed and consumed by lymph cells, do you think that spot-icing daily (which I'm doing) is either unnecessary or excessive? MamaGrok, I seem to remember you mention that you spot-iced repeatedly, which probably answers my own question again, but just wanted to see what you folks thought of this.

        Also, since I'm trying to reduce inflammation (both systemic and localized) does it seem wise to spot ice, since it seems that this produces an inflammatory response to the destroyed/dissolved fat?

        And if someone has a crappy detox system, as I suspect I do (I've been reading that peeps with chronic fatigue syndrome have a detox system that is more or less in failure), how do you think that person would respond to CT? I'm a little worried about upping both the free-floating toxins in my body while simulateously increasing temporary inflammation. I guess I'm looking for a little reassurance.

        And lastly, since I also suspect that I am experiencing mitochondrial failure (I'm taking steps to imrove this, but it's a slow process) which means that my mitochondra aren't producing ATP efficiently or fast enough, do you think CT is likely to help or hinder the ATP energy production process?

        That was a lot! The more i learn about something, the more questions I have. I wish I could be a profesional question-asker.
        I am going to answer without any links to studies, but I may come back and edit some in later...

        1. I think daily spot icing is better than the one-time Zeltiq method. For removal of fat cells, one-time treatments will work, but the daily ice-packs give you the 'chronic cold exposure' that you need to activate BAT and get you 'cold adapted', ie. shiver less, reduced blood pressure, improved vaso-constriction.

        2. Good question; I think if you combined spot-icing with cold baths you would be better off. The whole-body immersion in cold water has known anti-inflammatory effects. When I was spot icing, I never noticed any inflammation in the area, but in retrospect, there must have been some. The body's natural reaction to cell damage is inflammation. I'd say, spot-ice and be mindful of systemic inflammation via your diet and whole-body CT.

        3. Detox - I was a non-believer until I saw it with my own eyes. I had zits and a runny nose for the first 2 weeks I tried really cold baths (35 deg F). Never had this with 50-70 deg baths. I think this detox effect of CT is a good thing in any case.

        4. Mitochondrial failure...don't know what to say except the basic principal behind the whole cold thermogenesis effect is the uncoupling of mitochondrial action via the Kreb's Cycle to produce heat without ATP. This is done with uncoupling protein 1 (UCP-1) in the BAT or muscles. Seems like a good thing if you are wanting to upregulate cell function.

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        • Last night toward the end of my shower after i had finished washing up I decided to try cold. I slowly turned the water down. It wasn't straight cold, but it was pretty close. I did the same thing this morning, starting my shower temperature as cold as I left it off for a few minutes. It was rough.

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          • Originally posted by Call Me Twitchy View Post
            Last night toward the end of my shower after i had finished washing up I decided to try cold. I slowly turned the water down. It wasn't straight cold, but it was pretty close. I did the same thing this morning, starting my shower temperature as cold as I left it off for a few minutes. It was rough.
            I've sat in 32 degree water full of ice cubes for 45 minutes, swam in water 45 degrees, and jogged barefoot in the snow--all were easier than a cold tap-water shower! I hate cold showers. I am really impressed by people who can take cold showers, I think they are very therapeutic, I just can't take it...

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            • Originally posted by otzi View Post
              Is Brown Fat Good For You? | Mark's Daily Apple

              Hey, Paleobird - Are you a believer now? (sorry, couldn't resist)

              "Humans, even those living in cold climates, are rarely exposed to the cold weather. They sleep in heated homes, drive in heated cars, shop in heated department stores, and bundle up with multiple layers for those fleeting moments spent outdoors. It’s even been proposed that the advent of central heating is related to obesity. I suspect that the total amount of human BAT also depends on chronic exposure to cold, especially since one study (PDF) showed that outdoor workers have more BAT than indoor workers. Acute exposure activates, chronic exposure creates." - Mark Sisson
              OK, OK. But Mark points out a couple of interesting things in that article while all the time using phrases such as "I suspect" and "It couldn't hurt to give it a try". I thought it was important that he pointed out the exercise component.

              "All this revolves around the activation of existing brown adipose tissue. While that’s important, what about creating new BAT? There are two candidates – chronic cold exposure and exercise.

              Irisin, the “exercise hormone,” appears to convert white adipose tissue to brown adipose tissue. As irisin increases in a rodent’s blood, energy expenditure increases without an increase in movement or food intake, suggesting an increase in thermogenesis mediated by the converted WAT. Humans also make irisin in response to exercise, so this could work for us, too."

              Perhaps this is why Tim Ferris' plan seems to work so well for some people. It combines exercise and spot CT to the neck area.

              Also the temperatures Mark mentioned were much less extreme. He was talking about 61 degrees, not ice baths. More is not always better.

              Comment


              • I can see all the benefits of CT, in terms of BAT and increased caloric expenditure. But I don't see why that would be the only thing that could break a weight loss plateau for some people? Diet and exercise shifts should be all that is necessary to bust plateaus, and, dare I say without referencing a study, have to be more effective than spot CT. Did you guys try varying the intensity of exercise routines (sometimes too much = plateau, so resting more can help. Sometimes not intense enough = plateau, etc.)? How about carb refeeds ala Leangains - I feel that'd be a great way to actually reset Leptin, as Martin properly references his studies about the carb/leptin relationship and how the cyclic, inverse relationship between carbs and fats can help for further weight loss as insulin-sensitive primal individuals may have poor leptin levels. Intermittent fasting is also a must. See: Intermittent Fasting, Set-Point and Leptin | Intermittent fasting diet for fat loss, muscle gain and health
                Martin Berkhan – Scorch Through Your Fat Loss Plateau | Fitness Black Book

                In terms of my "Guru Go-To List" I'd say listen to Sisson, then Martin, then Kruse if all else fails. It is wonderful that CT has worked, but make sure to try some of the more substantiated plateau-destroying techniques (especially if you're a wimp vs. the cold like me :P). Best of luck!

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                • The BO seems to have passed, which is good news. The experiment I'm going to try today is to ice my legs, take a cold shower, and then go to the gym a couple of hours later - I'm curious to see how my performance in the gym is. I have not eaten many carbs in the past few days, which normally means that leg presses are significantly harder. Actually, now that I think about it, the past few days - since I started icing and cold showering - I've been eating relatively little because my appetite has been low. I attributed this to the heat wave we had, but this seems a little funny since I keep hearing about how CT ramps up hunger. Maybe for me, it's a delayed effect!

                  I do notice that my skin is looking tighter - which I didn't expect, because I figured that would be a temporary effect that only lasts a few minutes after the cold shower, but my skin seems to be maintaining the tightness throughout the day.

                  Thanks for the responses to my questions - I feel much more reassured now!

                  MamaGrok - you mentioned using activated charcoal to help with the detox effects. I have some that I bought last year, but I rarely use it because I've read conflicting things about it blocking the nutrition from the food you've eaten. Another website just says to take it 2 hours away from meals. Do you have any suggestions for how much/how close to meals to take activated charcoal?

                  Otzi, your response about cold baths reducing the inflammatory effects of the fat cell death made a lot of sense. I don't have a bathtub in my apartment, but I will be able to use my in-lasws tub when visiting them this summer, so I'll try the cold baths then.The ice water baths you take got me thinking about something else... If you submerged your whole body (up to your neck/shoulders), this would likely lead to apoptosis all over your body, not just in targeted areas, right? But what if you didn't want to lose fat in the upper part of your body, only in the lower part? Over time, would this make you look too skinny in places where there was relatively little fat to begin with (arms, collarbone area)? I like the idea of a full body ice bath immersion, but this idea popped into my head.
                  Last edited by BestBetter; 06-01-2012, 05:07 AM.

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                  • BB, I only have experience using activated charcoal on an as-needed basis, and because that's not often, I don't worry about meal absorption, but do take it away from meals, anyway, just b/c that seemed to make sense. I'd look up more about ti before using it as a regular part of your regimen.

                    All-over ice baths don't really spot-reduce the way spot icing does, b/c it's much warmer, I think. I haven't had any problem with losing where I didn't want to, and haven't heard of anyone else having that problem, either.
                    5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
                    Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
                    Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
                    Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
                    ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                      Also the temperatures Mark mentioned were much less extreme. He was talking about 61 degrees, not ice baths. More is not always better.
                      It is time to put down the Kool-aid. Mark didn't say anything about temperature for CT. The study he cited used 61 degree temps. As far as I can tell Mark has little to no personal experience with CT. Mark did some reading pulled some studies and put together a well thought out blog post that has no real world results in it. Take it as some good source information but the article was little more then that.

                      On this topic you have no idea if more is not better.
                      Check out my primal blog: http://primalroar.posterous.com/

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                      • I appreciated

                        you are best!

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                        • Originally posted by MamaGrok View Post
                          All-over ice baths don't really spot-reduce the way spot icing does, b/c it's much warmer, I think.
                          try 32F water. it should still be under 40F when you get out.

                          totally different animal
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                          • Originally posted by quelsen View Post
                            try 32F water. it should still be under 40F when you get out.

                            totally different animal
                            Have you noticed that the people selling CT always say to keep the water in the 50-80 degree range? I think this is because they don't want to be held liable for killing someone with hypothermia. While hypothermia is a very real concern with 32 degree water, it can be done with great success if one adapts to it and doesn't go it alone.

                            Wim Hof, the Dutch Iceman who started this all, packs himself in ice, swims under the ice on lakes, and runs barefoot in the snow. He can't very well say 'use 60 degree water' when everyone sees him in freezing water.

                            32 degree water is definitely a different animal and I have seen whole-body apoptosis from it. I don't think one would become an unsightly freak if they just iced their legs, because it isn't like it will get rid of every single fat cell exposed to cold water. Also, I hope no one takes this to mean that a single dip in 32 degree water is a substitute for liposuction.

                            I worked my way down to 32 degree water over several months, I think anyone who is doing the cold baths needs to experience 32 degree water. Even if it's just standing in a bucket full of it. It is a world of difference from 60 degree water.

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                            • Originally posted by otzi View Post
                              I worked my way down to 32 degree water over several months, I think anyone who is doing the cold baths needs to experience 32 degree water. Even if it's just standing in a bucket full of it. It is a world of difference from 60 degree water.
                              How long did it take you to go from, say 50 degree water, down to 32-35 degrees? I’d like to gauge my progress, make sure I’m not pushing myself too hard.

                              I’ve been trying CT for almost 3 weeks, in the 52 degrees/30-40 minutes range. I made the jump a couple of days ago to 45 degrees/40 minutes.

                              I thought 7 degrees colder would be no big deal, but it is huge.

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                              • My reasoning for training afterward is just experimental. I stumbled upon it, like I've posted, after casually picking up some weights about 10 minutes after a CT session (enough time to get out of the tub, let myself air dry and walk downstairs). I picked up the weights and just felt "stronger." I did a few sets of exercises that I generally know my maximum capacity (push-ups) and was able to sustain the exercise with more endurance (in this case, 45 straight push-ups when generally I'm around 35 until failure). This was a big difference in something you don't normally see strength gains with that big of a margin. That is why I have continued these N=1 experiments.

                                To really take it seriously, I need to take better record of maximum capacity on certain lifts to failure both before and after CT, and control for factors such as the time of the CT and meals consumed prior. I usually take coconut oil, MCT oil and a high dose of fat before CT, which does cause a thermogenic response but might also contribute to better performance from the direct energy from MCT's post-CT. I ignored this factor at the beginning because I usually use MCT's in some form as a pre-workout, but again, this is very loosely controlled.

                                I'd love to see others try this though because I really do think there is a window after CT where I am capable of more work output in the weightroom. If this can be used for additional health benefits in-terms of gaining muscle or getting stronger, a lot more people would be willing to undertake CT.

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