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Help Me Rube Goldberg Cold Water Therapy!

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  • Help Me Rube Goldberg Cold Water Therapy!

    Alright, I love cold water therapy, meaning cold showers and ice baths, and all that. It's a tough practice to start, but once you get used to it it's a rather attractive habit, especially for all the good things it's done for my health, and I wish to keep it a life-long practice.

    However, to my misfortune I've been unable to do cold water therapy regular for over two months now. I no longer have access to a bathtub I could dump ice in to cool down the water, and the Texas heat causes the showers to warm up *way* too much to take anything resembling a cold shower.

    The further difficulty is that it'll be a LONG time before I have a bathtub of my own again, and I don't want to simply wait for the season to change for the showers to cool down. As such, could you guys help me brainstorm a way to do cold water therapy, especially in a place like a gym? (No matter how awkward my setup will look to the public.)

    As far as I know, no gyms around me offer cold plunges. I visited spas that offer them, but they're both too expensive to do regularly, as I'd like to do cold water therapy weekly or more.

    The first spa I went to had a cold plunge of 64 degrees, and while it was refreshing I found it insufficient to challenge me given my still-standing adaptions from taking 45F ice baths. I swim in it like a little kid and don't feel like I really improving my health.

    The second spa had a 42F cold plunge, but I've unfortunately found that, in not taking ice baths regularly for so long, I've lost that depth of tolerance, making it excruciatingly painful. In my apartment bath I built up a tolerance of 20 minutes at 45F, but I could not stay in this 42F water for more than thirty seconds continuous, so I felt like I wasted my money on an ice bath that was too painful.

    Thus, I'd like to figure out a rig that would give me the benefits of cold therapy at a cheaper rate while allowing me to build up my tolerance to lower and lower temperatures in gradual increments.

    If I'm desperate, I know, I could probably pay a friend five dollars to use their bathtub, but that would be quite awkward (unless it were a female friend I intended to get friendly with after a big warming up).

    Buying a bag of ice and rubbing it on myself in a shower stall is another option, but that too seems impractical, particularly given the low surface area of exposure given the small ice cubes, the less overall cold, and that it likely won't challenge my deeper systems.

    The most practical thing that leaps to mind is that, since I work at a restaurant, I could wet my clothes and stand in the freezer. That ought to get coverage. Sometimes at night I'll fill a cambro with ice water and dunk my head in it, though while it causes a surge in my cranium I'm after total body cold exposure, ultimately.

    What can you think of?

  • #2
    How about a kiddie pool? They are cheap and big enough to get you core submersed. Your neighbors will think you are nuts, but we all deal with a bit of that!


    • #3
      Er, I guess I'll go ahead and let the cat out of the bag by saying I'm homeless. I've chosen to become so to most efficiently resolve my debts.

      I live out of my car, so there's no room for a kiddie pool. The only places I'd be able to perform any Rube Goldberg cold water therapy is in limited areas at my job, or else the gym locker room, like the shower.

      One Rube Goldberg construction -- though I don't like it -- I could think of is holding up a small sort of tub with holes in it, sticking a bunch of ice in it, and standing in the gym shower, running a cold (as I can get it) stream into it and letting ice water flow out through the holes. It would work, but I don't like the kind of weak exposure that would probably lead to, and how hella hard it would be to hold a tub that heavy for a full cold water therapy session.