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Fire & Ice (& Fire & Ice): Floatasian’s New Contrast Therapy Treatment

Taking the plunge at the Floatasian’s ice bath - brrrrr!
2023-05-16 12:00:00

In Partnership with Floatasian

Fire and Ice Treatment — it's exactly what it sounds like.

Well, it's not exactly what it sounds like, but it's close.

Called "contrast therapy" in the West, in half-hour or hour sessions, Fire & Ice Treatment is basically this: people submerge themselves in an ice bath—kept at around 5 degrees celsius (!) — and then jump into a sauna (normal sauna temperature)—and then jump back in the ice bath (freezing!)—and then jump back in the sauna (hot!)—and then jump back into the ice bath (freezing!)—you get the idea.


The treatment has its roots in Finland, of course, the birthplace of the sauna, but other Nordic countries have their own variations. I guess back in Finland, saunas were common out on the snowy tundras, and it became the thing to do to spend 10 minutes or so in the sauna and then go outside and roll around in a snow bank.

Sound like a dare. Or like a drunk thing... or just a Finish people-are-kinda-crazy thing, maybe?(All three.) But ‘lo and behold, subjecting the body to extreme temperatures actually has both physiological and mental benefits. Floatasian has just recently dedicated facilities to just this treatment, and it's already become quite popular among their clientele for the unique benefits it imparts.

So, What's Actually Happening During the Process?

Your veins go from constriction in the cold to dilation in the heat. Rapidly.

The heat from the sauna causes blood vessels to dilate, which improves blood flow and reduces inflammation. The cold from the ice bath causes blood vessels to constrict, which improves circulation and reduces muscle soreness. This contrast between hot and cold temperatures gets your body pumping new blood to all areas and flushing out metabolic waste in the process.

Athletes and people who undertake demanding workout regimens are using contrast treatment to repair damaged proteins and cells, improve immune system response, speed up muscle recovery, and reduce fatigue.

As for the mental aspect, the cold shock of the ice water gives you a big-time natural brain buzz. The cold makes our body release noradrenaline and dopamine, which leave us with a natural feel-good ‘high' and improved mood.The cold also activates cold shock proteins. Cold shock proteins have been shown to regenerate brain synapses, which leads to increased memory function.

The short version is that if you go from sauna to ice bath, it will help you clear away fat, increase your circulation, and improve your mood and memory.

(But yeah, it's a rush!)

How to Take an Ice Bath

Not as easy as it sounds! Well, maybe it doesn't sound all that easy anyway. Floatasian has a whole article dedicated to how to acclimatize your body before you actually take the plunge. Because it's not easy. First you dunk your arms in, then you dunk your legs in, then your head, and when you're used ("used") to the icy temperature, you submerge everything.

It's a lot of this: "HOLY &@#&$, THAT'S COLD! FFFuuuuuu-"

The important thing to do is to remember to breathe. The icy water can set off your flight or fight response, and then next thing you know, you'll be running screaming down Dagu Lu in your underwear.

Enter the tub for three minutes. Breathe. Move to the sauna for 15 minutes. Breathe. Alternate between the two for the duration of your session, which is usually maybe twice in the ice bath for beginners. End off with the ice bath. Rinse off. Go home with an increased Spidey sense-type perception of your life and surroundings, a boosted metabolism, reduced stress, and relaxed muscles.

(You will probably sleep really well too.)

Fire & Ice Is Now Available at Floatasian

You bet it is. Run by two incredibly affable and zen Swedish brothers, Shanghai's favorite "float spa" has been pioneering sensory deprivation flotation treatment in China for almost a decade. After some recent renovations, the now even more futuristically serene venue on Dagu Lu is home to several tanks imported from Star Wars via Sweden that allow you to float effortlessly in salt water, "creating a feeling of deep relaxation that heals and rebalances both mind and body."

If you didn't know about the "Single Float Sessions", we wrote about them right here.

But if you want to be 1000% more metal, get the Fire & Ice session!

SmartTicket has discounts!

Fire and Ice 30-minute and 60-minute sessions are available to first-time Floatation guests at 50% off through for 288rmb and 388rmb, respectively.

Check it out!

And congrats to us for not dropping any Game of Thrones references! Too classy for it!