Contrast Therapy

“Go Past your own Fear. Breathe. Use the cold. Just Do it. Just Feel it” – Wim Hof

Contrast therapy comes from a tradition that has been used for centuries by athletes and, more recently, Wim Hof fans. The contrast therapy experience begins as you alternate between hot and cold therapy treatments, cycling between infrared sauna sessions, cold water immersion plunges, and rest.

Our contrast therapy is a combination of infrared sauna, cold water plunge, and breathwork designed for full body revitalization utilizing the benefits of heat in the sauna, combined with the invigorating process of cold water immersion and the composure of intentional breathing.

Your veins go from constriction in the cold to dilation in the heat, getting your body pumping new blood to all areas and flushing out metabolic waste in the process.

What is Contrast Therapy?

Combining hot and cold extremes is known as contrast therapy. You will cycle between hot and cold with your own private infrared sauna and cold plunge tub. Holos MD is one of the few boutique wellness clinics in the Newport Beach area with a private contrast therapy suite.

The key to contrast therapy is the rapid changes in your circulatory system when you alternate between hot and cold temperatures. The infrared sauna will directly heat the core of your body and cause vasodilation, a widening of the blood vessels resulting from the relaxation of smooth muscle within the vessel walls (particularly the large veins and arteries, and smaller arterioles).

As you transition to your private cold-water plunge and immerse yourself in cold water, your body will cool down and cause vasoconstriction, resulting in a narrowing of the blood vessels. This series of hot sauna and cold-water immersion therapy improves local blood circulation.

What’s even more profound about contrast therapy is its ability to induce lymphatic circulation and speed recovery. While the heart plays an integral role as a central pump for the circulatory system, the lymphatic system (consisting of the lymph nodes) does not have its own natural pump. Due to the dilation and contraction of the lymphatic vessels made possible through contrast therapy, stagnant fluid can be removed from injured areas, reducing inflammation and healing damaged tissue.

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Benefits Of Contrast Therapy 

Faster Recovery | Relief from Pain and Inflammation

  • Promotes faster healing and rehabilitation
  • Faster muscle recovery
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves post-surgery rehabilitation

Overcome Fear | Lower Anxiety

  • Cold therapy can help you manage your reactions to feelings of stress and other emotions
  • Greater presence and heightened awareness
  • Strengthened mental endurance and reconditioning 

Immunity Boost | Detox

  • Triggers an autonomic nervous response
  • Increases white blood cell count
  • Produces lymphatic contraction and releases fluid through the lymph nodes help detoxify the body
  • Drains lactic acid

Improved Mood | Mental Wellness | Elevated Energy

  • Enhances energy, mood, and cognitive function
  • Increases in baseline dopamine levels for improved motivation, confidence, and focus
  • 5x boost of norepinephrine (neurotransmitter) to improve mood and relieve pain.
  • Longer and deeper sleep

Stress Relief​

  • Reduces cortisol levels (stress hormone)
  • Releases endorphins
  • Improves focus and helps improve the ability to identify negative thought patterns

How Contrast Therapy Works

The Contrast Therapy Cycle – Those who have never tried contrast and cold therapy services before may be a bit worried about what this treatment entails, so allow us to break it down for you:

Heat: 15 minutes
Toast yourself in our full-spectrum infrared sauna.
Cold: 1 -3 Minutes
Plunge into sanitary, refreshing 50-60 Degree water.
Heat: 15 minutes
Sit back and relax! Your body eases into homeostasis.
For maximum benefit. We recommend a 60-minute session. You go four times through the cycle: each time, the results are more profound.
Best Practices
Regular contrast therapy will help generate faster results and more noticeable changes. How often you do Contrast Therapy should be determined by your personal needs and goals. We generally recommend at least 1-3 contrast therapy sessions per week to achieve optimal results but making contrast therapy a part of your daily wellness ritual can have profound mental and physical benefits.

If it is your first-time doing contrast therapy don't worry, you will begin to develop your strengths and comfort level with both cold water immersion and infrared sauna, steadily increasing the duration of each series through experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Regular contrast therapy will help deliver faster results and more significant changes. How often you do contrast therapy should be determined by your personal needs and goals. Many people make contrast therapy a part of their daily or weekly routine. We generally recommend at least one session per week.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Although alternating between extreme temperatures plays an important role in your contrast therapy treatment, it is very important to stay hydrated before, during, and after each session. We have a curated selection of healthy, hydrating beverages that you can access, or we can provide complimentary bottled water.

Avoid applying oils, lotions, or other skin products prior to your visit. We also recommend eating a light to moderate snack, 1 to 2 hours before your contrast therapy session.

No. Do not participate in a contrast therapy treatment if you are pregnant.

Contrast therapy should be avoided by individuals with cardiovascular conditions or problems, extreme sensitivity or insensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, congestive heart failure, impaired coronary circulation, or those who are taking medications that might affect blood pressure.

If you’re using any prescription medication, are a senior or elderly, have an existing medical condition, or are using a pacemaker or defibrillator, please consult your physician beforehand. Other contraindications include, but are not limited to, various chronic conditions including Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, central nervous system tumors, Raynaud’s disease, lupus, diabetes with neuropathy, a recent joint injury (should not be heated for the first 48–72 hours after injury or until the hot and swollen symptoms subside), metal pins, rods, artificial joints or any other surgical implants in the body, pregnancy, or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Make sure you are hydrated before, during, and after your visit. Always consult your physician.

A bathing suit or swim trunks. Everything else is provided.


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