Most of the people in our society are experiencing some physical symptoms that reflect the negative effects of their lifestyle. Instead of using natural stressors to calm the body and illicit self-healing in the body, we’re taking medications. Wyatt Ewing, founder of The Ice Barrel, wanted to look at natural and effective ways to improve health and escape from this epidemic of overstressed, overworked, overstimulated, and medicated people. Thus, The Ice Barrel was born. It is a custom US-made oak barrel designed for taking ice baths. Wyatt is joined by sales director Chris O’Connor and marketing director Joby Stanford to talk about the health benefits of The Ice Barrel.
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast:
The Ice Barrel with Founder Wyatt Ewing
Radical improvements in your immune system, mood, focus, energy and overall health. Key leaders in all industries including Tony Robbins, Paul Chek, Laird Hamilton and Tim Ferriss are utilizing the benefits of the ice bath. If they’re doing it, why aren’t you?
We’re joined by Wyatt Ewing. He’s the Founder of The Ice Barrel. Chris O’Connor, he’s the Sales Director and Joby Stanford is the Marketing Director of The Ice Barrel. Thanks for being on Business Leaders Podcast. We’re going to jump right in. Tell us about The Ice Barrel and who it’s for.
The Ice Barrel is a custom US made oak barrel designed for taking ice baths. We are based in Colorado. We started out of a garage. The Ice Barrel was originally founded out of a desire to connect deeper, go further and maintain equanimity through life’s challenges. It’s grown to give a balanced approach to health fitness through practicality and simplification.
That’s a lot of vocabulary. Let’s drill down into it. Let’s talk about how you got the notion about Ice Barrel and the journey to taking it from thought. What got you started down this road?
I was tired of being sick, addicted to stress hormones in the body and being overworked, overworking myself ultimately. I needed something to take me to the next level and to regain health and balance in my life. When I started exploring with cold therapy, I quickly needed to make a water cooler. I was having some amazing changes in my physiology. I started taking ice baths. I was so sick and tired of laying down in my bathtub upstairs looking at the ugly ceiling. Weighing down in the cold water is not a natural feeling to begin with. You’ve got to lean forward and huddle in there. The idea came when I was driving down the road and it clicked. I need to be able to lean forward and gauge my mind in a different way. Not trying to force myself to relax, but let it come naturally. I put the idea together with the barrel. A lot of work trying to design something that would work and be suitable for the product we created.
Let’s bounce off your point. My background is in health and if we look at the state of the way things are and our population and the number of pharmaceuticals that we see consumed every day. The pain epidemics that we see. The lack of strong immune systems and functions that we see. People are sick. Most of the people in our society are experiencing some physical symptoms that reflect the negative effects of their lifestyle. Instead of using natural stressors to calm the body and illicit self-healing in the body, we’re taking medications. There’s a pill for that. Seeing this clearly if you look from a wider lens, you’ll see how much we are not helping in our traditional approach. We’re looking at natural effective ways to improve our health and escape from this epidemic of overstressed, overworked, overstimulated and medicated people. We want to move away from that. We want to give people a new direction, a new path to move forward and experience the benefits that we’ve all been feeling.
For many of the folks out there that think about health, their first order of thought is not, “Let me go jump in a barrel full of ice.” It’s, “Let’s join a health club, go workout, run, walk, modify your diet,” and so on. Within all of that thought process, you have headed toward this particular application or technology. What’s the science behind what you’re talking about?
You brought up a good point with exercise and eating. There’s a simple word, hormesis. This is newer research. What we found is giving the body a short burst of stress like exercise, cold exposure, heat, extreme temperatures, fasting is another one. Giving the body a dose of these short bursts of stress, cold exposure being the strongest trigger, using these little techniques, we can see the body improve across the board.Meditation is hard. We are always trying to find a way to quiet the mind because we all know that the stressors accumulate and we get foggy. Click To Tweet
If you think about that, people would go, “Am I still going to have to work out?” What’s this?
There are only a few ways, a few triggers that the body truly responds to. A lot of times we’re trying to fix the symptoms. We see it in people with pharmaceuticals. Using exercise, cold exposure specifically is the strongest.
On Tim Ferriss’s podcast, he’ll talk about some of the people that are doing cold therapy. Tony Robbins has a plunge tank at his place. It looks like underground refrigerated water. Tim Ferriss talks about getting in the bathtub, getting in horizontal as you do and putting bags of ice in there. Here’s a guy that you talked about, Wim Hof, hiking around in shorts and it’s snowing like mad. Initially, you look at them and we go, “Screw those. You like the pain.” I don’t think people understand the evolution of mitochondria in the body and what it does and replacement, how all of this fits in. You were talking about some of the effects on body fat reduction when you added The Ice Barrel regimen with your workout schedule. What did you see?
Stimulating weight loss. Cold exposure will stimulate the growth of brown fat. That’s the good fat. That burns energy and keeps the body warm. There’s great research. Rhonda Patrick is one of the leaders in the field and is putting a lot of beautiful research out as far the effects of cold exposure. When you talk about mitochondria, the stress of cold. Is one of the triggers for the mitochondria in each cell to renew, to restore, to go stronger and to become more active. Even at the smallest level, the cellular level of our body, the natural stressor of cold is a strong trigger to elicit improvements of mitochondria. You say mitochondria biogenesis where you’re creating new mitochondria. Looking at the impacts on health long-term are pretty incredible.
I think about the folks reading and their eyes are starting to cross or going like, “Biology class. Here we go again.” In a course review if folks want to see what the benefits and use of the mitochondria are in the body, they can go to Wikipedia and look into it. Effectively, it’s like the carburetor of the cells. It gets the energy going. If they get tired, they get replaced. If you think about that, what you’re looking at in The Ice Barrel is a mechanism to add an additional step to your wellness or workout regimen.
If you think about most of the problems we have, I work with people their breathing patterns are shortened. A variety of things, inflammation in the body, all these things start to improve.
I don’t think people fully appreciate the challenge of inflammation and the damages that inflammation contributes to those on in the body. It’s counterintuitive to jump in a barrel full of ice water. You had this notion and there’s various applications out there, cryotherapy, places where you go.
What we find so much with cryotherapy, it’s the difference between running on a treadmill inside and running on a trail outside. You’re breathing fresh air when you’re in the ice barrel. You’re getting a different level of renewal of the mind that you’re not going to find when you’re standing in a tank getting sprayed with cold air.
We try to make it easier and more acceptable to the population. That in and of itself is a problem. It is the focus and the strength required of the mind to withstand the cold. That also is a huge part of the benefits that we’re seeing.
There’s the will to get in.
We try and pass that up with most things we do. We want to make exercise easier. We want to take the pill. We want to do these things, but it is that hardship, that trial, practicing daily, and overcoming daily this ability to get in the cold and withstand it. That in and of itself is a catalyst for change. If you think on the level of the ability to focus, the ability to recognize the negative inner dialogue that most of us carry with us through every day, getting in a cold bath will expose you. It will expose that dialogue that tends to run and overwhelm us every day. Once it’s seen, once we can look in ourselves and see, “What am I thinking that’s making me feel so timid about this?” That in and of itself is extremely empowering. It’s a huge part of a piece of the puzzle when you talk about overcoming sickness, improving health and feeling good.
It’s one of those things where the body heals itself. This is a contribution that’s particularly getting to be more well-known. The challenge is if you’re aware of it, have you scratch that itch? If there’s not a cryotherapy thing around, if you don’t have to live in a house or an apartment with the bathtub, you’re challenged on what you can do. You go from thought process to execution. With most people, the idea dies on a kitchen table, so you went further. Let’s talk about the journey from idea to execution.
A lot of time went into manufacturing the barrel to last long to be the correct size for virtually anybody. We offer two different sizes, a 300-liter and a 500-liter. It will fit anybody. There’s a lot of structural engineering that goes into a barrel to get it to contain the water and take the abuse of getting in and out every day. We went through that process of getting these manufactured. A little bit of trial and error there until we got the right product. It was a lot of application. “Let’s test it. Let’s make sure it works. Let’s prove that it’s going to last a long time.” It was a challenge at first, but I was thinking back a little bit. My biggest mistake was not doing it sooner. We have this preconceived idea that timing will be right one day. The timing is always right. It’s always now. When it comes to health, fitness, finances and spirituality, it’s always now that you do it. It’s not tomorrow. It’s not New Year’s Day. It’s now. I look back and I’m like, “I should put it to motion sooner.” I’m glad I did. I did take those steps going through the struggle of getting the product to where it needed to be.
You’ve got your prototype done. You’ve done the field testing. You are the poster child for jumping in and out, drinking your Kool-Aid. You are doing that. You’ve had a big body fat reduction from what I understand. Where did you go from what number to what number?
I know overall you look at that it was fairly low, to begin with but around 15% body fat all the way down to 6.5% to 7% is where I’m at.
You think about that and you’ve had that. You went through all the testing and so on. You’ve got a product that’s ready for market. What did you start doing to take and let the world know what you’ve got going on?
Naturally, we connected on social media, which has been a huge driver of traffic to the product. We have a website, TheIceBarrel.com, where you can go and order the product, review the health benefits. See us jumping in it. Also partnering up with different fitness centers and CrossFit gyms and race facilitators to bring the product to do the ice bath challenge and get into the community with the product. It’s been well-received overall.When you follow that call inside, you'll never let yourself down. Click To Tweet
When you talk to these folks about your technology and application, what are the typical concerns or commentary that you hear from folks before they can commit to pick up the technology?
A big concern that I hear most is, “How do I get in and out of the barrel? Am I so cold that I can’t get out of the barrel? My muscles are tense and I feel like frozen.” It’s not like that at all. It’s very simple. We recommend using a short-step stool or a stepladder to get into the barrel. We recommend always having somebody else present with you while you’re doing it. Trust me you have no issue getting out of that water. You’re not in there long enough to start the freezing process. You have no issue getting out of the barrel. You pull yourself right up, have somebody grab your hand and help you out. It’s very simple. The barrel looks big, but it’s not as big as a lot of people see in photos and the way they perceive it. It’s fairly easy to get in and out no matter how old you are.
There’s nothing as interesting as seeing someone else suffer. You enjoyed doing that.
You could pick this up for your other spouse to help them get better. You get some amusement. You’ve got the product. You’ve got it out there. People are starting to find you on social media. Before I get too far, how do they find you on social media?
On Instagram, it is @IceBarrel. On Facebook and Twitter, it’s @TheIceBarrel, very simple. You do a quick Google search, you’ll find our website. Also on social media, we’re getting a lot of cross-promotion going on, so you’ll be able to look up ice baths and you’ll be able to scroll through the feeds and see Ice Barrel.
You have a YouTube channel as well.
We do. It’s The Ice Barrel.
That’s going on. Folks are going to want to know what’s the typical price point that they should consider when they’re looking at perhaps committing to buying an ice barrel?
We have a couple different options. For the 300-liter barrel, which is 80 gallons, you’re looking at $1,999.99. For the 500-liter barrel, which is roughly 120 gallons, you’re looking at $2,799. One thing that’s neat is we have amazing financing options from a set rate and a monthly term to no interest-no payments for a set time as well. We’ve made this affordable for every household and everybody. You can review all of that on our website at TheIceBarrel.com.
A lot of times there is the resistance to getting in the car and going to the local fitness center. In this case, this is good news and bad news. There’s no excuse. It’s at your home. You don’t have to get up, get out and get on the road. You go and get in your barrel. I would recommend outside.
The barrel doesn’t leak like you think a whiskey barrel or a wine barrel. When you fill it up, it’s going to leak. We have it completely sealed. We can talk a little bit more about the uniqueness of the product. You can use an interior application as long as you’re okay getting the floor a little wet when you do get in. For different gyms and fitness centers, they have those designs where the waters flow or drains and slopes. We do recommend putting it out on your back patio. We have a design that you order online. We ship it right to your driveway. You get it, you set it up. The product comes with a stand. Put the stand in the desired location either on your patio in the yard. Keep it up off the ground. You put the barrel on top. It comes with a lid. You put the lid on top then a cover that’s a UV-repellent, waterproof preserving the product over time. We have a cool drainage system as well that you can connect to a hose and drain it off into the yard opposed to flooding your patio when you need to change the water out.
That works well. We’ve been talking about that for a bit of time. Let’s shift gears a little bit. As you’re going through this process from idea to design to marketing, what keeps you motivated or inspired to continue to go forward with The Ice Barrel project?
Getting in it every single day.
I’ll speak to Wyatt at this point. I met Wyatt. We’re both coming back from our family vacation and talking to him on a plane and he was sick at the time. He mentioned he’s been sick a few weeks prior. Here we are eight months later. At the time, he was running, had a second kid on the way. The guy is volunteering. He’s doing a lot more than your average 24-year-old is out there. In the last eight months, you’ve seen a guy who’s completely transformed, with just the body fat alone. That’s a small thing but the mindfulness, the immune system, the ability to think bigger and broader and optimize his life, it’s making his personal and family’s health better. In the day-to-day that we live with the number of stressors and external stuff that we have constantly been fed to us, I’ve seen a guy completely transform how he deals with stress and how it’s affected his relationships around him. To speak to Wyatt at that point if that doesn’t motivate you, what does? You’re improving yourself. At the end of the day, that’s going to come around and help your family.
It gets routine where you get in. Do you find yourself effectively preprogramming your mental process when you get in the barrel? Do you try to solve problems? Do you think out things you try to take and go to zero state? What do you do?
I do try to get to that zero state. I also find that I’m there when I’m in the barrel. I love this quote, “An overactive mind is no mind at all.” That’s by Theodore Roethke.
That’s that zero mistake. What is zero state? Zero state is you’re only focused on one thing. That’s complete mindfulness and peace of mind. We would all kill for two minutes of that. Quiet the background noise and that’s it. A lot of that is an internal dialogue. Joby was talking about it. It leaves the picture and 30 seconds of that, a minute of that, is going to help you.Challenge yourself, see yourself, and empower yourself. Click To Tweet
Getting out of the barrel as well, that quietness of mind follows you throughout your day. We have so much being thrown at us in the way of advertising relationships, different demands on us all the time, being able to take a step back and look inward for your answers to life, not outward. Not Google searching your problems, not calling all your friends and talking about your problems, but quiet in your heart and your mind and expanding from inward outward.
I’ll touch on that. We are always trying to find a way to quiet the mind because we all know that the stressors accumulate and we get foggy. Meditation is hard. We were trying to do a lot of these things. Think of it this way, cold exposure, when you get in, initially this breathing starts. The body automatically wants to go deeper with the breadth. This begins a process of rebooting the entire system. Your autonomic nervous system goes through a change during that process. This breathing the autonomic nervous system’s reaction to the cold and the focus to go into it creates a deeper meditation state than you can usually achieve in any other way. It forces these things to happen and that’s the beauty of using a natural tool. The benefits are already built in. All we’ve got to do is a tap-in and use it and expose ourselves to it.
While we’re trying all these techniques, in the end, they can be pretty limited in their effect. Cold is one of those things. Just the thought of it triggers a response in you. It is the hardship of it for the system that creates a deeper meditative state than almost any other method. You think about productivity, we want to be productive. We want to be creative. We want to achieve our life dreams. These things are almost impossible when we are inundated with the stressors that end up limiting the higher functions of our body. If your body is not in the right place, if your body feels tense and stress, it ends up severely limiting the mind’s ability to be creative, productive, to get things done, to have new ideas and using the trigger of cold to limit that chronic stress. Short bursts of stress limits chronic stress. Ultimately, it’s a gateway to deeper meditative states, to be more creative and productive in whatever your endeavor is. It’s cool.
Why are these key leaders in the industry using this? We all have our own reasons why we see the benefits. There’s a reason why key executives, CEOs across Europe, are seeking out Wim Hof and some of his methods that are tied to cold therapy. It’s spreading and there’s an undercurrent that this is providing a lot of tangible benefits. There was no real way to do it correctly. You have people in bathtubs. You have people with freezers turned over on the side. You have inflatable pools. When you came back you have this aesthetically handmade American oak barrel that looks good on your back patio. Your neighbors aren’t going to say, “Why is the freezer turned upside down and what are Mary and Joe doing in their backyard?” Despite it, it looks good. We have people that they want the oak barrel for themselves. It’s a nice piece.
I think about that evolution too to where you are at. It’s taking advantage of evolution and what our bodies do to stressors and taking advantage of making it convenient and reconnecting. This is what it seems like to me. The convenience factor is extremely important. Is there a typical temperature range in the water that you try to achieve when you do this?
It depends on where you live in the world and what climate you’re exposed to. If you live in Puerto Rico, a 60-degree water is cold. Here in Colorado, we like to get it down into the low 30s. Even at times, we can even go below freezing with the barrel which is neat. It depends on what you’re looking to achieve. You can always add another five pounds of ice to get the water colder. As you continue to practice this ritual for renewal, you’ll be able to go to the next level as your body builds a tolerance by adding simply more ice.
They could start with cold water?
I think about when the shower goes cold in my house, that makes one move out of the showerhead. That’s my typical response time.
It will take time to adapt. It was Paul Chek, who is a world-famous practitioner, talked about this correlation of the fear and the inability to get in the cold correlates to the weakness of the autonomic nervous system. It takes time to build that function back in, to build the robustness of the body back, so starting with warmer water and slowly easing in, it’s a great strategy.
It’s overcoming obstacles and small steps. You think about this and you mastered further. How long did it take for you going into the barrel before you started to see tangible effects for you?
A week. The first time you do it, everybody says, “I’m so nervous.” As soon as they get out of the barrel, everyone always says, “I feel amazing.” You do feel amazing. You start noticing an improvement first in your mood. This is amazing for alleviating depression and anxiety. Joby can touch on a little bit more on that. From a health standpoint, within a week of doing it, you’ll notice significant improvement.
The first four hours after getting in the ice barrel, the first time you get in, you’re going to feel different. If you take a cold shower, jump in there, if you can take it for two minutes, five minutes, you’re going to feel phenomenally better than if you had to take your normal shower. Take this to dial it up to ten. You’re going to feel the effects for a solid four hours, five hours after and that builds on itself. The effects are immediate. What we’re talking about the release of norepinephrine in the body. It’s an antidepressant, antianxiety mood stabilizer. Immediately you get this response triggered in the body. That’s why a lot of times people will come right out. You’re feeling better already. The chemicals are releasing. The body has sent the signal I need to wake up. It is survival mode, but after with the release of norepinephrine and all these things, it totally changes the mood. It totally changes your mood. It’s cool.
Along the process of putting this all together, was there a challenge or a failure along the way that helped you get to this point and capitalize on that particular challenge or failure?
Early on, it was that initial fear of failure would be a mistake of how is this product going to be received in the marketplace? How are people going to respond? There were a lot of legalities I had to work through. There was this initial fear of failure, but as I continued to let that go and continue to answer the call inside, things started to fall into place. It was very seamless. There was a lot of effort put into it, but there was a form of it was effortless. People would come to me at different points and say, “It helped me along the way. I have a great idea for this aspect of the barrel. I have a great idea for this aspect of marketing.” It came together seamlessly. I always say, “You can use whatever word you like, but what God demands of you is always very simple. It might not be easy.” Getting in the barrel is not easy, but it’s a simple act. Starting a business is not easy, but it’s simple. When you follow that call inside, you’ll never let yourself down.
It’s how it came together when we’re looking at something that’s going to benefit a lot of people. Through that, we came together by chance in a way. When you look at that, there’s a power in that. Some of the best businesses we’ve seen, some of the best ideas created out there, stem from things that are created or ethnically and that’s where we are at. We’re three like-minded guys that came together and said, “We’ve got something here. This is going to help a lot of people.”The more tools you have, the more insight you have into your daily habits, patterns, and behaviors. Click To Tweet
It’s solving a problem. If you think about it, whatever you’re developing solves a problem. I think about the broad problem here the media all the time. Overprescribed, overmedicated, overstressed, overworked, everything over. You go on a simple act to get wellness. It’s not you have to bench 200 pounds. You have to manage yourself into the barrel and get back out. I would say the motivation for coming back out is probably a little stronger than the motivation of getting in. With that, if you could take it and put an ad out on page one of the local paper, what would it say about The Ice Barrel?
I did prepare a quote, but it’s a little different than The Ice Barrel. If I could put an ad out, I would say, “Challenge yourself, see yourself and empower yourself.” These are the three things that happened with The Ice Barrel. Three you would call are tangible but intangible too. That would be my advertising. The daily ability to challenge yourself gives you the ability to gain awareness about yourself. That is extremely empowering. The more tools you have, the more insight you have into your daily habits and patterns and behaviors. All these things get exposed as you try to go into this hard practice every day. You are slowly chipping away and exposing the things that have kept you in the negative habits. It ends up that awareness and ability to see yourself trying these hard things is the power.
It is the power to feel like you can move forward and achieve the things you want to achieve. We were talking about the business. I remember why when we were looking at this idea of trying to create a product like you said that can solve some of these big problems. I work with people every day. I don’t know anyone who is not having some physical symptom and we know there’s only a couple of things that will start to reverse the body’s dysfunction. Cold exposure is one of them. Looking at this big project and trying to solve this big problem, look only to the next step. Look only to that immediate next step and the problems will unfold and they will solve themselves as we move forward into this. I thought it was a beautiful thing. It kept us moving forward, which is oftentimes the hardest part in starting something like this.
One foot in front of the other.
It’s that old phrase, but it is the truth. Anxiety is the inability to look only at the next step. The anxiety to always try and forecast the future. That instills a deep fear in the body. When you overcome that and can look to the immediate future, it changes everything.
For you on the allocation of time to get this project from an idea to execution, what was the best allocation of time or initiative that helped you the most?
Joby said, “One foot in front of the next, one step after the next step.” Every time you spend time worrying about the future, you’re not focusing on what you can be doing right now. Continue to keep focused on what’s the next step in this big process.
One thing too is the best allocation in implementation was practicing what we preach. Drinking our own Kool-Aid. When I spoke about the guy I met in March to the guy I know now, it was someone who started to put it into practice, started with a cold shower and that started with 30 seconds, a minute, which is we were saying that we both gone up to ten minutes and easy. You get in the water and more. It doesn’t even feel the same with The Ice Barrel, so implementing what we are trying to get out to the world. That was the most important thing. What benefits are we seeing personally and they are coming? They are happening.
In the podcast, they talk to consultants often. I’ll say, “Have you pointed your consultancy at your own firm and evaluated your firm or are you doing it yourself?” You’d be amazed at how many are either not or not that much doing it yourself and going, “I’m a poster child,” is a testament. Is there anything that I need to know in the unusual habits space as far as other than jumping in barrels full of ice?
It ties into jumping in a barrel full of ice. It is that practicing mindfulness that we all know that how you start your day can a lot of times set the tone. By doing something as simple as not even looking at your phone and checking email that first hour to the day, don’t go to your coffee maker and go sit right down and go right into your first conference call. You can get fifteen minutes. We all get fifteen minutes in the day. That gets you ten minutes in a cold shower, it gets you five minutes in The Ice Barrel. We’re all very confident that once people started using this and implementing into their daily routine in the morning, one of the biggest feedbacks we’re going to get is, “I feel that first four or five hours of the day, I don’t need that second, third cup coffee anymore. I feel amazing. I feel sharper. I feel more dialed in.” What Joby has been talking about in terms of the inflammatory response, the anxiety and things like that, it’s going to help.
It may help in some areas more than others, but the fact of your alertness and how you start your day in quieting down external ways is going to be a big factor. I say schedule fifteen minutes of your day, start with cold showers. If you don’t believe in this Ice Barrel concept, start with the cold shower. That’s going to evolve into something like, “We’re on to something.”
We’ve talked a little bit about why you take an ice bath and so on. Is there anything with respect to the technology and research findings that I haven’t asked that I should have asked?
There is so much to talk about with the benefits. We’ll talk about some things. People like Rhonda Patrick are doing great research out there. Paul Chek, these are other resources that you can look into when you’re talking about cold bathing. He talks about the first fifteen minutes of the day. If you wake up and your first natural response is to check the phone and get the coffee, you are caught in the loop. You are caught in a recycled sympathetic tone of the nervous system. We all know the word fight, flight or freeze. You have been caught by the demands of life. Anyway, rearranging that is what he’s talking about. Rearranging that simple pattern can make the change.
I’ve noticed for me in the last few months is the process of psyching yourself up to get into cold water has flipped on its head in terms of my daily tasks. I don’t think about them as much. I get it done. I’ve noticed that’s how it’s affecting my daily routines.
I would say to the benefits, if we can break it down simple, most of us are experiencing some dysfunction or sickness in our body. The Ice Barrel or ice bathing is one of the tools to create a body that is self-healing. When you see a body that’s dysfunctional and has chronic issues and most people reading will know their chronic back pain, migraines, all these things. These are classic responses to a body that is limited in its ability to self-heal. Ice bathing is one of the methods to create a body that is deciding to grow stronger, more robust and be healthier.
To circle back around your question, it’s by improving brain function, cold therapy builds a tolerance to discomfort. We live in a world with relationships in people, in the community. We are constantly going to be having some form of conflict. Being able to build a tolerance for discomfort, you will be able to handle your conflict in business and relationship on a calmer level. You’ll be able to act out a form of response opposed to that upfront reaction. You’ll be able to tone it down and be able to have an equal view perspective on what’s going down.Ice bathing is one of the methods to create a body that is deciding to grow stronger, more robust, and be healthier. Click To Tweet
I think about as a kid growing up, you’d see the pictures of the Scandinavians. They’d be in some steam room, a heat place. They go jump through a hole in the ice. We’re in a world where there are crazy Scandinavians, but they apparently had it figured out.
I came back from Sweden and they are some of the healthiest people I’ve ever seen. Everybody knows. Everybody who has experienced this is in the know and in cultures has been in the know for a long time. Our society is the one that has decided to reverse the idea of what health is and instead try and manufacture health, but it’s much simpler than that. Using the simpler method is much more potent. Cold is a much more potent tool in medicine than most of the things we are prescribing on a daily basis.
This is not a new concept. This is an ancient path by early man to bathe and to give water and whatever may be. They’re exposed to the cold. Monks did this for thousands of years under waterfalls in the Japanese winters. This is a new idea and this has been lost.
Hot waters are a new idea. When you guys do the ice bath and bathing and stuff, have you guys had a personal experience or a thought process or a realization that you’d want to share that came to you?
A couple of things that I have on a more esoteric level have realized is Wyatt, who am I? One thing that I am not, I am not my body. I don’t have to coddle my body and I don’t have to give it attention where it’s not needed. Many times, we get wrapped up and we are our pain and we’re not that. We can renew our minds. We can go deeper. It’s realizing that my body is along for the ride. I’m not this a physical beam, but I’m more than that. It has been this deep realization in the barrel that I am capable of more. I have the ability to go further and dig deeper. I don’t need to sit in my pain and my suffering. I can get beyond that and be in a higher state of being.
For me, it made me more aware of my day-to-day, the comforts that I can seek out sometimes subconsciously. At the end of the day, they’re not moving me forward in my life. They’re holding me back. That can be eating more comfort foods, having the heat turned up a little higher in the house. It’s not what our ancient ancestors had. It’s not built into our DNA. It is what’s causing what we started this podcast off with like some of these diseases that we’re seeing nationwide. This is one little tool to hack into your body’s primal sense. This is who you are. The human body is capable of amazing things. Let’s get back to that.
I think about any of us that have had any athletic background and you twist an ankle or you get something that starts to swell. The first thing they do, by and large, is put a bag of ice on it. I think about the mental image of swelling or a pain point from the day-to-day and how do you reduce the swelling. You go ahead and get that done. There’s real value in that as a thought process. The body has been designed for years and years to take and heal itself because there was no other mechanism to do so.
It also reduces the swelling of stress in the heart and mind.
Injury, it swells. Stress builds tension. Tension through the system, the muscular system, the body, the ice relieves it. It dissolves it. The shivering alone is like a natural reboot for your internal computer, your internal system, muscular system. It breaks apart the natural tension that arises with our stress levels.
Our computers are running slower and growing up, it was always we’d say, “I’ve got to restart this. It’s bogged down. There’s too much going on in my PC.” If that’s your internal computer, that’s what you’re doing by spending a few minutes. You’re hitting that. You’re restarting that.
What I found is with my own experience with ice and showers and ice bathing is you do not realize how strong your body is. We are totally lost in the idea of what our body is capable of. It carries over to our mind, but the body is incredibly strong. You’ve got to give it the chance to be that. The ice bath is a way to allow it to open up and be as strong as it can be.
Quotes that you like or quotes that came to you?
This is from a local author, Scott Carney, here in Denver, Colorado. He’s an investigative journalist. His job is to be skeptical and find out are some of these methods true? Are their benefits real and tangible? He spent a lot of good time with Wim Hof. This is a foreword by Wim Hof, “It’s time to bring Mother Nature’s power back into our awareness. We are warriors seeking strength and happiness for everyone. Together, we regained what we’ve lost. In other words, there’s nothing else to say other than breathe. Wim Hof.”
That works. That guy is an interesting guy. Google Wim Hof and see his exploits and applications.
He’s been doing this for a long time and people thought he was crazy until the science caught up, until they looked at what was happening in his body and the actual effects of what it enables him to withstand the cold. That’s where people woke up and said, “There’s something much more than the idea of athletic recovery or the idea of crazy Swedes jumping in the water. There are real changes in the physiology happening.” All of us need those changes.Cold is a much more potent tool in medicine than most of the things we are prescribing on a daily basis. Click To Tweet
A lot of the professional athletes have adopted cryotherapy as part of the recovery regimen and dealing with the injury and so on. There’s the best science on the planet that money could purchase was pointed toward that way. This is a method for you to bring home to yourself.
We are saying for athletes, we know it’s important recovery, but in solving the larger issues our reliance on pharmaceuticals and the unhealthy nature of our population, that is the other piece of what we think we can solve with The Ice Barrel.
I was at two-a-day painkiller for stress migraines, headaches. I work out heavily so different aches and pains. I was two-a-day, one in the morning, one at night. I haven’t had a painkiller pass my lip in eight months. It hasn’t been hard.
That’s a great testament. We already talked about how others can find you on social media. The social media space, the biggest mistake you can make is not reaching out. What’s next for you with The Ice Barrel?
Continue our partnerships with different organizations, to continue to bring the message and the benefits to the world. We’re definitely excited because we’re going to be able to ship overseas, which is great. We’ll be able to put this into everybody’s hands.
People don’t know that it’s out there. One of the reasons why we’re on this podcast, as word spreads if you put it in the #icebath or #icebarrel, you’re going to see what we talked about in terms of people jumping in freezers that are turned upside down, their bathtubs and things like that. Once they see how applicable this is and easy, it’s going to spread.
I appreciate you taking the time to share the journey and the benefits. I look forward to continued success.
- The Ice Barrel
- @IceBarrel on Instagram
- The Ice Barrel on Facebook
- @TheIceBarrel on Twitter
- The Ice Barrel on YouTube
- Paul Chek
- Wim Hof
About The Ice Barrel
Based in Colorado and started out of a garage. The Ice Barrel was founded out of the desire to connect deeper, go further and maintain equanimity through life’s challenges. The Ice Barrel has grown to give a balanced approach to health and fitness through practicality and simplicity.