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EP3: Cold Therapy, Should You?

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In this third episode of the Best Life (Coach) Podcast, we are discussing cold therapy and the use of the word “should”.

  • What is cold therapy
  • How can cold therapy benefit you
  • Methods we use to gain these benefits
  • Use of the word “should” and some ways we could reframe it

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Transcript:

Sarah Mae 0:00
Welcome to the Best Life (Coach) Podcast where we’re here to inspire and share tools to help you live your BEST life. I’m here with my co founders, Stephanie Nelb and Melissa Byone. And this week, were discussing cold therapy to kick it off, Stephanie, what have you been up to this week?

Podcast Intro 0:24
Intro (music by DJ Aly Abji)

Stephanie Nelb 0:44
Yeah, so I just got back from skiing for a few days in the frigid cold, it was probably about negative five degrees Fahrenheit at the coldest. And I was bundled up head to toe just trying desperately to stay warm. So yeah, just trying to live my best life by staying warm, but also embracing the cold at the same time. About you, Melissa?

Melissa Byone 1:13
I actually went to like my first in person event yesterday was other people and did like this exercise class and a workshop about confining or purpose. And probably my favorite part was just being around other like minded people who had an interest in, like, discovering what their purpose was, and being around other people and moving their body. So that was a really great experience. And I’m 100% looking forward to doing more of that. Awesome, yeah. What about you, Sarah?

Sarah Mae 1:51
I just had to quickly look it up because I’m based in Canada, we use Celsius over here, and minus five degrees Fahrenheit is like minus 20 degrees Celsius, which that is cold! I’m from Vancouver, so it doesn’t get minus 40, like it does in other parts of Canada. But yeah, minus 20 is cold. And my week, I’ve been creating a lot, but yesterday, I went out with some friends to a gallery called Moon and Back. It was essentially just different rooms, kind of like if you were going to like a movie studio. But each room had a different setup. And they were light installations. So one of the rooms we went in had lights hanging everywhere, and mirrors all around you. And that looked like you were flying through space. As you walked around. It was like all the stars in the sky. And then some of the walls were just LED walls. There’s one that had videos of trees and you’d go over and you would touch it and then it would look like it was creating magic around where you touched. It was lots of fun. So it was cool to go do something different especially when we hardly leave the house nowadays. So yeah.

Stephanie Nelb 3:06
That’s so cool. That sounds like it was a blast.

Sarah Mae 3:09
Yeah, it was fun.

Melissa Byone 3:10
100% It sounds amazing.

Sarah Mae 3:15
But this cold thing I’m stuck on. That is cold! Minus 20. I was up in the mountains here over the holidays. My mom was by Mount Washington and Vancouver Island and it was minus 17. And it’s never that cold. And my husband I went snowshoeing and I was scared as needed frostbite in my toes. They were so cold. They were painful. But then it went away after about 10 minutes of walking. But yeah, I’m not a big fan of the cold.

Melissa Byone 3:48
Me neither over the holidays, I too was in some cold up in North Dakota, it was negative 28 like 30. I experienced negative 28 outside like walked around. So freakin cold. Oh my gosh, like Fahrenheit. So what is that in Celsius? Like?

Sarah Mae 4:10
What was it?

Melissa Byone 4:11
Minus 28

Sarah Mae 4:16
Minus 33 degrees Celsius. That’s nuts. That’s like going up to like the Yukon or something. No, thank you.

Stephanie Nelb 4:24
Wow!

Melissa Byone 4:25
I Googled it. It’s like Antarctica is that cold!

Stephanie Nelb 4:29
I can’t believe North Dakota got that cold. I wouldn’t expect that.

Melissa Byone 4:33
Yeah. I didn’t either.

Stephanie Nelb 4:37
Quite the shift from Hawaii living

Melissa Byone 4:40
Quite! Quite! So says tell us how was it? How did you bear this cold weather?

Stephanie Nelb 4:47
Yeah, I mean, I did my best to stay warm. You know, I’m in the cold all winter long because I love to ski so in a way I’m used to it and I think adjusting to that throughout the season definitely helps to, you know, be able to be out on these negative five or negative 30 degree days. But you know, it’s trying to stay warm the best you can. But there are other ways that you can make sure that you’re prepared for the cold. And one of those is actually cold therapy, making sure that you’re adjusting your body over time to the cold and making your livable temperature range a little bit broader. So for example, there’s a, an expert in this field called Wim Hof. And he has created the Wim Hof Method. And what this does is combined cold therapy, the idea of just being in the cold embracing the really low temps, and being able to just maintain being in that environment. But he combines that with a breathing practice. And so this breathing practice is deep belly breathing. And he has a few different methods, I think, to doing this, some short breaths to help warm up your body from the interior and help warm your body as a whole. But this idea of combining the breath with a cold therapy and just that continued practice between the two is really what he stands on to make sure that he can bave the cold. And he does it valiantly. I mean, he will sit in his swim trunks in Iceland, and just have no problem. It’s, it’s wild.

Sarah Mae 6:39
Yeah, he’s super cool. Actually. He I just saw he posted on I think it was Instagram that there’s going to be a movie coming out about his life. Joseph Fiennes the guy that’s in Handmaid’s Tale is playing him. I’m excited to see that I think he’s got a really interesting story that’ll be fun to watch on the big screen.

Stephanie Nelb 7:00
Yeah, me too.

Melissa Byone 7:02
Steph, do you practice some of these breathing techniques, is that what you’re saying?

Stephanie Nelb 7:06
So I, I focused on the deep belly breath. So I don’t go into the specific practices that Wim Hof does, but it is something that I very much am curious to try and would love to dive deeper into one day. But even just the idea of having those deep belly breaths instead of breathing from your chest, and that that tightness that we usually get where your shoulders will kind of come up. And that’s where the shallow breathing takes place where, you know, you might find yourself more stressed as a result, because you’re stressing your system, essentially, you’re not getting the right level of oxygen into your body. So if you shift from breathing all the way up here, to focusing on your belly, and breathing from that place, instead, it just completely shifts the way that you breathe. And on those really cold days, I do find that it really helps me to really just focus on the breath and slow down. And it just it calms my my entire body so that I’m not in this constant state of oh my god, I’m just so cold the whole time.

Sarah Mae 8:10
Yeah, to what you’re saying there when you think about our breathing, and if you think about if you’re like being chased by a lion, you’re going to be like, [heavy breathing] and that’s your nervous system that’s firing like “I get to get away, my life is in danger”. So that’s what is like when you’re just keeping your breathing in your chest, it’s like, totally setting your nervous system alive in like, defense. But if you’re, calm and you’re, that’s when you’re like breathing into your belly and stuff that really like kind of calms your nervous system. It’s a state of peace and rest. And that’s, I definitely feel that with cold therapy as well. I have a cold shower every day. I know I say hate cold, but this is that’s why I have a cold shower every day because it does really help. I have, I have a warm shower, and then at the end I have a cold shower. I used to try and set a timer but I found that terrible, what I do instead as I take 12 deep belly breaths standing under the cold water, and that gives me that practice. And it’s funny because you’ll forget. I have gone in up Squamish, that’s like cold glacial water essentially in Squamish River, and I’ve gone gone in there, and I’ve well first I’ve sat outside while my friends have gone in, and I’ve been like, that’s gonna be really cold. I can’t go in that. And then I’m like, well, I mean, I do have a cold shower today. Maybe I could do this. And then I go in and just remember my breathing. And I’m like, yeah, I can do this. But I definitely couldn’t do it if I didn’t practice it every day.

Stephanie Nelb 9:49
Yeah. I remember one time when I was a kid. I was out in Oregon, and it was the summer but we were cliff jumping into the Hood River and the Hood River, you know, you have snow melting off the ice caps, essentially all year round. So that is a very cold river to go swimming in. And I remember the first time I jumped into it, I literally thought my body just stopped, I thought I was going to have a heart attack or something just like, could not breathe for a split second. And you know, that was far back before I did cold showers, which I don’t do on a regular basis. But in the summer, I will do. And it’s just amazing how I’m able to withstand that cold now, but before it was just like, Oh my God, what’s happening in my body.

Sarah Mae 10:38
I like doing it every day. Not just because it helps like in the winter, it helps me be able to be warm when I go outside. But also just the mental, stamina and control of it and being like, I really don’t want to do this. This morning, I did not want to do this. I was like, “maybe I just shouldn’t do it today”. And I was like, no, it’s a win, I can do it. And I did it. And I always feel great. And as a added bonus, I’m never cold when I get out of the shower, because I finish with a cold blast so I get out and it’s nice and warm.

Stephanie Nelb 11:14
I know I love that. Yeah, to your point. I mean, there are benefits of this cold therapy and combining that with the breathing techniques. I know the Wim Hof Method specifically has benefits of reducing stress, increasing energy, going back to better sleep, which I know we talked about in another episode, you know, improves that and it helps you to have a stronger immune system which these days who doesn’t want that?

Sarah Mae 11:39
It really helps with inflammation as well. Which is something that I think plagues a lot of people these days. There’s a lot of I’ve seen a lot of people that do Wim Hof, they have tubs outside, and they fill the tubs with ice and they’ll like be in like the middle of the snow and getting in ice tubs outside in their backyard. So I haven’t gotten there. I do the 12 deep breaths in the showers is as good as I’m going to do. Do you have any experience doing cold therapy? Melissa.

Melissa Byone 12:16
I really, I’m naturally really cold does that count? No, what’s coming up for me, is yesterday, getting into the ocean. I mean, it’s not like cold cold, but to your body, it’s cold. So just I like to take my time first and like slowly warm up. And then when I’ve reached like my belly button, it’s just like, oh, and once you’re in for like, a few seconds and you take a couple breaths, like it feels good. It’s like this nice reward. So it’s like, the closest I’ve gotten to experiencing something like that. I did notice while up in North Dakota, a lot of the locals don’t wear big coats and jackets and all of these things. They just don’t need it. Because they’re so used to it. So kind of what you’re saying, taking that time to adjust yourself really is valid. That’s how these people survive this cold cold weather.

Stephanie Nelb 13:28
Yeah, it’s what your body gets used to. I mean, even in the beginning of the winter around here, I notice I get cold far more easily. And then as my body adjust throughout the winter, you know, a temperature like let’s say 20 degrees Fahrenheit, which the beginning of the season I’ll find to be just way too cold. Halfway through the season, it’s a balmy, nice day. So yeah, it’s really what you get yourself used to and I think that goes for both ends of the spectrum. It can be for the cold side, but then also for the heat which maybe Melissa you’re a little bit more familiar with.

Melissa Byone 14:05
Yeah. Coming from the south, heat is something that I stand a little bit better than cold. Yeah, you just, you know, you get used to it.

Sarah Mae 14:21
They really go hand in hand. I love going to like Scandinavian style spas where you do the hot sit in the sauna, and then you jump in the cold, a cold plunge bath. That’s my favorite. Or my best friend, she lives in Sweden, and she had just got a hot tub and she was showing her kids going from the hot tub, into the snow, into the hot tub. That’s amazing.

Stephanie Nelb 14:46
Love doing that! Awesome.

Melissa Byone 14:51
Have eather of y’all tried cryo therapy?

Stephanie Nelb 14:56
No, I haven’t. I actually can’t. I even with you know, Wim Hof as we’ve been talking about his method, I have to be careful with that because I actually have a condition called Raynaud’s disease, which means that I lose circulation really easily in my limbs. So essentially, when I get cold, my body focuses on heating my core, and it takes that heat away from my fingertips and my toes. So something like cryo therapy for me, unfortunately, I have been told I should not do. But that’s part of why I push the boundaries of both ends of sitting in extreme heat in the sauna, and then also just braving the cold and being out there as much as I can in the winter, and taking those cold showers in the summer, because it helps my body to adjust so that the Raynaud’s doesn’t bother me as much. And actually, I’m happy to say, now that I’ve been doing both the hot and the cold on a more regular basis, I have not had these cold, my fingertips will actually turn white as a result. So I haven’t had that happen in I think about a year and a half, almost two years at this point.

Sarah Mae 16:08
That’s really interesting. I’ve never heard of this. What’s it called? Again? Raynodes?

Stephanie Nelb 16:13
Raynaud’s. So I believe it’s R-A-Y-N-A-U-D Raynaud’s disease.

Sarah Mae 16:19
How do you know that you have that?

Stephanie Nelb 16:24
My sister was actually diagnosed with it first. And very similar to me, she struggles to stay warm and she would just, you know, even in 70 degree weather, her fingertips would be white. And we were like, what is up with that? That’s, that’s not right. That’s really weird. So she went to her doctor and was told that she had Raynaud’s disease. And so that’s how we figured out that I have that as well.

Sarah Mae 16:50
That’s really interesting. I feel like I’m like, I am always cold in my fingers and stuff, but they don’t get white. So I feel like you hear that all the time. Like my grandmother’s always cold, like her feet, I feel like that’s like a common thing I hear from women especially.

Stephanie Nelb 17:09
Yeah, I think like, again, that’s where like pushing the boundaries at both ends of either extreme heat, or extreme cold, helps your body to get used to those temperatures. So that in a cold, cold office, for example. You know, you I know many of us have struggled in a cold office to just stay warm, but something like that won’t bother you as much if you’re pushing these extremes. For example, if you fight with your significant other over the thermostat in your house, you can potentially minimize those arguments by both practicing living these different circumstances and then hopefully find a compromise in the middle

Sarah Mae 17:57
Or have separate blankets that’s what I have.

Stephanie Nelb 17:59
There you go.

Sarah Mae 18:00
I have a big down duvet thats really warm and he has is a weighted blanket that’s very light (cool).

Stephanie Nelb 18:10
So cold therapy can have so many benefits that I really think everyone should try it.

Melissa Byone 18:19
Yeah, you know. Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of people saying that other people “should” try or do different things. And you know, I totally agree. It’s, it’s something that I would like to and it’s something I think others can try. But this word “should” is really been coming up a lot for me lately. Do you guys mind if we go on a bit of a detour here?

Stephanie Nelb 18:49
Yeah, let’s do it.

Melissa Byone 18:52
Um, so lately, I’ve been like scrolling through Instagram and a few people. Friends, I would say that I follow have been saying that other people “should” be doing things. For example, one thing that keeps popping up is that people should get a vaccine, or they should do this, or they shouldn’t do that. And so that kind of really made me want to look into like, kind of what does this word “should” mean? And why is it standing out to me recently so much? So yeah, just kind of, I just wanted to talk through if you guys kind of get your take on the word “should” and if there are alternatives we could be using so that we aren’t projecting our own opinions about things onto other people’s, like, way of being or living. What do you guys think?

Sarah Mae 20:04
Yeah, I love that you’re reflecting on that. That’s great.

Stephanie Nelb 20:09
Yeah, I think it’s a great call out, especially these days to your point where everyone is telling others how to do things. And yeah, how can you shift that language? What would you say instead?

Melissa Byone 20:23
Um, well, so after like, realizing this, and was like, do a Google search and see what other ways are to approach this. So one would be to, instead shift the way you’re thinking about it and focus on the benefits. So instead of saying, I “should” do more yoga, I can, I can instead remind myself of why I want to do it and say, I feel really great when I do yoga. Or I feel a greater sense of self connection when I make the time to do it, instead of kind of focusing on I “should” do this, or I “should” do that. Also to focus on the values in it. So when you’re like, I shouldn’t be late, you can also reframe that perspective in the value and say, it’s really important to me to be on time. So what I do, and I’m writing and I don’t know how to spell a word, I just shift the way of saying it. So that I don’t use that word. What about you guys. Have you thought about this?

Stephanie Nelb 21:48
Yeah, I love that you’re calling this out. I have to correct my own words, sometimes. But even more so, what I found really, kind of funny is, with clients, I’ll have to correct that language as well. So they’ll say something like, you know, I know I “should” do this, and I’m notorious for asking a follow up question of, but will you do that? Because that word should is kind of a little bit of a cop out. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to do something, you know? So how are you going to commit to whatever that thing is? Or is it just not that important to you and that’s why you’re using that word should? So that’s what comes up for me.

Sarah Mae 22:41
interesting, because when, where I thought you were going with that, is that you were going to ask a follow up question of, “we’ll should you? Is this something you ‘should’ do?” Because even asking “will you” is still kind of keeping it in like, maybe, “should” they do it. And that I think I feel comes up for me strongly because I was raised by a mom that hates the word should. So anytime, I would say should or anyone says should if she could hear it on the TV, and she would be like, “Not should! Could!” I can hear her in my head. So anytime that someone says should, I immediately replace that with like, well, they could do that. So I could do yoga. It doesn’t mean I shouldn’t, it’s not that I should, I could do it. So that’s been a reframe I’ve kind of had my whole life. And yeah, I do think it comes a lot of a lot in the coaching space with clients, but also with coaches just talking about things in their marketing and stuff. Like you “should” do it this way. You “should” do. You “should” eat healthy, you “should” market yourself this way. And I think that that is a really strange way to get people to want to do something because no one wants to be told they “should” do anything.

Melissa Byone 24:09
Keeping it as like an option. Like of course you can. You can you could do this. Like if you want to do it this way, you know? Yeah, I definitely like that. That shift from should to could. That definitely leaves your opinion out of it. Here’s an option. Not like you need to be doing this. Another piece that is part of this “should” is that people like being self talk, like I “should” be doing this or I “shouldn’t” be doing that, or I “shouldn’t” feel this way. I think that that’s a big one. Because if you are feeling that way, for instance, something you would feel as a negative, so I “shouldn’t” feel angry right now. But if you are feeling anger, then there’s a reason why you are feeling that way. So saying that you shouldn’t, like you’re not honoring yourself and what you’re going through and when was coming up for you. So I don’t really know where I was going with that. But I think it’s important to kind of think about the way that you you talk to yourself and use the word should as well.

Sarah Mae 25:35
Yeah, I think that that’s really important. Our inner voice, constantly going, and a lot of people take those thoughts and think that those are immediately reality and make them how they show up in the world. So if you’re thinking that you “should” feel guilty about something, or you “shouldn’t” feel angry about something you’re putting means, like expectations that don’t necessarily need to be there. It’s more paying attention to how you’re actually feeling and honoring that I think is very important.

Stephanie Nelb 26:11
Yeah, honoring and investigating it. Okay, I’m feeling angry right now. Like, why is that? Yeah. And exploring that does a lot more for you, then trying to push it away saying, I shouldn’t feel this way.

Sarah Mae 26:28
Yeah, I think that using our emotions as like a, as a, like a compass and what they’re really good at guiding us and what we, what our options are, and helping us like, see, for example, fear can come up a lot, especially when you’re building a business or something, it’s really easy to be start to be afraid of things. But when you when you think about that feeling of fear, where it’s coming from, often it ends up being a place that like you can lean into, because it’s guiding you into, like, where you are most invested, you care so much about this, so you’re scared of doing it. And if it’s something that you really care about, then you want to like lean into it more. So it can really be like a I want, like a like a guide, like a lighthouse, maybe is what I’m trying to say can help you guide your decision making, rather than trying to like suppress those emotions with judgments on them.

Melissa Byone 27:38
Yeah, just listening to what’s coming up and like, following them going deeper and why is it that this is coming up for me?

Stephanie Nelb 27:47
Absolutely. And just reframing those words that you’re saying to yourself are key. Because as I think we’ve established, your words have a lot of power. And what you tell yourself really does matter. So as you reframe your way of thinking, and lean into that thing that scares you, you just really have to be very careful with the language that you’re using. Well, thank you for bringing this up. Melissa, I appreciate you calling me out on the word “should”. I think that was a really good point to make. And I’m glad we had this discussion today. Does this feel like?

Melissa Byone 28:30
Yeah me too.

Stephanie Nelb 28:30
Does this feel like a good place to end it for today?

Melissa Byone 28:34
I think so. I mean, I love that we are a place where we can have conversations like this and call each other out. Like I expect you to call me out on things too. It was just something that really kind of stuck out for me this week, reading it over and over. So I thank you guys for for being an open space to talk about stuff like this.

Sarah Mae 28:59
Awesome

Stephanie Nelb 28:59
Of course.

Sarah Mae 29:01
Thank you both. And before you shut this video, you could hit subscribe and we would love it. Love your support. You could leave us a comment if you have anything to say. And you could follow us on Instagram. So hopefully we will see you in our community. Thank you.

Stephanie Nelb 29:21
See you there.

Melissa Byone 29:22
Thanks guys. See ya!

 

 

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Episode Resources

https://www.wimhofmethod.com/
https://bestlifecoachcollective.com/are-cold-showers-good-for-you-or-just-hype/

 

 
 

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