SHA Wellness Clinic presents Transformative Breathing
SHA’s newest treatment, Transformative Breathing, combines the proven benefits of ice bathing with the therapeutic power of breathing, resulting in a transformative experience on both a physical and mental level. This pack consists of three experiences: Breathing for Wellness, Emotional Detox Breathwork Therapy, and an Ice Bath.
- Breathing for Wellness – It includes a consultation with Dr Cinthya Molina, a psychologist at SHA Wellness Clinic, where she will explain to us the importance of correct breathing for all of our body and its benefits. It will be followed by a Mind and Body session where we will be taught the breathing techniques needed for this treatment and for our daily lives.
- Emotional Detox Breathwork Therapy – It is a second session that covers rapid breathing, which will mirror the feeling that patients will experience when entering the bath, unblocking their fears and traumas, which Dr Molina will discuss in the final session. This leads us to the last stage.
- Ice Bath – In this final stage, the ice bath represents situations that create mental blocks for us and paralyse us. Accompanied by a specialist who will guide and help them to continue to breathe correctly, patients will remain in the bath for 2 to 3 minutes at 3.5ºC.
The secret to getting through these first seconds is breathing, one of the most powerful wellness tools that exists. This is why, although the three stages can be done separately, we recommend doing the two sessions on breath control and the psychological consultations to have the whole experience and to introduce proper breathing techniques into our daily lives.
In addition, more and more studies are confirming that frequent exposure to cold strengthens the immune system and mental health, improving both sleep quality and mood. It also helps to reduce blood glucose levels, boost cellular longevity, minimise inflammation, and speed up muscle recovery, tissue regeneration, and metabolism. This is why 11 to 15 minutes of cold showers per week are recommended.
According to Dr Molina, ‘When you get into an ice bath, your body instantly goes into survival mode, activates the flight response, and prepares to fight the extreme cold. Every cell in your body says ‘Get out of there; you’re in danger’. But after a few seconds, about 30 to 45, you accept that the only option is to give in and your mind sends the opposite message to your body. We achieve this through an extraordinary mindfulness breathing exercise. ‘Accepting that you have no control and giving in to the situation is a wonderful mental challenge and a very interesting psychological exercise that works on and improves our ability to adapt to adversity. Thus, it boosts our levels of resilience, which is a key factor in stress management and the prevention of emotional disorders. The bath is a mirror, a metaphor for how each person reacts to fear, uncertainty, stress, or doubt’, says Molina.
Some very promising studies are being done that link improvements in cognitive and mental health and certain anxiety and depression disorders to recurrent ice baths. As the expert explains, ‘The cold bath makes you face your fears, and managing expectations plays a very important role in anticipating the management of these fears. In fact, and this is a fact backed by science, 90% of the things that we worry about will never happen. When we’re faced with an unpleasant situation, like getting into a freezing bathtub, in addition to breathing, we use a set of cognitive strategies to overcome it, which can then be used in other situations that cause negative emotions. This boosts our resilience and we learn much more’.
When we get into an ice bath, all of our blood vessels constrict and we start to breathe short, fast breaths, which increases our stress even more. But if we manage to regulate our breathing and slow it down and deepen it, we will stop fighting the ice after a few seconds, and we will begin to enter a state of complete peace and tranquillity.
After these lessons, we will emerge from the bath as more resilient people and will be refreshed with the energy and vitality from the release of dopamine and adrenaline. Whoever tries it does it again. Just ask Cristiano Ronaldo, Kendall Jenner, Chris Hemsworth, Elle Macpherson, and David Beckham.