We ask Joie Risk: Do you have any advice on contrast therapy?

London panel - Joie Risk with Brass Monkey ice baths

“I think, if people want to do contrast therapy, they think it’s about taking their regime to the next level. And people ask us about protocols all the time, and it’s really about what they’re trying to achieve on any given day. 

We have some athletes who have put together a design depending on what they want to get from it. So, if they’re feeling metabolic fatigue, which is when they might have heavy legs and low energy, they’ll put them in the sauna for 45 minutes. 

And if you take nothing else away from today, (and I’m on a mission to spread this), infrared sauna is not just about heat. It’s about light wavelengths. So yes, it provides heat and we all know the benefits of heat with circulation and whatnot, but this is light. If it’s mechanical fatigue, so pains and joint issues etc, then they’ll prescribe contrast therapy with ice first and sauna afterwards. 

I’ve recently come across an interesting concept, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Dr. Gerald Pollock, who talks about ‘easy water’. There is a concept where infrared, which already exists in the body as a function of our metabolic activity, is being reverse-engineered when you go into the ice. It comes out through your tissues into the ice, and when you’re in the heat it’s transported back through your tissues – so it’s coursing back and forth through your body and that’s part of the benefit of contrast therapy. 

But I think both modalities are incredible and a lot of the benefits are the same but from a different method. But combining the two some people really enjoy and just takes that challenge to the next level. 

At Sunlighten, we believe in something called ‘habit stacking’, and I’m not sure if you guys know the science behind this, but essentially there was a study that proved if you want to add a new habit into your life, if you attach it to an existing habit, you’ll be able to take on that new habit with far greater success. So if you say to yourself, ‘ok, every time I go in my ice bath I’m going to sauna for 20 minutes afterwards, so if you attach it, you’ll pick it up really well.”

Ice baths by brass monkey with Joie Rist

Hear more from Joie when we ask her about what's changing in the 'at home' space from a sauna brand perspective, and what advice she would give to someone using an ice bath for the first time?