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The Thermalist approach: Stress up to Stress down

The benefits of hot and cold exposure & the science behind it all

Anyone who knows me will know that there is little I love more than a sauna next to a lake. Having grown up spending my childhood holidays in Finland by the lake, I feel I have a pretty good understanding of how good you feel after a hot sauna and a swim in the cold water (or after making a snow angel outside the sauna door…).

Since living in the Alps, and without the luxury of my own sauna on the waters edge, I have come to love the cold water dipping by itself almost as much as the sauna / swim experience, and now cold water dipping is a regular feature of my life here. I am lucky enough to have a small group of like-minded friends that make the regular dips in lake or river or waterfall (we have all these options close by!) a joyful, social and invigorating experience.

Having always loved this ‘contrast exposure’, I have enjoyed seeing its increasing popularity, with Wim Hof obviously being a key driver of the awareness and uptake of cold water exposure and breathwork. But with my science background, I have always been intrigued about the health benefit claims, and wanted to understand what was really going on.

When I came across Dr Susanna Soeberg’s Winter Swimming book, I was excited to hear about her research into cold water swimming, contrast therapy and its benefits. When she then launched the Thermalist Education, collating the expanding research evidence base into a scientifically supported approach, I signed up straight away.

Having now completed my Thermalist education, I am keen to share with others how to benefit from sauna, cold exposure and contrast therapy. By leveraging our own physiology, we can mitigate against some of the negative impacts of our modern, high stress lifestyles and feel pretty good in the process.

As I develop my offering here in the Alps, I will be sharing it on this website, but don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to know more in the mean time.


The Soeberg Institute: