Contrast Bath therapy
, also known as "Hot/Cold Immersion therapy
", is a form of treatment where a limb or the entire body is immersed in ice water followed by the immediate immersion of the limb or body in warm water.
The theory behind contrast bath therapy is that the warm water causes vasodilation
of the blood flow in the limb or body followed by vasoconstriction
. The effect is to pump out inflammation
— although this has been called into question.
Contrast bathing can be used to reduce swelling around injuries or to aid recovery from exercise.