JUNE 26, 2023

We are avid cold water dippers, so are absolutely delighted to welcome LUMI to our 2023 festival line up!

Embracing the chill can boost you immune system and provide a refreshing reset both physically and mentally.  So bring your swimmers to VERVE (we will have changing rooms) and experience a LUMI ice bath whilst being overseen by one of their experts. 


Cold water therapy means immersing your body in cold water (water that’s less than 15°C). To give you a rough idea, the water coming from your cold tap at home will be less than 20°C (and usually between 10 and 20°C). Cold water therapy can involve taking an ice bath, a cold shower or having an outdoor swim. Whichever you choose, it’s usually only for a few minutes at a time. There are also centres and retreats that run more tightly controlled cold water immersion therapy sessions.

Ice swimming is a more extreme type of cold water swimming. This is swimming in water that’s no more than 5°C. It’s become popular in recent years as part of the Wim Hof method. This combines cold therapy, breathing techniques and mind exercises. It aims to get your body and mind into the best possible condition.


Cold water therapy has been reported to benefit the body in many ways, including:

  • Reducing muscle pain and stiffness after exercise, by reducing swelling and inflammation
  • Improving risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Boosting the immune system, helping to lower the risk of infection
  • Improving general wellbeing, and possibly helping with depression 

But the evidence is often quite scarce, and based on small studies or anecdotal evidence (people’s personal experiences). This doesn’t mean it’s not right. It just means that there’s not enough scientific evidence to support all the claims.

There has been some evidence for the Wim Hof method having a possible benefit in inflammatory-related conditions. But further research is needed to say for certain. And it could be the breathing techniques and meditation that provide the benefit, rather than the exposure to extreme cold.


Cold water puts your body under stress. This is how it’s believed to produce many of the positive effects, like boosting the immune system. But it also means it can be dangerous, and even fatal for some people. Cold water immersion can trigger:

  • Cold water shock – an automatic response where your heart rate increases and you lose control of your breathing
  • Arrhythmias (heart rhythm disorders)
  • Hypothermia, when your core temperature gets too cold

Building up sessions gradually can help your body to adapt to the cold and lessen the risk of cold water shock. Many of these problems are more likely if you have any underlying medical conditions, such as problems with your heart or asthma. If you’re concerned about how cold water therapy may affect you, discuss it with your GP before trying it. Remember – cold water therapy won’t be suitable for everybody.

Source: Bupa