Harry Styles swears by ice baths on tour so I tried one for myself

To say I was scared would be understatement

BEAUTYcrew Beauty Editor / December 02 2022

When I think of self care I have a tendency to rush towards wellness practices that are a source of comfort. 

But sometimes taking a hot girl walk, getting a full body massage or treating myself to a manicure just isn’t enough.

The silly season has started to seriously impact my wellbeing. I’ve found myself restless in sleep, easily agitated, and dealing with the physical ramifications of late nights and drinking during the week. 

Recently, I was offered the opportunity to visit the Recovery Lab in Brookvale to try a myriad of expertly-curated wellness treatments, including an ice bath. 

A wellness practice Harry Styles swears by on tour, ice baths relieve sore and fatigued muscles, and can help with better focus and sounder sleep. 

What are the benefits of an ice bath?

“Cold water immersion can help to soothe sore muscles, reduce inflammation and ease fatigue,” explains ​​Ben Seymour, co-owner of Recovery Lab. “[It supports] better sleeping patterns, eliminates toxins from the body, boosts immunity and burns fat”. 

“[It’s a] recovery and a mindset therapy that has been used for centuries dating all the way back to Hippocrates,” he went on to say. “These days it is especially popular within the elite athlete and mindfulness communities.”

Ice baths also have positive effects on mental wellbeing, and are a great way to calm down in less than 15 minutes. The abrupt change in temperature activates the parasympathetic nervous system, taking the body out of fight or flight mode.


Image supplied by Recovery Lab

Image supplied by Recovery Lab

My ice bath review

After rinsing off in the shower, I donned my swimmers and journeyed up the short step ladder to the ice bath. 

A timer on the wall (set to seven minutes) began to count down as I placed my foot into the shallow end of the tub.

Sat on the shallow ledge of the bath, the water covered my body up to my hips, and after a brief moment of acclimation I lowered myself to the next ledge. 

Now, with my chest submerged, the low temperature became radically apparent. 

My fingertips naturally curled into fists. I began blowing dramatic exhales through my pursed lips to control my breath and stop myself from violently shivering.  

After a minute, the initial sharp chill of the water morphed into a warm burn that prickled at my fingertips and feet. 

After three minutes, my muscles began to stiffen and my skin turned a tomato shade of red.

At this point, I decided my body had had enough, so I eased myself out of the water, back down the step ladder and shuffled to the shower to warm myself back up.

Final thoughts

After my ice bath and subsequent shower I felt extremely relaxed. 

This may sound like an over-exaggeration, but I would equate it to the feeling of calm one experiences post-orgasm. Safe to say I slept like a baby afterwards. 

It even eased the period cramps I had been experiencing earlier that day. 

However, I think in order to see long term results I would need to integrate ice baths into my weekly routine, and train myself to spend longer intervals in the water. 

If you’re not into training, you should take a closer look at the Cutera TruSculpt Flex, a body sculpting treatment that’s the equivalent of 54,000 crunches in 15 minutes.

Main image credit: @harrystyles

Briar Clark got her start in the media industry in 2017, as an intern for Marie Claire and InStyle. Since then, her keen interest in fashion and beauty has landed her gigs as a Digital Content Producer and Beauty Editor with titles like Girlfriend, Refinery29, BEAUTYcrew and beautyheaven. She loves the way seemingly innocuous topics like skin care and style have the ability to put a smile on people’s faces or make them think about themselves a little differently. A big believer in self love and experimentation, Briar has made a point of becoming the Australian beauty industry’s unofficial guinea pig for unusual treatments and daring hair trends. When she’s not testing out the latest beauty launches, Briar is big on broadening her horizons, mostly in the form of food but she’s also partial to travelling to new destinations both near and far (and of course, allocating an extra bag to bring their best beauty offerings home with her).