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  • Writer's pictureShe's Driven

I Tried Hot and Cold Contrast Therapy and I Loved It

I was recently invited to Rimba Sweat (a small chain of, as the name suggests, sweat studios) to try their infrared sauna and contrast therapy. As the wife of somebody who loves their infrared saunas and cold plunges, I was super keen to try it for myself.

The benefits of saunas have long been studied. From removing toxins to reducing inflammation, saunas are certainly good for us. While many studies have focused on traditional Finnish saunas, infrared saunas have a large range of benefits too. Then there's contrast therapy. This is a mix of hot and cold in the form of a sauna and then a cold plunge. For proponents of the cold plunge, benefits include rejuvenation, a reduction in muscle aches, and a sense of vitality.

Rimba Sweat

The beautiful and extremely aesthetically pleasing flagship store is based in Neutral Bay on Sydney's North Shore. It harbours a minimalist interior with neutral colours and a warm hygge aesthetic. The lack of colour brings a sense of calm and removes any distraction. This is a place where you will find zen.

The infra-red saunas, coupled with 32" TVs on the walls and some colour light therapy embedded inside, allow for 50 minutes of sweating as the body is heated from the inside out. Infrared saunas penetrate the skin and into the muscles, which can help reduce any aches and pains. They may, arguably, be more easily tolerated than traditional Finnish saunas. Your core body temperature rises, helping you sweat out any toxins and ease muscle tension, but they do not get as hot as traditional saunas do.

Temperatures vary between 45 and 70 degrees in an infrared sauna. I chose to keep mine at just over 60 to start out, but will aim to increase this over time. While sat in the sauna, I opted to watch Netflix on the TV screen in the room and chose Friends as a distraction. I am aware that many people love a good meditation though.

After the infrared sauna, I felt alert, energised, and any muscle tension was alleviated. My skin was glowing (and super red) and I also slept really well that night. I couldn't wait to try the contrast therapy.

Contrast Therapy

Cold plunging was something that I was never that keen on doing. I knew it was going to be a big mental challenge as I could barely dip my toes into cold sea water before my plunge session. However, just like the infrared sauna session, I emerged loving it. I was sold on the idea of regular cold plunges and am looking forward to my next one.

So, what is contrast therapy? Contrast therapy is alternating between hot and cold, whether that be in water, or, such as at Rimba Sweat, in the form of a sauna and cold bath. You first get in the traditional Finnish sauna for up to 15 minutes, then, having taken a quick shower, hop into the cold bath for no longer than five minutes at a time. There are two baths at Rimba Sweat in Neutral Bay; one is set at 10 degrees Celsius and the other is five degrees. I decided to try both during my hour-long session.

The contrast therapy was great. I emerged feeling happier, more energised, and with an overall sense of wellness. Even after one session, I felt the benefits, sleeping better, having more energy, and a greater sense of vitality.

If you'd like to learn more about contrast therapy and infrared saunas, visit Rimba Sweat at


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