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Cold Exposure and Rheumatism

Dear Dr Huberman and Huberman team, Thank you for the all your hard work and dedication to make peoples lives easier and happier with science based tools. My family members and I significantly improved our life quality by following your advices and protocols :) Lately, it has been a lot of discussion on cold exposure on Huberman Lab podcast. Cold exposures, as I understood from one of your first episodes on cold, help lowering stress. You also mentioned that this was possible to achieve by certain breathing exercises, which is what I preferred over cold exposure. My partner and I live in Norway, and one of the things we do for living is escapology-long breath holds. We perform on TV all over the world. We hold our breaths between 4-8 minutes on stage, where off stage, while sitting still, our records are 7 and 11 minutes. I am one of those people who dreads cold (especially because of my rheumatism) and I am in general very cold even though I do cardio, yoga and resistance training 6 days a week since I was 18 years old (I am 31 now). I also do deliberate heat exposures in sauna, almost on a daily basis. However, after listening to all your podcasts lately, it became clear to me that breath holds are not a good replacement for cold exposures given all the other benefits which cold exposures offers. Hence, my question to you is: Do you know anything about deliberate cold exposures in people with rheumatism? Namely, every time my hands, knees or feet were exposed to cold, my joints were in considerable pain. Do the benefits of cold exposure outweigh the pains, or is it possible that cold exposure makes my rheumatism worse in a long run? I have looked at the few studies such as "Thermotherapy of Pain, Trauma, and Inflammatory and Degenerative Rheumatic Diseases" by Klaus L. Schmidt & Eckhart Simon but I did not find it very helpful, it seemed very inconclusive. Also, they claim that "Acute pain mostly responds favorably to local cold applications", which was not my experience. Perhaps I just don´t know how to interpret their paper, I have a degree in social science and know very little about medicine. Any info you may have will be highly appreciated. Thank you in advance, and again, thanks for sharing your immense knowledge with us commoners :) Kind regards from Trondheim, Norway Melanie Simic

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