Learning to breathe again at ActivateBody

Karen Friend takes on the challenge of the ice bath.

By Abbey Cannan

If you were wondering why the Noosa Today team weren’t answering your calls last Friday afternoon, it’s because performance coach Tomas Molloy from Activate Body Health and Fitness in Sunshine Beach told us to ignore them.

But in just a couple of hours, we came back to the office with more energy and endorphins than ever, after learning how to breathe again.

Our team signed up for the ActivateBody Breath, Fire and ICE workshop, ready to conquer the chills down to three degrees celcius.

After filling out the waiver form, we were nervously laughing about all the things that could go wrong.

Reading the inherent risks of the activity, which may include: ‘unexpected, unwanted or undesired results of (deep) breathing exercises, such as loss of consciousness or loss of bodily functions’, had us a little worried.

These worries quickly faded after meeting the co-founders, physiotherapist Dr Viktoria Molloy (PhD) and head coach Tom Molloy, who have a combined experience of more than 40 years of working with elite athletes and everyday people.

Not only are they filled with knowledge and skills, but the couple have a genuine welcoming and caring nature, with a willingness to give their energy to help you achieve your goals.

In the workshop we explored powerful breathing methods to stimulate our energy, help regulate our stress response, and then used these methods to conquer the ice and fire (sauna) at the private clinic in Sunshine Beach.

The benefits of breathwork included: enhanced relaxation; mindfulness practice; improved oxygenation; and increased CO2 tolerance.

Noosa Today’s Karen Friend, who usually refuses to get into a pool unless it’s 27 degrees or above, decided to dive into the ice bath first.

I don’t know if I was more or less nervous after watching Karen complete the challenge, but I decided to jump in next to get it over with.

Tom coached each of us through the initial shock of the ice, and followed through for three-minutes, encouraging us and ensuring we were achieving our desired breathing technique.

We all decided to even dip our heads under after hearing all the possible benefits of ice baths, which include: improved lymphatic circulation; improved cardiovascular circulation; reduced muscle inflammation; boosted happiness levels (endorphins); weight loss; and the ability to control extreme stress with breathing.

I felt proud for taking on the challenge, and we jumped into the brand-new sauna to relax, before taking another quick dip in the ice bath on a beautiful sunny afternoon in Sunshine Beach.

Some of the benefits of sauna can include: improved endurance; enhanced muscle hypertrophy and soft tissue recovery; improved cardiovascular health; improved brain function; enhanced longevity; protection against muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis); increased mental resilience; and increased environmental tolerance.

Prior to the session, Noosa Today’s Michelle Gibson said she couldn’t remember the last time she could bend over without pain.

“When we were breathing on the floor, I could feel the muscles in my lower back release, but until that night getting ready for bed, I didn’t realise the greater mobility I had,” she said on Friday night.

“My skin (face) felt so great afterwards when I applied my makeup to go out. I think that would have been from the sauna. I loved the sauna experience, it’s not too hot. It’s definitely something I will do again.”

Find ActivateBody Health and Fitness on Facebook or Instagram; or visit the Sunshine Beach studio at Suite 4, 18 Duke Street, Sunshine Beach.

For more information call (07) 5641 1755 or email hello@activatebody.com.au