Sauna, shower, and ice water immersion. Physiological responses to brief exposures to heat, cool, and cold. Part III. Body temperatures

Arctic Med Res. 1989 Apr;48(2):75-86.


Nine active winter swimmer men were subjected to four exposures each imitating a form of hot or cold exposures or their combination practiced among the Finns: (A) sauna and head-out ice water immersion; (B) sauna and 15 degrees C shower; (C) sauna and room temperature; (D) head-out ice water immersion and room temperature. All exposures were repeated and ended with recovery at room temperature. Body core and surface temperatures were recorded. One surface probe was placed between the scapulae to detect any signs of thermogenic activity by brown adipose tissue upon cold exposures. In the sauna control of core temperature was lost at esophageal temperature Tes 38 degrees C where the mean skin temperature exceeded the Tes. The brief ice water immersions did not disturb the thermal balance of the body core. The interscapular surface temperature recording provided circumstantial evidence of functioning thermogenic tissue in the area.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Temperature Regulation*
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Immersion / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Steam Bath*