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Karch's Story

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

Dr. Karch Gajdos, a chiropractor who lives in Boulder, CO, came to PLUNJ last fall with his friend Michelle. Starting when Karch was in high school, he struggled with periodic racing thoughts and shortness of breath. At the time, he didn’t realize his symptoms were representative of anxiety. He dealt with it for over 10 years all the way into grad school, and it was there that he discovered cold plunges through Dr. Jack Kruse and Wim Hof. He heard that regular cold plunging can reduce symptoms of anxiety and tone your vagus nerve (the main nerves of your parasympathetic nervous system or rest and digest mode) for greater autonomic nervous system balance.

The prospect of finding a natural way to overcome his anxiety was intriguing to him. He started with cold showers. “The first time getting into a cold shower sucked, haha,” Karch said. “Literally took my breath away. But I got way better over a short period of time.”

Karch acclimated himself to cold-water immersion after joining breathwork and ice bath classes. Over time, the 5-minute ice baths became a piece of cake. He realized that whether you hop into the water quickly or go slowly, the body adapts much more quickly than he previously thought.

Consistent cold plunging allowed him to find a greater mind-body connection – and his dramatic sensations of anxiety completely diminished.

“Cold plunges are ninety percent mental and only ten percent physical,” he said. “You gotta embrace the suck. I literally don’t have anxiety attacks anymore. No medications, no therapy, just cold plunges. I also have felt so good this winter. Haven’t had any colds and I’ve been doing a three-minute cold plunge in a local creek at least once a week.”

At PLUNJ, we are passionate about contrast therapy as a great addition to a healthy lifestyle, and a valuable tool for combating mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. If you know someone who you think might be helped by cold water immersion and sauna bathing, send them our way! We’d love to meet them and show them the beauty that is contrast therapy!

Karch had a great experience at PLUNJ when he came late last year. While there, he even did some chiropractic adjustments on his friends and fellow PLUNJers.

“PLUNJ is amazing!” he said. “The aesthetic is awesome. The community is vibrant, bright, and everyone is so excited to be there. I love their willingness to engage in these harder topics like anxiety because there are simple and natural solutions to it. Ten out of ten would recommend PLUNJ to all my family, friends and strangers.”

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