Heat therapy at the PHC 2.0: the Cocoon Pod

It has been a very long study in the making, as the past couple of years certainly led to many delays.

Today I am pleased to say that we have completed data collection using the latest addition to our laboratories: The Cocoon Fitness Pod. Two years ago, I was contacted by an American manufacturer, or more specifically, the CEO and the VP Sales & Marketing behind it, both very enthusiastic and driven personalities who share my passion for heat therapy. They had read one of our research papers and were very keen to put our theories to the test with their device. The Pod arrived towards the end of summer 2020, which involved a lot of learning on my part regarding tax codes, international shipping, and electrical wiring differences between the UK and the US. With the Pod finally in place, I was very keen to do some pilot testing myself – a very convenient way of getting my share of heat during a time when all the saunas in the country were shut.

Once the restrictions were lifted and experiments with human participants were allowed again back in the Spring of this year, we were able investigate the effects of the specific Cocoon Pod features on the perceptual responses to heat therapy. While the results still need to be formally analysed, it is safe to say that we are very pleased with this new addition to our laboratory and we look forward to the upcoming studies that are planned using this device. For example, it will form a significant part of the PhD studies of the recently started Yunuo Su, who will be focussing on male versus female comparisons in the perceptual and physiological responses to passive heat therapy. At the same time, Sven Hoekstra and I are also looking to take the next step in this research area and investigate the effects of heat therapy on health outcomes in populations that are at an increased risk for cardiometabolic disease, such as persons with spinal cord injury and older adults.

Written by Christof Leicht and Sven Hoekstra