Anna Evans

The Cold Therapy Code by James H. Smart

Discover the transformative power of cold therapy and unlock its potential to revitalise your mind and body with this book.

The Cold Therapy Code

The book has gotten 3.54 ⭐️ on GoodReads.

“Rediscover your vitality through cold exposure – the 3 simple cryotherapy methods for reducing stress, improving sleep, and increasing energy.”
– James H. Smart

Cold exposure, in various forms, has been practiced for centuries in different cultures around the world. However, it is only recently that scientific research has started to unveil the underlying mechanisms and potential advantages of subjecting our bodies to extreme cold.

Studies suggest that controlled exposure to cold temperatures can trigger a range of physiological responses that may promote improved physical and mental health. From reducing inflammation and boosting the immune system to enhancing circulation and increasing energy levels, the potential benefits of cold exposure are capturing the attention of both scientists and health enthusiasts. Today, we’re going to review one of the books that brings attention to this topic – ‘The Cold Therapy Code: Rediscover Your Vitality Through Cold Exposure’ by James H. Smart.

Author’s background

James H. Smart is a cold therapy advocate and a former semi-professional athlete.

He had always strived to improve his mental and physical performance. However, at the age of 25, a severe eye injury forced him to retire from the sport he loved. This news was devastating, as his identity was closely tied to being an athlete.

During the following months, James experienced back pain, joint stiffness, anxiety, lethargy, and weight gain due to a lack of physical activity and poor eating habits. His health deteriorated, and prescription medicines provided only temporary relief. Taking full responsibility for his situation, James realised that he had the power to change.

Now, as a 35-year-old husband and father, the author of ‘The Cold Therapy Code’ shares his journey of transformation through cold exposure and everyday habits that have positively impacted his life. Overcoming his health issues, regaining energy, and rediscovering vitality, James encourages others to believe in the possibility of regaining their health and zest for life.

What is the book about?

In ‘The Cold Therapy Code’, we delve into the world of cold exposure therapy and its remarkable benefits for health. This book uncovers the power of harnessing extreme cold to rejuvenate your body and enhance mental fortitude. With a focus on natural and affordable methods, the readers discover how to tap into the potential of cold therapy to achieve optimum well-being.

Cryotherapy, once shrouded in mystery, is demystified within these pages. The book provides an understanding of the science behind cryotherapy, eliminating any confusion. Whether you’re hesitant about taking a cold shower or ready to explore advanced techniques, ‘The Cold Therapy Code’ provides guidance on how to ease into cold exposure safely. It emphasises the importance of maintaining a balance and avoiding excessive cold exposure, ensuring that you reap the benefits without risking your well-being.

Key takeaways from the book

1Practicing cold exposure can bring a plethora of health benefits

Cold exposure offers a range of benefits for different individuals. It can aid in weight loss by activating brown adipose tissue and boosting metabolism. Additionally, it helps reduce inflammation and may contribute to longevity by influencing genes and promoting overall well-being. Cold exposure also enhances the immune system, improves sleep quality, provides pain relief, alleviates symptoms of arthritis, and shows potential benefits for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Cryotherapy can be also used to treat certain types of cancer.

2You can make yourself more stress-resistant by practicing cold therapy

Cold exposure serves as a controlled form of stress induction. By repeatedly exposing oneself to brief bouts of physical stress, the body and brain adapt to better handle stress. Through cold exposure, individuals learn to control their stress response and become more accustomed to the initial cold shock response, characterised by rapid breathing. With continued exposure, the body becomes better equipped to handle the cold.

3Cold showers are the best way to get into regular cold exposure

Hormetic stressors like heat, cold, and fasting are most effective as preventive measures rather than treatments for diseases. Starting these practices while you’re healthy can serve as a shield against future illness. A simple, safe and effective way to begin cold exposure is by taking cold showers. Just 30 to 60 seconds of cold water can provide benefits. It’s important to resist the urge to tense up and instead stay relaxed, paying attention to how your body responds. Rather than focusing on the cold or discomfort, shift your attention elsewhere.

4Cold exposure may be dangerous if done improperly

Practicing cold exposure can have potential risks, especially for individuals with underlying health conditions. While the cold typically lowers heart rate and breathing, the initial shock of cold immersion can cause a significant increase in heart rate and blood pressure, which can be dangerous for those with pre-existing conditions and may lead to heart attacks or strokes. Additionally, cold water immersion can induce rapid breathing and a gasp reflex, potentially resulting in drowning if water is inhaled.

To ensure safety, it is advisable to engage in cold water therapy with experienced individuals or within an active cold therapy group. Prior to immersing yourself in cold water, it is important to assess potential hazards and take precautions. It is recommended to consult with your general physician before engaging in cold water therapy to assess your individual health status and receive personalised advice.

5A small change in habits makes a huge difference

Consistent small improvements often go unnoticed but can lead to significant results over time. A 1% improvement, although seemingly insignificant, can make a huge difference when sustained consistently.

Good habits act like compound interest, accumulating their impact over months and years. Similarly, negative habits, when repeated, can have harmful consequences. Making tiny positive changes in daily habits can transform our lives. Our brains possess neuroplasticity, allowing us to learn new habits and unlearn old ones through frequent positive experiences. Success is the outcome of our everyday habits.

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. The Science of Cold Exposure
    • How Does Cryotherapy Work?
    • The Science Behind Cryotherapy
    • What are the potential side effects of cryotherapy?
    • Getting to grips with some cryo-terminology
  • 2. The Physical and Mental Benefits of Cold Exposure
    • Who will benefit from Cold Exposure?
    • Cryotherapy can be used to treat some types of cancer
    • The Dangers of Cold Exposure
    • Precautions when entering cold bodies of water
  • 3. A Cold Shower a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
    • Are you afraid of getting cold?
    • Slow and steady wins the race
    • How do you get started with cold exposure?
  • 4. Take it to the Next Level
    • Cryo machines
    • Market forces
    • Natural deep-freezing cold exposure
  • 5. Get Comfortable being Uncomfortable
    • Good stress versus bad stress
    • The battle is won in your mind
    • Practical steps to help you get started
    • The 30-day cold shower challenge
    • Nature has it all
    • A note on Hypothermia
  • 6. Forming a New Habit
    • A small change in habits makes a huge difference
  • 7. Contrast Temperature Therapy
    • What is contrast temperature therapy?
    • Who uses contrast temperature therapy?
    • What are the health benefits of contrast temperature therapy?
    • What are the risks of contrast temperature therapy?
  • 8. Frequently Asked Questions
    • Afterword
    • Resources

Strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews


  • Provides a comprehensive overview, covering health advantages, introducing cold therapy, and exploring advanced techniques.

  • Includes various cited articles and scientifically supported research for further reference and in-depth exploration.

  • The book effectively highlighted the warnings of cold therapy, incorporating them throughout the chapters in a well-placed manner.

  • Structures valuable information in ‘question-answer’ form, which is easy to read.


  • The writing is repetitive in some parts, specifically disclaimers and safety precautions.

  • Some readers said the book cover the basics and lacks depth.

Quotes from the book

“Despite cryotherapy being an ancient form of healing, I don’t believe it has had the recognition it deserves. Because cold water is relatively inexpensive to access for most people, corporations have no financial incentive to promote it, unlike the big pharma companies that make billions every year from selling drugs.” 
“If we practice cold therapy effectively, there is a good chance that we can alleviate or eliminate many of the most common health problems. This belief is based not only on my personal experience and the testimonials of countless individuals but also on an ever-growing body of research in this area.” 
“After making cold exposure a habit, you will be able to control the stress of the cold. Cold exposure teaches us that we can control our stress response.” 
“Statistically, improving by 1% isn’t especially noteworthy – sometimes, it isn’t even detectable. However, a 1% improvement, consistently and over the long-term, can be very significant. Tiny consistent improvements lead to outstanding results.”

Final takeaway

‘The Cold Therapy Code’ by James H. Smart introduces cold exposure techniques and delves into advanced practices, presenting a well-rounded exploration of the topic. The book offers a guide to incorporating cold therapy into daily routines, emphasising its potential benefits for weight loss, inflammation reduction, longevity, improved immune function, sleep quality, pain relief, and more. The author shares his own experiences, backed by scientific research, and invites readers to take control of their well-being through the power of cold therapy. The information in the book is often presented in a ‘question-answer’ format, making it easily accessible and reader-friendly. However, some readers noted that the writing can be repetitive, particularly in regards to disclaimers and safety precautions.

Where to buy

You can find ‘The Cold Therapy Code’ at in a paperback, hardcover, Kindle and audio formats.

Healthypedia FAQ

James H. Smart is a former semi-professional athlete who became an advocate of cold therapy. After experiencing a severe injury that forced him to retire from his athletic career at the age of 25, James faced various health challenges and eventually took responsibility for improving his well-being. Now, as a 35-year-old husband and father, James shares his personal transformation story and insights on cold exposure in his book and in his online community.

To start practicing cold exposure, begin by taking cold showers for short durations, such as 30 to 60 seconds. Gradually increase the exposure time as you become more comfortable. Focus on staying relaxed and paying attention to your body's response. Additionally, consider joining an active cold therapy group or consulting with a physician before diving into more advanced techniques.

Yes, cold therapy can be used as a treatment for arthritis. The application of cold to arthritic joints can help reduce pain, swelling, and muscle spasms. Cold therapy works by constricting blood vessels, reducing blood flow and inflammation in the affected area. It can also numb nerve endings, providing temporary pain relief. Cold packs or ice massages are commonly used for localized cold therapy in arthritis treatment. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional for guidance on the proper use and duration of cold therapy for arthritis management.

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