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Cold Water Plunge

Cold water immersion or deliberate cold water exposure has impressive benefits for your overall health, mental fitness, and recovery. It may be paired with an Infrared Sauna, a bodywork session, or a stand-alone wellness ritual, all within a private room.

Cold Plunge Benefits

Cold exposure causes the prolonged release of dopamine, a potent molecule capable of enhancing focus, elevating mood, increasing attention and overall mental clarity.


Even short bouts of cold exposure can cause a lasting increase in dopamine and sustained elevation of mood, energy, and focus.

Pain Relief

Reduce chronic pain by boosting norepinephrine which can dramatically reduce inflammation.


It also relieves pain in many diseases, such as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.

Reduce Inflammation

Cold plunging instantly numbs the nerves surrounding your joints and muscles, causing the release of hormones and endorphins.  


The release of hormones and endorphins acts as an analgesic, which relieves inflammation and alleviates muscle strain and joint pain.

Athletes have been utilizing cold therapy for decades to help with active recovery of muscles.


Cold plunging after high-intensity exercise or endurance training can have positive outcomes for muscle power, perceived recovery, and decreased muscle soreness due to a reduction in circulating creatine kinases.

Cold plunging stimulates the immune and lymphatic systems, which helps to boost the production of infection-fighting T cells.


Hardening means exposure against a natural (e.g. thermal) stimulus, resulting in an increased resistance to diseases, especially to acute respiratory diseases.

Other Benefits
  • Boosts mood

  • Clearer, Tighter Skin

  • May extend life span

  • Elevated Energy

  • ​Fat-burning, regulating blood sugar

  • Weight loss

  • Prolonged release of Dopamine

  • More intense than local cryotherapy

Cold Plunge Sessions

Cold Plunge sessions may be combined with a sauna session (see Contrast Therapy) and/or massage/bodywork.

Our Cold Plunge temperature is kept at 52º Fahrenheit; if you would like a different temp, please contact us prior to scheduling online.

15 minutes - $25 ​

*Bring a friend for an additional $10!

To book a buddy session, call 919.477.9887

Buddy Cold Plunge

Cold Water Plunge
Tips & Protocols

  • Wear a swimsuit during your plunge.

  • Don’t cold plunge within 2-3 hrs of a workout if you are looking for muscle growth.

  • Use provided towels to dry off after your plunge.

  • For optimal benefits, it is recommended to stay in the cold plunge a maximum of 2-5 minutes. But never stay in longer than you are comfortable with.

  • Do not wear lotion or body oil in the plunge.

  • Do not use soaps or body washes in the plunge.

  • If you have any medical conditions that could be affected by cold therapy, be sure to check with your doctor before plunging. 


Contrast Therapy

Heat up in our infrared sauna, followed by a 3-minute or more dip in our cold plunge, or reverse the order depending on your goals.


Hot/Cold therapy has long been used to help with recovery, including chronic pain and stress.


All within a private room with towels provided.

How to best use Contrast Therapy

  1. Start with a sauna for 10-15 minutes.

  2. Take a cold plunge for 2-3 minutes.

  3. Next, sit in the sauna for 10-15 minutes.

  4. Follow and end with a cold plunge.

  5. Repeat this cycle as desired.

The more regular and frequent your contrast bath therapy sessions, the greater the long-term benefits.


Many of the studies conducted on using contrast bath therapy have found significant differences between those who only dabble in the practice off and on and those who perform it at least four days a week on average.

  • 30 minutes - $40 

  • 45 minutes - $60

  • 60 minutes - $75

*Bring a friend for an additional $20!

To book a buddy session, call 919.477.9887

Memberships & Packages

(10) 15-minute Cold Plunge Sessions (your 10th session free): $225 

Unlimited Monthly Cold Plunge Sessions: $200


(10) 30-minute Contrast Therapy Sessions (get your 10th session free) - $360

Unlimited Monthly 30-minute Contrast Therapy Sessions: $320

Thank you for making my day!

"I've been having joint and muscle issues that affects my sleep and when I sit for too long. I don't like the cold, but after consulting with Julie, I tried the sauna and cold plunge and she was right. My body feels more relaxed and the pain has decreased.

The staff, Katie helped me "ease into it". She walked me through it so I could be as comfortable as possible. That's excellent customer service. Thank you Bull City Soles for making my day!"


  • What's the best way to schedule an appointment?
    The most convenient way to schedule an appointment in our Durham massage studio is via our online scheduling system or downloading the VAGARO Mobile App. You may view our availability, book and secure an appointment with a credit card. For SAME DAY availability call 919-477-9887. We have a receptionist available Monday-Friday 9am-2pm. Please leave a message if no one is available to answer, you may leave a confidential message and we will return your call as soon as we are able.
  • What is your cancellation policy?
    CANCELLATIONS We have a 24-hour cancellation policy. Same day cancellations will require a 100% charge for the scheduled service. No charges will be assessed if cancellations occur before this period. Please call us @ 919-477-9887 and leave a message or email if you need to cancel. LATE ARRIVALS We ask that our clients arrive 10 minutes early to fill out paperwork, if not done so online beforehand, and to ensure that you receive the full amount of time of your session. If you arrive late, it will be at the discretion of the therapist to use the full session time and IF time permits. You will still be charged for the appointment time. NO SHOWS All clients receive a reminder the day before their scheduled appointment with the option to confirm or cancel their appointment without being charged. If you do not show for your appointment, you will be charged the full amount of the service
  • What can I expect for my 1st time appointment?
    For your first appointment, we ask that you go to to create an account and fill out an intake form, which will be electronically submitted. If you prefer to complete in our studio, please be sure to arrive at least ten minutes before your scheduled appointment. To help you achieve the most effective results, your therapist needs to know your complete health history, current medications/physical issues and other treatment/therapies you have completed or currently participating in. Parking is available directly in front of the office. Please enter the office quietly and make yourself comfortable in our waiting area. We will be with you promptly. Use the time to treat yourself to water, a cup of tea or, use the restrooms. If you have an appointment after 3 pm we may not have front desk staff available. For safety, while therapists are in session with other clients the door will be locked. There will be a doorbell on the front door. Please ring and wait for the therapist to open the door if its close to your appointment time. Once it is time to begin your session, your massage/bodywork therapist will review your intake form with you and discuss the goals of your session. It is important to share any preferences or concerns so that we can customize your massage/bodywork session to best suit you. Once we leave the room, you may disrobe and get on the table. We allow massage clients to undress to their comfort level. Draping with a sheet or towel is provided and only the current area being massaged is exposed. We primarily use unscented crème in our sessions, not oil so you can quickly return to work if necessary! All rooms are equipped with a wide, comfortable massage table, a heating pad that can be adjusted to your preference, a blanket, and music of your choice. We will knock before entering to begin your bodywork session. Remember that this is YOUR session and feedback is essential. Whether it’s the music, room temperature or the pressure, we would like to help you receive the most benefit out of your session. Once the session is over, we will leave the room for you to get dressed. Please move slowly and take the time to experience any changes in your body. Depending on the type of massage/bodywork you received, you may experience a bit of soreness a few days later ~~ Similar to how your muscles sometimes feel after a workout. An Epsom salt bath is an excellent follow-up to your session. Most importantly, keep your body hydrated with water. When you are ready, your therapist will be waiting for you outside to settle your bill. We accept all forms of credit cards, Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flex Saving Account(FSA) cards (w/ Doctor's prescription), checks and cash. We do not accept any forms of insurance. If requested, we will provide session notes. Additional charges may apply. Read 'Your first massage session at Bull City Soles' for more information.
  • What forms of payment do you accept?
    We accept all forms of credit cards, Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flex Saving Account(FSA) cards (w/ Doctor's prescription), checks and cash. We do not accept any forms of insurance. If requested, we will provide session notes. Additional charges may apply.
  • What type of massage or bodywork to book?
    We provide a variety of massage and bodywork modalities within our sessions. It just depends on your situation, what results you are looking for and your contraindications. Each therapist is trained in Deep Tissue, various levels of Ashiatsu barefoot massage, & Cupping. Under each therapist's name is their specialty and training. Read more about our therapists on our booking site. With information from your INTAKE FORM your massage therapist can recommend the best way to proceed. You always have the option of calling 919-477-9987 and speaking with front desk before scheduling.
  • What length of session do I choose?
    It depends on what you're looking for! Here's a break down of our massage session times. This blog post might help too "How Long Should My Massage Session Last?" 30 minutes - We recommend a 30 minute massage for specific work on areas such as the head and neck for headache relief, upper shoulders or quick low back pain relief. Great for a quick lunch break! 60 minutes - This session length is a good start for new clients. It OK for a general all over massage, but it's not enough time to focus on one particular area. If you 're having low back pain then the session could be used to focus TOTALLY on the lower body for the hour session and possibly include a few stretches. 90 minutes - An hour and a half massage session is perfect for detail work on a few target areas and a full body focus. We're talking feet, legs, hips, back, shoulders, arms, chest, head and neck. And a few stretches as well! Its the sweet spot for a lot of clients. 120 minutes - This session is massage heaven for the massage connoisseur! We can work in great detail from your metatarsals to your phalanges, up to the top of your head and stretch every joint in between!
  • How do I find out about last minute appointment availability?
    You can follow Bull City Soles on Instagram and/or Facebook. We are always posting availabilities, self-care tips and info and you may call the office 919-477-9887 Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm and ask to be put on on our Last Minute Availability (LMA) list for texts.
  • Is your studio accessible to wheelchairs?
    Yes! We are fully ADA compliant. We have handicap accessible parking directly in front of studio, easy access, fully ADA compliant bathroom, 2 treatment rooms with enough space to accomodate wheelchairs, and electric massage tables for easy transfer onto table. This blog post might help "Living with a Disability and Finding Good Care Through Massage and Bodywork by Ashley Thomas".
  • How much does a massage cost?
    Our prices start at $55 for a 30-minute massage, $90 for a 60-minute massage, and $125 for a 90-minute massage if we have an apprentice on staff. We have three tiers of pricing that reflect the therapist's level of training and experience.
  • How long should your first massage be?
    If you are looking for a new massage therapist and just want to see which one of our massage therapists would be a good fit for you, then book a 30-minute massage so that you can try several different therapists and not have to spend too much money trying to find the best fit.
  • How much do you tip for a 60-minute massage?
    Tips are not required, but you are more than welcome to show your appreciation for an excellent massage. People tend to tip anywhere from 10-20%; it's totally up to you.
  • What is Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage?
    Ashiatsu is a form of barefoot massage where the therapist uses THEIR feet to massage you. We just call it barefoot massage as it's easier to pronounce and is more accurate. Its a broad and deep pressure massage that is very therapeutic. We're so skilled you won't even know its our feet doing the massage! If you're looking for an amazing massage in Durham, NC then schedule your next appointment at Bull City Soles Massage and Bodywork Studio. Learn more about Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage
  • Is Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage appropriate for me?
    Ashiatsu may be performed on almost anyone but there are certain conditions we have to be aware of before deciding if barefoot massage is the best massage for you. This is why we ask for an intake form to be filled out for your first appointment with us. Listed below are a few examples where we may decide to withhold treatment: had recent eye procedures/Lasik surgery within 72 hours breast implants with the last 9 months a history of Tuberculosis, Thrombosis, aneurysm, or ongoing kidney disorders current radiation therapy treatments any knee, hip, spine, shoulder, or major joint surgeries within 6 weeks Phlebitis or Cellulitis Osteoporosis, Spondylolithesis pacemaker, stint, shunt or a history of congestive heart failure These are just a few reasons NOT to do Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage. This is why its important we know your medical history so we can provide the best experience possible. And last but not least, Ashiatsu is DEFINITELY not for someone who likes light pressure in their massage. Looking for DEEP? Then you're in the right place. ;)
  • Are all therapists trained in Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage?
    All of Bull City Soles therapists are trained in various levels of barefoot massage and other modalities. We encourage all clients to try different therapists to get a feel for their different personalities and styles to see which therapist is the best fit!
  • What should you not do during a massage?
    Don’t be on the phone checking texts and emails, and don’t forget to turn your ringer on silent! The massage session needs to be focused on you and your massage session's goals. Some clients like to talk to their massage therapist, but staying quiet and relaxed may help you focus more on your body and increase your self-awareness. Some clients find talking therapeutic, especially if they live alone and don’t have someone to talk to often. There’s no right or wrong, it's your session.
  • How do I prepare for my first massage?
    Don't eat a big meal within an hour before your massage, Arrive a few minutes early to discuss your session, and/or complete any forms, Turn your phone off, And, go to the bathroom.
  • What should you wear for a full-body massage?
    You can wear whatever you want during your massage. Some people aren’t comfortable removing their clothing. If you wear stretchy yoga or gym clothes, we can do compression and stretching sessions. If you want a traditional massage with gliding strokes with oils or creme, then we ask the client to undress to their comfort level. Full draping with a sheet is provided, and only the area that is currently being massaged will be undraped. If you must keep your undergarments on, that’s fine; we can work around them but leaving a bra on will restrict the long flowing strokes along the back.
  • Should I shower before a massage?
    Showering before a massage is appropriate and welcomed by your therapist, especially if you’re coming from a workout. If you’re coming from work, it may not be necessary unless you have a really physical job, and then if you don’t have time for a quick rinse-off, body wipes would suffice. The most important thing is to refrain from wearing cologne, perfumes, or body sprays. Not everyone can tolerate strong smells.
  • Do you wear a bra when getting a massage?
    We tell clients to undress to their comfort level, but it is usually preferable to take off your bra as it makes it difficult to work on your middle back. There are so many elongating and gliding massage strokes along the back that help with back pain and other issues that a bra prohibits, so we recommend not wearing one when getting a massage.
  • Should I shave my legs before a massage?
    We get asked that question often, but it’s up to you! Leg hair doesn't bother your massage therapist, and usually, we don’t even notice it. The same goes for underarms or facial hair.
  • What happens during a 60-minute massage?
    What happens during a 60-minute massage can vary for each individual. If you are looking for general relaxation with no specific work on just one area, then the massage usually starts at the feet and will include the back of the legs, the hips, the back, and the shoulders. Then once the client turns over, we usually give them a warm neck roll to support their cervical spine and an eye cover, and then start at the feet again, the lower legs, upper legs, arms, and hands, ending with neck and head work. Some clients may ask for just the lower body to be worked on; for instance, a runner would like more detailed work on their feet and legs, and we could end the session with neck work. Or for someone with lower back pain we may start with hip work, lower back and, then some psoas stretches. The best thing to do is talk with your massage therapist about the goals of the session and they will discuss options with you and how to best address your concerns.
  • What is the most relaxing massage?
    Some people find a deeper pressure relaxing, and some people prefer a lighter pressure! It just depends. Our barefoot massage is a deeper and broader pressure that most clients find very relaxing, and it's excellent for pain relief.
  • What does a female wear for a massage?
    Whatever you are most comfortable in and can relax in. We can work around any situation so that the client can feel safe and comfortable.
  • When is the best time to do a cold plunge?
    We recommend cold plunging in the mornings or early in the day for increased energy and not too close in the evening close to your bedtime as it may affect your sleep quality unless its followed by a sauna session.
  • How long is each session?
    Cold Plunge: up to 15 min Contrast Therapy: 30 or 60 min
  • What should I wear during my cold plunge session?
    For a cold plunge, IF you choose to wear something we recommend a swimsuit, sports bra, or shorts/trunks. The room has a privacy lock.
  • Who should NOT use the cold plunge?
    People who are / have: ​ ​Poor circulation Diabetes Underlying heart issues
  • How often should I cold plunge?
    Studies show that a cumulative of 11 minutes per week is a great practice for maximum benefits.
  • How much of my body should I submerge?
    To get the most out of cold plunging, submerge your entire body, even your head briefly if you can. The total body dip exposes your whole body, thyroid and back of the neck, which elicits a more dramatic hormonal response.
  • What is the brand is your cold plunge?
    We have an XL Pro commercial Plunge that is roomy enough for individuals 6' and over or 2 average sized individuals for a "buddy" plunge.
  • What's the difference between steam saunas and infrared saunas?
    What's the difference between steam saunas and infrared saunas? Traditional saunas heat up the air around you. And infrared heats up the body on a cellular level.
  • How long is each session?
    Infrared Sauna: 20 or 30 min Contrast Therapy: 30, 45 or 60 min
  • What should I wear during my infrared sauna session?
    We recommend wearing loose, comfortable clothing, a swimsuit, or a towel in the sauna. The recovery room has a privacy lock.
  • Who should NOT use the sauna?
    People who have / are: ​ Pregnant Elderly Children Hemophiliacs / Individuals Prone To Bleeding Fever & Insensitivity to Heat Joint Injuries Metal Implants Pacemakers or Defibrillators
  • How often should I sweat?
    The more you sweat, the more benefits your body will see/feel. You can utilize the infrared sauna every day, but at least 2-3 times a week will show you results rapidly. Studies show cumulative 52 minutes per week is a good practice. We have memberships & packages for those who want to come more often.
  • What's the best temperature for an Infrared sauna?
    The appropriate temperature for a sauna depends on your preference! Most people prefer to enjoy their sauna at temperatures between 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit for infrared saunas. Our infrared sauna can get up to 149º Fahrenhelt.
  • What's type of Infared Sauna do you have?
    We have a 3 person corner Radiant Health Sauna that has the lowest Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) in the industry and Independently tested to show zero Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s).
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