Dubai residents take the plunge with ice bath therapy – in pictures

While it seems a great way to keep cool in the summer, the main purpose of these icy dips is to complement breathing techniques

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On a hot Saturday morning, with the temperature rising into the 40s, a delivery van pulls up at a villa in Dubai's Al Manara neighbourhood.

The doors of the refrigerated truck swing open and a two-man team heave 20-kilogram bags of ice over their shoulders.

This is destined for two large tubs that will be used as ice baths for a novel workshop that is not designed to keep participants cool, but to help them with their breathing.

"A lot of people think that the ice baths are the main thing, but the main point is actually the breathing," said Benoit Demeulemeester, founder of CooloutBreathIn and the host of the weekly breathwork workshop.

The coolest place in Dubai

The coolest place in Dubai

This method of breathing was made famous by Dutchman Wim Hof – known as The Ice Man for his feats of endurance against the cold.

"Wim Hof took that method from Tibet," Demeulemeester said. "It's an old technique of breathing to empower yourself.

"He changed it a little bit and he found out what it did to him and what it did to other people.

"Today, the Wim Hof method is mainly breathing and ice baths," Demeulemeester said.

"The breathing is the more important, while the ice baths are the more crazy aspect of the system."

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