Join Our CHILL'D Research Study at Vail Health

Exploring Sauna and Cold Plunge Therapy for Depression



Are you interested in participating in groundbreaking research aimed at finding innovative treatments for depression?

Vail Health is conducting a pioneering study exploring the therapeutic potential of sauna and cold plunge interventions for individuals struggling with depression. Please be aware that this study is being conducted solely for research purposes and is not intended as a form of treatment. Participants do not need to live or work in Eagle County to be eligible.




Main Investigator:

  • Barry Sandler, DO


Why Participate?

  • Novel Approach: Be part of a study exploring novel, alternative treatments for depression.
  • Contribute to Science: Your participation will contribute valuable insights to advance our understanding of holistic approaches to mental well-being.


Study Details:

  • Duration: Participation will take approximately 4-6 weeks. You will need to complete four visits: a screening visit (2-3 hours) to determine eligibility, the treatment visit (4-5 hours), and two follow-up visits (~1 hour each).
  • Location: Study visits will occur at the locations listed below.

    • Wiegers Mental Health Clinic
      439 Edwards Access Rd, STE B204
      Edwards, CO 81632
    • Vail Health Hospital
      180 S Frontage Rd W
      Vail, CO 81657

  • What's Involved: Participants will complete assessments of their mood, cognitive function, and overall well-being. Each participant will receive either a sauna treatment or a sauna treatment followed by a cold water plunge. The screening visit to determine your eligibility will include a urine screen, blood draw, and EKG. There will also be a blood draw at each visit.
  • Expert Guidance: Our team of experienced professionals will guide and monitor your progress throughout the study.
  • Financial Compensation: You can receive up to $200 for your participation depending on the number of study visits completed.
  • Benefits: You might benefit from being in the study because you may potentially experience a reduction in your depressive symptoms. However, your condition may also worsen or stay the same while you are taking part in this research study.


Eligibility Criteria:

We are looking for individuals who:

  • Are currently experiencing depression
  • Are medically healthy
  • Are between the ages of 18-65
  • Are open to exploring alternative therapeutic approaches
  • Can commit to attending four study visits over a 4-6 week period
  • Participants do not need to live or work in Eagle County to be eligible


Confidentiality: Your privacy is of utmost importance. All participant information will be handled with strict confidentiality, and results will be reported anonymously.

How to Participate: If you're interested in being part of this groundbreaking research, you can complete the PRE-SCREENING APPLICATION FORM to be considered for this study.






If you have questions please contact our research team at or call 970-855-7374.