COLD SHOWERS… you’ve got to be kidding! I tried this several years ago after reading about it in a kundalini yoga book. At the time, I just wasn’t motivated to put myself through self-torture by suffering through frigid temperatures. The book said it was good for your nerves, but this wasn’t enough to prod me into the cold. I didn’t see it as a cold shower immune system booster.
SO WHY SHOULD YOU TAKE THE PLUNGE!
I have to admit… as well as many others, HOT SHOWERS are really, really nice! Sometimes I just want to stay in there forever. Especially in a cold house. The only time I enjoy a cooler shower is when it is BAKING outside. Summers in Kentucky can get downright miserable… at times.
But, I have a new outlook on cold showers. I am always on the lookout for new solutions for maintaining a SOLID immune system. I am doing an awesome job with my immunity, but it never hurts to step up the game in a PANDEMIC world… And, what if there really are sinister globalists playing around with biowarfare.
Besides, apparently cold water therapy can help many people with many sorts of ailments. This is backed up by TONS of scientific research.
Ready to take a swim?
IMPROVE YOUR CIRCULATION! Jumping headfirst into cold showers jolts your system in a nanosecond. Trust me, the first time you do this, you’ll want to get right back out.
But, getting your blood to circulate throughout your body is a BIG DEAL. When you take cold showers every day, your body has to work a little harder to maintain its core temperature. This will increase the efficiency of your circulatory system. Better circulation of your blood may also result in healthier-looking skin.
This can be so beneficial to people with high blood pressure. Diabetics can also benefit from better circulation. Amputations occur because of poor circulation, so it is very important to keep the blood flow at optimal levels.
HELPS TONE DOWN INFLAMMATION Have you ever seen athletes sitting in an ice bath after suffering from an injury? Maybe you have seen this depicted in movies more often than live in a locker room, but athletes have been using this recovery technique for many years.
Who hasn’t heard of using ice to bring down swelling after an injury? Now there is the science to back it up. When you lower the temperature of an injured muscle, it actually speeds up the delivery of warmer, oxygenated blood to that area of your body. This, in turn, helps speed up your recovery time. So, why not immerse your body in cold water every day to decrease bodily inflammation.
HIGH ANXIETY? Suicide rates are soaring upward every year. As a society, we have strayed away from nature. Would you believe that our nice comfortable modern environments may actually cause inadequate functioning in our brains?
As a species, we have evolved over millions of years by being exposed to the elements. We have experienced brief changes in body temperature over eons of time. This is coming from scientific data.
What the data supports is that exposure to COLD activates the sympathetic nervous system and boosts the blood level of beta-endorphin and noradrenaline. This in turn allows your cells to signal your brain to release noradrenaline.
Cold showers supercharge your nervous system and these electronic impulses have an anti-depressive effect on your brain. I can testify to the fact, after a cold session in the shower, I experience an overwhelming sense of well-being.
IMMUNE SYSTEM BOOST Shocking your system with cold water stimulates leukocytes. These are cells that help battle foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. This will help you become more resistant to the common cold and flu.
Coldwater helps increase the number of NATURAL KILLER (NK) CELLS in your body. These cells also protect your body against free radical scavengers. Coldwater therapy also enhances the effect of NK CELLS.
Wow. I find this simply amazing. This is a cheap and easy way to solidify your immune system. Jumping in cold water sounds insane, doesn’t it? More and more studies are being performed to attest to this fact.
WAKE UP SLEEPY HEAD. Yes, this will wake you up in a NEW YORK MINUTE! As soon as your body comes in contact with the cold, you will let out a gasp. You will want to get out of the cold stream quickly. I like to bounce in and out a few times. Then I get in there and take it like a PENGUIN and let the magic happen.
This works better than Monster and Rockstar for starting your day. Cold showers stimulate your nervous system and fire off your adrenaline. Your thinking will become crystal clear at this point. And to think, I suffered from years of morning grogginess.
Your body has to work harder to balance your temperature after shocking it with cold. This results in a boost in your metabolism. I have actually lost 2 more pounds since I began taking cold showers (which has been about 10 days as of this writing).
I have been on a low-fat plant-based diet for 2 years and have lost 26 pounds… and eating as much as I feel like. 2 more pounds in 10 days is a way faster pace than what I have experienced with just the diet.
BREAKTHROUGH IN WORKOUT RECOVERY There is a lot of well-documented research involving muscle recovery in the sports world. I’ve already mentioned athletes jumping in ice baths after injuries or games. They usually do this for intervals of 7 to 14-minutes.
Physical therapists within the field of sports medicine vouch for the effectiveness of using cold water therapy. They find that it rapidly relieves heat exertion and helps reduce inflammation. Sound familiar? How many times have you put an ice bag on something swollen?
In fact, starting off with hot water, then switching to a cold blast of water can help intensify your recovery and help you feel less fatigued. My own body has recovered quicker since starting my cold shower routine. I tend to overuse my leg muscles throughout the week and at 58 years young, it usually takes a few days to recover. I have noticed a number of things since starting this journey. Like better sleep…
SLEEPING BEAUTY I have had some real challenges with getting a good night’s sleep, and I have to say that I’ve been waking up more refreshed of late. I got the notion after looking at Wim Hof online (the ICEMAN). He is simply amazing. He has been going into the cold for 4 decades and has formulated many ideas and strategies for optimum health.
His background includes an intensive study in the yoga world (among many other things). So part of my routine includes a breathing exercise that I do every day before getting out of bed. Then straight to the showers! The breathing technique is something worth exploring in a further post. I have already written about a breathing technique called the BREATH OF FIRE.
I just want to quickly mention that if you are wearing a mask on your face in these amazing times, you should seriously consider combating the negative effects of breathing your own carbon dioxide with an excellent breathing technique. I am not trying to politicize this article about negative mask effects, but masks are hindering your normal path of obtaining air... just saying.
Yoga offers many wonderful breathing techniques that are worth exploring!
LEAVE THE PAIN RELIEF TO COLD SHOWERS! Cold water therapy can offer local anesthetic-like effects towards pain relief. Cold water can cause your blood vessels to constrict and help reduce swelling.
It can also slow down nerve signals which heighten your feeling of pain. It kind of slows the rate at which pain alerts your brain of a problem area, so it kind of lowers your perception of pain. We all know this right! Back to the ice pack, you don’t feel anything while iced up. Especially with a burn, you never want to leave the comfort of the ice!
HERE’S THE REAL SKIN E Cold showers are just as good as beauty sleep! They can help improve your hair and skin. It will help your skin become more firm because it contracts your pores. Extravagant abuse of hot showers will also strip off natural healthy bodily oils. A cold shower will not.
THE ICEMAN COMETH!
It’s hard to talk about cold showers without mentioning the ICEMAN, Wim Hof. I am just finishing up his book The Wim Hof Method. He is a man on a mission. He wants to change the world with his breathing method, cold water therapy, and mastery over the mind.
He actually climbed Mount Everest in shorts! He has run marathons on ice and snow. He has swum 50 meters under ice. He has performed some incredible feats that would kill most people. Granted he has trained for a long time to be able to push his body to these limits.
He has also trained others to climb a 5000-foot mountain that borders Poland and the Czech Republic bare-chested. This mountain is covered with snow during the expeditions.
I don’t plan on doing any of these crazy adventures, but I can reap the benefits from 20 minutes of breathing exercises followed by cold shower torture. Go to his website and check all the science behind the method and all the testimonials from many satisfied people
He goes into detail on the benefits of cold water therapy… 40 years of exploration and experience. He is completely down-to-earth and is not a gold digger. He is basically an old-school hippy with years of extensive yogic training (among other things).
I am not affiliated in any way with his offerings. He offers a free mini-course if you want to check it out. There are also a bunch of YouTube videos where you can learn about his breathing techniques.
COLD WATER THERAPY IN TIMES OF YORE!
Cold water can take you out in a hurry. People jumping overboard from the Titanic met a certain death as soon as they hit the icy waters of the North Atlantic. There are limits to what you can do, but you would be surprised at what some people can do with the proper training to survive in cold environments.
Jump back in time a bit to the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates. This ancient Greek was the first person known to mess around with hydrotherapy (the use of hot or cold water for therapeutic purposes).
Thomas Jefferson, if your American and don’t know who is…shame on your teachers, soaked his feet daily in cold water for six decades to maintain his excellent health.
Swimming in the sea during winter was highly recommended for treating various illnesses in the 1700s. Whole communities were founded because of the perceived benefits of sea swimming. This is how lifeguarding came into play as the result of too many ocean casualties.
ARE YOU READY TO TAKE THE PLUNGE? 1,2,3 GO!
The Iceman recommends starting off with a warm shower in the morning after doing the breathing exercises. Don’t eat yet! Physical therapists also recommend starting off with warm water for better results.
Ease yourself into the cold. Stick your feet and legs in bit by bit. Next work your hands and arms. I like to bounce in and out of the stream a few times and then soak my head in the cold water.
Finally, I step my whole body into the water and turn around to make sure I expose my whole body to the frigid water. I try to stick it out for 3 minutes or so. It is quite refreshing and challenging. You are definitely awake after the shower. I feel a sense of clarity when it is all said and done.
HOW THEY DO IT IN YOGA
I first attempted colds showers after reading about it in a Kundalini yoga book. I have had amazing experiences practicing this style of yoga. It covers many areas of physical, emotional, and spiritual development.
Anyway, I was benefiting from everything that I tried practicing yoga, but I balked at the cold showers after two sessions. I was not yet motivated to do so. Since then, I have my reasons. I will do whatever I can now for optimal health
Instruction in Kundalini yoga recommends only using cold water. Start by moving in out of the water. Yogis suggest that you massage your body so the water no longer feels frigid.
They are big on Sanskrit mantras. If study Kundalini yoga you would be aware of these. They kind of yelp these mantras out because the cold water is so shocking to your system. I guarantee you will at least gasp loudly when coming in contact with the cold… it’s only natural
They also advise starting out with your arms and legs.
If you have sciatica or high blood pressure, proceed slowly.
YOGA HAS A LONG LIST OF BENEFITS FOR ADDING COLD SHOWERS TO YOUR DAY
- Moves blood into your capillaries
- Cleans out your circulatory system
- Helps reduce blood pressure in your internal organs by flushing them out and adding a new supply of blood
- Strengthens your nervous system
- Contracts muscles and help them flush toxins
- strengthens mucous membranes
- Wonderful for your skin
- Helps keep fat under control
- It Will help you balance your glandular system
- Can help prevent circulation and nerve problems
Why is this so? In minutes, your capillaries open up which increases your circulation. This wakes up and energizes your entire nervous system. As soon as you blast cold water on your body, blood zips on over to your organs. This is how your body responds to colder temperatures by moving the blood to protect your organs and keep them warm. Another self-defense technique that your body uses.
This movement of blood puts your capillaries in overdrive and provides them with a vigorous workout. This action dives into the deepest levels of your body to remove toxins. Your organs become cleaner and your body will begin to stimulate glandular secretions Glands help release hormones into your bloodstream. Your entire system is getting worked out when you indulge in cold showers every day.
First of all, women shouldn’t take cold showers during their menstruation cycle. If pregnant, it is not advisable after the seventh month.
You should avoid it if you are running a fever (who would want to if running a high temp). Avoid cold showers if you have heart disease (this could cause your heart rate to go up). This would probably depend on how bad the situation is with your heart. I would seriously consider a plant-based diet if that were the case to help reverse the disease. It has worked for me.
If you have a medical condition, ease yourself into it. You can try getting used to slightly cold temperatures to allow your body to adjust.
This is a strange topic. Indeed, it is. Could something so simple benefit your health in so many ways? I have discussed a few benefits that I have experienced so far. I have experienced better sleep and faster muscle recovery. I wake up right away and am ready to face the day after a cold shower. In the past, I have always let everyone know that I am not a morning person, and I used to prove it back when I worked those early hours.
Do you know what really motivated me to do this? I have diabetes, and I have it way more under control with a plant-based diet, but my feet were feeling a little numb. It seems that has stopped since I started taking cold showers, so I will keep on keeping on.
Thanks for reading.
Many blessings, Brian
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