What do Katherine Hepburn, James Bond, Spartans, Ancient Greeks, the Finnish, Native Americans, and Indians have in common? They all understand/understood the transformational abilities of cold showers. And more people are beginning to realise its impact on day-to-day living.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch
For years we have been taking warm baths and steamy showers. And for years we have been telling ourselves that tomorrow will be the day to work a bit later, wake up earlier, start that blog, apply for that dream job…but what really happens when tomorrow comes?
Be honest and raise your hand if you’re more comfortable binge-watching people on television live their lives; the truth is, most people are. And because of this, watching television is now one of the leading causes of depression.
However, clinical studies show cold showers are a potential treatment for depression:
” Exposure to cold is known to activate the sympathetic nervous system and increase the blood level of beta-endorphin and noradrenaline and to increase the synaptic release of noradrenaline in the brain as well. Additionally, due to the high density of cold receptors in the skin, a cold shower is expected to send an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain, which could result in an anti-depressive effect.”
Science Further Proves The Benefits of Cold Showers:
Whether it is water therapy, aquatic therapy, pool therapy, and balneotherapy, hydrotherapy, water has been used as a natural medicine for a very long time. And just like warm baths help to relax, calm and soothe, cold showers also generate an effect. This effect is especially felt in the sympathetic nervous system, and here are a few ways it will change you:
It Increases Concentration
What else can one think about when taking a cold shower? Well, nothing really. For this reason, cold showers become a form of meditation because it slows down the racing mind and steers the focus solely to the experience – leaving you more alert and awake.
It Enhances Your Blood Circulation
The shock of cold water causes a stress response in your body that pushes up your heart rate and increases your breathing which all leads to enhanced blood circulation. It is because of this stimulation that cold- shower loyalists believe it keeps the skin looking healthier and younger.
It Boosts Your Metabolism
“Cold is much more of a shock, [which]kicks the cardiovascular system into high gear to ramp up metabolism for the day,” added Jessica Krant, MD.
It Strengthens Immune System
Studies may also suggest that cold showers could help strengthen the immune system, as it increases white blood cell count and boosts the concentration of helper T-cells.
The Practice of Cold Showers in India
In India, a cold shower is still an ancient tradition. It is known as Ishnaan which means “Sun” because of its invigorating and stimulating effect on the body.
Here’s How They Do It:
Step 1: Loofah
Step 2: Oil
Use an essential oil to rub your face and body. Coconut oil is recommended.
Step 3: Enjoy Your Cold Shower
Step into the shower with your right foot and then immerse your right side of your body under the water. Switch over to your left foot and begin to wet your left side. Allow the water to run over your face for at least three minutes and then give your back some showtime and then begin rubbing your body with your hands.
By simply taking a cold shower first thing in the morning, we not only throw ourselves immediately into the deep-end of discomfort, we also prepare our day to further delve into other uncomfortable acts for growth and transformation.