Practices: Cold Showers

by | Health

My Spiritual Teachers recommended rinsing my body in cold water after showering in warm
water. Spend approximately ten minutes rinsing in the coldest water possible after showering
every day.

The Art of Taking a Cold Shower

After thoroughly washing your body in warm water, it is time to rinse your body entirely in cold
water, using a showerhead and a shower hose to direct the water flow.

  1. Switching from warm to cold water, target your genital area as the first part of the body to begin your cold shower. Once your genitals have acclimated to the cold water, where the temperature does not seem as severe as during the first moments, move to the next area.
  2. Now target the front legs, left, right and back legs, left, right, and the buttocks.
  3. Since the circulation in the lower torso is hardy and protected more with muscles and bones, it is only necessary to shower cold water on the lower torso for a few seconds. We will repeat rinsing the upper torso of the body twice.
  4. Starting with the left arm and moving slowly, shower from the shoulder to the hand and back 13 times.
  5. Repeat the same procedure for the right arm.
  6. Using a back-and-forth movement from the left side of the chest area to the right side, slowing use 13 strokes, back and forth as one stroke, gradually move the cold water up the trunk to the neck.
  7. Tilting the head back, apply the cold water to the neck area with a left to right motion, using 22 movements with one movement being a complete left to right
  8. Next target the back. Reaching over your head and using a circular motion, apply the cold water to the back with 22 circular strokes. One movement is a complete circular motion.
  9. The next area is the face. Using a circular motion, use 22 circular movements on the face, with one movement being an entire circular motion.
  10. Now apply the cold water to the top of the head, using 22 movements in a circular motion, as one movement is one entire circular motion.
  11. Next, target the left brachial artery, which runs from the neck to the left shoulder and down the left arm. Use 13 movements, one movement being an up-and-down motion from the neck to the hand and back. Repeat the same process for the right brachial artery. (NOTE: In stroke patients, the limited use of the arm muscles results partially
    from a limited blood flow to the arm. Applying cold water to the arms is essential to
    stimulate blood flow in the brachial arteries, and hopefully as a healing measure for
    improving arm functionality.)
  12. Repeat steps 4 through 10.
  13. After step 12, slowing, thoroughly rinsing your entire body, ending where you began, with the genitals.

Ten Health Benefits of Cold Showering

  1. Strengthens Immunity

    Cold showers can be a preventative tonic for colds, flu, and infections. An experiment in Prague
    studied the effect of cold-water immersions on athletic young men. They immersed themselves
    for one hour in the water at 57°F (14°C), three times a week for six weeks.

    Among the many changes they saw were increased levels of two types of white blood cells: monocytes and
    lymphocytes. While specific lymphocytes are instrumental in eliminating bacteria, viruses, and
    toxins, monocytes are indirectly responsible for engulfing and consuming pathogens and foreign

    Researchers believe that the increased metabolic rate, which results from the body’s
    attempt to warm itself up, activates the immune system and releases more white blood cells in
    response. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that people who take regular cold showers are
    less likely to develop colds, flu, and even some forms of cancer.
  2. Improves Blood Circulation

    Good blood circulation is vital for overall cardiovascular health. Alternating between hot and
    cold water while showering is an easy way to improve circulation. When exposed to cold water,
    our arteries and veins constrict in a process called “vasoconstriction.” The tightening helps blood
    to flow at a higher pressure as now there is less space for the blood to flow, meaning circulation
    will improve. “Vasodilation,” the opposite effect, occurs when we are exposed to heat.

    When the body is exposed to cold, its natural tendency is for your blood to rapidly concentrate on your
    vital organs to keep them warm, hence limiting your overall blood circulation. Why should you
    be conscious of having good flow? Well, it prevents such problems as hypertension, hardening of
    the arteries, and the appearance of varicose veins. Good circulation improves the performance of
    your system and thus helps to look and feel better.
  3. Regulates Temperature

    Cold showers provide a gentle form of stress that leads to thermogenesis (internal generation of
    body heat), which in turn activates the body’s adaptive repair systems. If you suffer from
    chronically cold hands and feet, or feel that you sweat an abnormal amount, try having a cold
  4. Promotes Weight Loss / Increases Metabolism

    Brown fat, as opposed to white fat, is heavily involved in burning energy. Cold showering
    naturally stimulates the utilization of these brown fats. These cells burn glucose to try and
    produce as much heat energy as possible. Having a higher amount of brown fat leads to more
    energy being burned per second, and therefore, more weight is lost. As a result of the increased
    brown fat usage, and the elevated blood pressure and body temperature, chemical reactions in the
    body will happen faster than they would have without regular cold showers. Increased
    metabolism is what many people seek, because it means that any process in the body will
    become more efficient, meaning more weight loss and more growth and repair of muscles and
    other tissues will occur.
  5. Alleviates Depression

    Depression is yet another thing that cold showers might help prevent. Research at the Radiation
    Oncology Department at Virginia Commonwealth University indicates that cold water has a
    stimulating effect on the brain’s “blue spot,” the primary source of noradrenaline for our bodies.
    Researchers believe noradrenaline is a chemical that helps alleviate depression.
  6. Improves Lymphatic Movement

    Lymph is a fluid transported through the body via the lymphatic system. The lymph flows
    between tissue cells to fight any infections and gather waste products. The system relies on
    muscles contracting to return lymph from the body’s extremities to the blood circulatory system
    for further detoxification.

    When you immerse your body in cold water, blood rushes from the limbs to surround
    your vital organs. Your heart then is forced to pump more efficiently, pushing blood through all
    your vessels and supplying every part of your body with the oxygen and nutrients it needs. Cold
    showers cause whole-body muscle contraction, and this works excellently with the lymph
    system, squeezing the fluid up through the body. If the lymphatic system is compromised and
    inefficient, then the fluid pools at the extremities, usually the feet. This results in what is known
    as lymphedema (a type of swelling).
  7. Deepens Breathing

    What you will notice as an effect of cold showers is that you begin inhaling very deeply.

    Combating the stress of the shock, the process of vasoconstriction, and the overall need for
    oxygen to respire and keep oneself warm opens the lungs, much as strenuous physical exercise
    does. It results in a higher than average intake of oxygen, which is good for many things such as
    not feeling tired during the day and doing better at sport or other exercises.
  8. Keeps Skin and Hair Healthy

    It is well known that hot water dries out our hair and skin. On the other hand, cold water can
    close the hair cuticles, making our hair look shinier, and be stronger. Healthier hair, of course,
    prevents our hair from falling out, so cold water helps in slowing down overall hair loss.

    Cold water can also make our skin healthier by our pores, preventing them from getting clogged, thus
    reducing blemishes like acne. Cold water also contributes to detoxification, which results in the
    squeezing of toxins and waste products out of the skin, making it appear cleaner and younger.
  9. Increases Energy and Wellbeing

    There are plenty of mental benefits to ending your shower with cold water. The ancient samurai
    warriors used to pour buckets of cold river water on their heads every morning in a Shinto
    practice called Misogi. This was a purification ritual on a spiritual level. They believed that it
    cleansed their spirit and helped them start a fresh new day.

    A cold shower can leave one feeling invigorated and energized. The heart starts pumping,
    and the rush of blood through the body helps shake off the lethargy of the previous night’s sleep.
    Additionally, while there are not many studies to confirm this, many people swear that cold
    showers are a definite stress reducer.
  10. Increases Hormone Production

    Cold-water showers can increase hormone production and activity by giving the body’s glands a
    boost. For example, cold showers can greatly benefit the reproductive system when trying to
    conceive a child. A man’s testes are not meant to get too hot; that is why they hang outside a
    man’s body. Sperm counts decrease when the temperature of a man’s testes increases.
    Experiments done in the 1950s showed that hot baths were an effective contraceptive method.
    Men who took a thirty-minute hot bath every other day for three weeks were infertile for the next
    six months.

    More recently, the University of California at San Francisco did a study with men
    exposed to thirty minutes of “wet heat” (hot showers, baths, and saunas) each week. When the
    men cut out this exposure, their sperm count went up by 491 percent, and their sperm’s motility
    improved. While switching from a hot to a cold shower may not have as dramatic an effect, if
    you are trying to reproduce, it surely will not hurt. Furthermore, it has been said that cold water
    therapy helps regulate the endocrine system (including the adrenals and thyroid).

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