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The benefits of cold water dousing

Being a proponent of taking a clod shower in the mornings, people have asked me why? Good question! Why do I do it? It’s not like it’s something that I look forward to every morning , nor is it actually pleasant feeling! It’s the benefits I receive from it, that makes me continue to do it. Think of pure cod liver oil. It tastes like crap, but there are many health benefits from it.

There are many cultures that have been using cold water, either in the form of pouring cold water over themselves, jumping into cold water(lakes or rivers), standing under cold waterfalls, or the modern version of cold showers. Depending on the culture, it is viewed as either spiritual or therapeutic. Presently, we see the therapeutic values of it.

Japanese cold water meditation

So what are the therapeutic benefits of cold water dousing?

  • It wakes you up! Need caffeine to get you awake in the morning? Take a cold shower, and you’ll be ready for the day!! I call it a caffeine jolt on roids.
  • Improves circulation. I feel the benefits of this especially right after I finish my cold shower, while wiping myself down with a towel. I wipe myself in a more “aggressive” manner to really get the blood flowing. I see my skin turning more red, and feel myself actually getting warmer.
  • Improves immunity. Since our bodies are getting better circulation, this helps the body move blood around , therefore aiding one’s body against infections. This increase of circulation may also help in the recovery on injuries. The main word I use here is aid…not cure. Some people might claim that, but I have no background to back this claim up.
  • Helps metabolism. Being subjected to cold, the body has to work harder to maintain a stable temperature. This then speeds up ones burning of body fat. Of course, this is a short term effect, so a cold shower isn’t the absolute answer to losing weight.
  • Good for your skin. Cold water helps retain the natural oils in your skin(and hair) and doesn’t dry out the skin like a hot shower. Therefore, your skin remains for hydrated.

Before explaining on how to start on tips on taking cold showers or dousing, cold water dousing might not be for everyone. The majority of people who don’t want to take a cold shower just dread the thought of it..I can’t blame them. Like I mentioned, it’s not something I truly enjoy. People with weaker immune systems and those with serious heart conditions, should exercise caution when taking cold showers. This is because the sudden changes to body temperature and heart rate may overwhelm the body. If a person is not sure if a cold shower could benefit them, they should ask their doctor.

As with many other things, starting of slowly is the best advise. Before jumping into a cold shower in the morning, getting a massive shock and swear to never do it again, start off with small steps. Do each step for a couple of weeks before going on to the next.

  • The first step would be to fill one’s bathtub with cold water, just stand in the cold water for a 1-2 minutes.
  • The second step would be to wet a hand towel in cold water, and wipe one’s body with it.
  • The third step , or sometimes it’s the final step for some people, is to douse oneself with cold water, using a small bucket. This is the “traditional” method of water dousing, before the days of showers. The nice part of this method is that one can mentally prepare for the cold water. Using breathing helps too. Breath in, then out when you pour the cold water onto oneself. Do this several times. In a shower, one can’t use this “psyching” up between douses, because the water flow is constant.
  • The final step is to take the cold shower. Having gone thru all these steps, it shouldn’t be a big shock to one’s system. As in the 3rd step, mentally prep oneself before starting the cold shower. Myself, I prefer to be standing in the bathtub before turning on the water, rather than letting the shower run, then stepping into the shower. Some people say that they take a cold shower, then run hot water afterwards. Unfortunately, that is not a true cold shower. Stay in the cold water, then afterwards, vigorously wipe oneself with a towel. You will start feeling the body heat up.
  • A final bonus step is taking a cold water bath. Fill the bath with cold water with ice. Lay in the bath for several minutes. This is a nice one for myself, especially on hot summer days!

Starting in the wintertime might not be the best for some people, because the water temperature will be much colder. Also, as with exercising, try to keep it constant thru out the year, so one will not have to restart from the beginning.

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