Our quest for wellness takes us on many curious and twisted journeys. From shakti mats, skin micro-needling and the fiery burn of burpees – we're all for braving a little discomfort in health and prosperity.
Water treatment (also known as hydrotherapy) has been utilised by humans to destress since the dawn of time. Nordic communities are huge fans, and so is Gwnthyth Paltrow. Even though cold showers aren't a primo supremo therapy for any ailment, they certainly can help alleviate symptoms and give your overall health a leg-up. If the thought of skimping out on the warmth of your sacred shower time leaves you feeling a little chilled – know that science tells us that blasting your water temperature below 21०C could actually be worth the shiver. Here's why…
Your Endorphins Are Boosted
Given the current state of our planet, it's no surprise that the percentage of our population affected by depression and mental illness is skyrocketing. Depression can be treated with various medications, depending on the intensity and length of the symptoms. Hydrotherapy, a comprehensive technique of sad-day treatment, is rising in popularity as a complementary treatment. A research investigation found that taking a cold shower for up to five minutes, two or three times each week helped alleviate symptoms of sadness.
How? Well, cold showers can act as a mild kind of electroshock treatment for those suffering from the blues – as a result of the many electrical impulses sent to your brain by the cold water. They sort of 'shake' you out of your slumber and awaken your mind, body, and spirit – like the feeling you get when you hear the intro to Beyonce's 'Crazy in Love.' Also produced are endorphins, which are commonly referred to as "happy hormones." This can positively influence the state of your mood and general life outlook.
Circulation Is Boosted
Immersion in cold water might feel like no walk in the park, but it can also be super duper energising. Because the body has to work a little more to maintain its internal body temperature when the water temperature is lower than it usually would be – it has been shown that taking regular cold showers can improve the efficiency of our circulatory system. Cold showers are also said to enhance the appearance of the skin due to an increase in blood flow.
This advantage has long been recognised by athletes, even if evidence supporting the use of cold water in treating sports injuries has only recently been discovered. A bruise or torn muscle can be treated with ice for the same reason. Warmer, more oxygenated blood can reach a part of the body more quickly if the temperature is lowered. Recovery time is shortened as a result. Taking a cold shower may help some people get their blood moving more rapidly – including those with circulatory issues, hypertension, and diabetes.
Related: Why We Love Warm Showers
Helps To Fight Against Common Ailments
Our bodies are built to adapt to the conditions we find ourselves in. For example, leukocytes (fancy scientific language for a colourless cell that circulates in the blood and body fluids and is involved in counteracting foreign substances and disease!) play a role in the body's defense against infection. Leukocytes are activated by a cold water shock in the circulation. According to one research, taking cold showers may even protect the body from some cancers. According to a clinical trial conducted in the Netherlands, people who took cold showers called in fewer sick days. Cold baths may be beneficial to those preparing for surgery or other treatments that might reduce their immune system's ability to fight off illness.
If you're feeling convinced, and want to start dipping your toes into the benefits of taking cold showers, begin by gradually reducing the water temperature. We recommend you play some Rihanna in the bathroom to feel more robust! Make the water so teeth-clenching icy that you can barely stand it. Finally, stay underwater for 2 or 3 minutes and then get out. Deep breaths might assist in alleviating any mental pain you may be experiencing. Make the water a little cooler the next time you do this workout. Try to stay in the chilly water for a few more seconds each time. And, who knows – maybe after a few reps, you may even begin to look forward to feeling a little more chill?
Happy Sundae x
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