Health Freedom Resources
Other Benefits of Hot and Cold Shower Therapy
When toxins are removed from your body, your immune system is better able to focus on controlling viruses, bacteria and infections. An interesting study was done on cold water improving immune response. The Prague Experiment looked at the effect of cold water immersions on athletic young men. During the study, the men immersed themselves in water at 57įF three times a week for six weeks. One of the changes the researchers found was an increase in two types of white blood cells: monocytes and lymphocytes. Certain lymphocytes help to eliminate bacteria, viruses, and toxins while monocytes aid in absorbing and consuming pathogens and waste.
Why did the cold water have this affect on the immune system? The researchers concluded that the immune system is stimulated by the body trying to warm itself up once exposed to cold water. In response, more white blood cells were released into the body to help fight off potential infections. The detoxifying affect of hot and cold shower therapy combined with kicking the immune system into higher gear helps tone up your body's ability to defend from toxins and invaders that can compromise health.
Effects on Mood
Cold water's ability to stimulate the release of endorphins while reducing swelling makes it a great tool to reduce pain. Endorphins are your body's natural pain killer hormones that are released during hard exercise, when eating spicy foods, and other activities from which your body may need some relief. When you combine the endorphin release from cold water with the relaxing affect of hot water you may get temporary relief from discomfort after a workout or while recovering from an illness that leaves your body achy and sore.
Want to feel more invigorated and less depressed? The Department of Radiation Oncology at Virginia Commonwealth University did an interesting study on cold water therapy's effect on mood. They found that cold water has a stimulating effect on the brains "blue spot", the main source of noradrenaline for our bodies. Noradrenaline is a neurotransmitter that along with serotonin is targeted by antidepressants and can help balance mood.
A hot and cold shower can help kick start your morning, leaving you invigorated and ready to handle your day. The cold water gets your heart pumping and the rush of blood through your body helps wake you up better then a cup of coffee! In fact, ancient samurai warriors would start their day by pouring buckets of cold river water on their heads every morning as part of the Shinto spiritual practice called "Misogi".
The samurai warriors believed the cold, clean water cleansed their spirit, helping them start their day fresh and spiritually cleansed from the day before. You don't have to go to the same extremes but a short hot and cold shower when you wake up can clear your head and energize your body in no time.
Taking a healthy hot and cold shower can improve how well your perspiration glands work. When you switch between hot and cold water in the shower, toxins are released from your body and some are eliminated through the skin, leaving a healthier complexion. Blemishes are often your body's attempt to get rid of toxins that have nowhere else to go but through your skin. By regularly increasing your circulation and stimulating the skin with hot and cold water, you allow your skin to clear out any toxins that have become stuck in certain areas. In addition, cold water tightens cuticles and pores for shiny, clean, young looking hair and skin.
Other Ways to Experience the Benefits of Hot and Cold Water Therapy
You can give your circulatory system a tremendous boost by taking hot and cold showers. The result is invigorating and extremely healthful. You can use hot and cold showers to "get into gear" in the morning or, ironically, use it at the end of the night to get an unusually restful night's sleep.
Along with the full body benefit of a hot and cold shower, there are other ways to experience the healthy effects of using hot and cold water on areas that need improvement.
If you're trying to address something like a sore knee after a workout, you can use a hand-held shower head to direct the hot and cold water directly on the area you want to improve.
You can also try a cleansing bath that is helpful if you want to sweat out toxins, kick your immune system into high gear when fighting off an illness, and really get your circulation going.
Read more about how to do cleansing showers and baths:
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