Cold Water Therapy
Hydrotherapy is the practice of using hot or cold water as a healing tool. It has been used for thousands of years by Taoist masters, Yogis and many cultures in Europe, Asia and Africa. I remember during my Taoist master training we had to get up at 5:30am to begin every day with an ice cold shower. At that time I assumed it was a way to develop mental and physical endurance; which it did. I recently read an article in a wellness newsletter “www.naturalmentor.com” that gave a few scientific reasons why this ancient cold water shower therapy has been a wellness practice for centuries.
Cold water showing opens capillaries and flushes blood deep into all of the body’s internal organs. The cold shower will encourage circulation by flushing your system with new blood. It seems that when your capillaries are open new blood circulation will replace the old blood carrying more oxygen to nourish the body and regenerate cells.
According to the article older people may benefit more from cold shower therapy because it instantaneously allows the body’s cell to recuperate. Normally body cells recuperate themselves in seventy-two hours. Your body cell recuperation becomes slower as you grow older. This means that cold shower therapy has the ability to slow down the overall body aging process.
12 to 15 minutes of cold shower therapy can also burn just as much body fat, as an hour of exercising. The body will work hard to re-establish the normal level of warmth and by doing so it will burn extra calories and melt of body fat. Cold shower therapy will stimulate the brown fat (brown adipose tissue) cells to warm the body. Stimulating the brown fat cells in your body has been shown scientifically to increase your metabolic rate and aid fat loss.
There are two types of fats humans and other mammals have, brown fat cells and white fat cells (white adipocytes). White fat cells develop as a result of the storing of excess calories. When we consume too many calories, the body converts them into a contingency energy reserve in the form of white fat.
Brown fat generates heat by burning white fat. A human newborn/infant has approximately 5% of body weight made up of brown fat. A large amount of this brown fat is located on the upper half of the spine and towards the shoulders; its main function is to protect the infant from hypothermia. As we get older the level of brown fat drops. Lean people will have more brown fat then obese individuals and in most cases younger people have more brown fat then older people.
The cold shower therapy should not be used during pregnancy or menstruation or if you have heart disease, rheumatism or a fever. It is also recommended to rub almond oil over the body before getting wet. The skin can easily absorb the oil when it is mixed with water; which will nourish the body through the pores.
Cold water therapy is not your morning shower, that can come after the 12 to 15 minute exercise of stepping in the cold shower then out, massaging the body to feel the warmth coming on, then repeat the process each time trying to stay a little longer if you can. You should have a heavy rob or blanket to keep warm after the cold water shower until the body fully restores your normal temperature.
Cold water shower therapy is not for everyone but it can help you lose weight, look younger, boost your metabolism and strengthen your nervous system. Cold water shower therapy is another ancient wellness secret that modern science is just discovering.