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Thread: Hydrotherapy (Benefits of Cold Showers)

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    Hydrotherapy (Benefits of Cold Showers)

    http://artofmanliness.com/2010/01/18...-and-vitality/

    (kind of a tacky site, but it has a good overview)

    I've found that they steel you for the day. I feel less sensitive to small annoyances. In addition to jolting you awake, the cold water is good for your skin and does not eliminate skin oils as much as hot water does.

    I wouldn't go as far as saying they're unpleasant, but the sudden cold is jarring. When you start off I recommend gradually moving to luke-warm from warm, and then to cold, then to really cold, if you dare.

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    I do the exact same! also I take cold baths wich help in muscle recovery by removing the left over waste and lactic acid from them.

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    I have done cold water dousing off and on for many years. It is a rush, esp. in winter, outside in the snow! You will feel awesome! It is really beneficial after a workout.

    Here are some good articles:

    http://www.systemanorway.com/default.asp?iId=JLEIH

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dousing

    http://www.alliancemartialarts.com/coldbob.htm

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    I use to take cold showers in the past and loved it.

    Took one just now, and feel great. Thanks for the reminder!

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    I hate cold showers.

    But found out this is something that definitely gets you awake in the morning, when you have to.

    Why would there be health benefits? Or what causes a cold shower to be a health benefits.
    "And God proclaims as a first principle to the rulers, and above all else, that there is nothing which they should so anxiously guard, or of which they are to be such good guardians, as of the purity of the race. They should observe what elements mingle in their offspring;..." Plato Politeia

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cygnus View Post
    http://artofmanliness.com/2010/01/18...-and-vitality/

    (kind of a tacky site, but it has a good overview)

    I've found that they steel you for the day. I feel less sensitive to small annoyances. In addition to jolting you awake, the cold water is good for your skin and does not eliminate skin oils as much as hot water does.

    I wouldn't go as far as saying they're unpleasant, but the sudden cold is jarring. When you start off I recommend gradually moving to luke-warm from warm, and then to cold, then to really cold, if you dare.
    I read The Art of Manliness daily, and I strongly disagree with the notion that the site is 'tacky'.
    However, you are indeed right that cold showers carry great benefit. I find them strangely invigorating.
    And with the heatwave that is currently in my country, a cold shower is pretty much the only way to prevent excessive sweating in your sleep.
    Last edited by Sindig_og_stoisk; Monday, July 19th, 2010 at 11:08 AM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sindig_og_stoisk View Post
    I read The Art of Manliness daily, and I strongly disagree with the notion that the site is 'tacky'.
    However, you are indeed right that cold showers carry great benefit. I find them strangely invigorating.
    And with the heatwave that is currently in my country, a cold shower is pretty much the only way to prevent excessive sweating in your sleep.
    Tacky is a bit off I suppose. I just looked at the site briefly. These days there are a lot of self-styled 'alpha male' gurus who promote and sell books, videos and other mediums who try to market themselves to the very real and very large group of gen-y males who grew up without strong fathers or role models. In the former group there are a minority of merit. I looked again and it seems AoM might be a good resource.

    There was a fairly recent German study that showed a connection between cold showers and resistance to illness. I'll try to find that.

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    Well, if someone wants to kill me he should put me into a shower of cold water. I need warm water when showering, otherwise I don´t find it pleasant or tolerable. There´s nothing better than a hot shower in winter when you just came home chilled to the bones! In summer I use lukewarm water but that´s it. Cold water showering makes you even more sweating after a certain time.

    "Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Contrast bathing/showering works well two. Five minutes in cold then five minutes in hot water. The blood is moved away from the skin and then back towards it. Suppose to help recovery time. I know the US Olympic center does this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GermanJerseyGuy View Post
    Contrast bathing/showering works well two. Five minutes in cold then five minutes in hot water. The blood is moved away from the skin and then back towards it. Suppose to help recovery time. I know the US Olympic center does this.
    I read from several sources that one should always finish with cold.

    Here is some interesting reading on health benefits:

    Cold showers are good for you - official
    The Independent
    Sunday, 21 November 1999

    Cold showers and cold baths, which were part of the regular regime of Edwardian gentlemen, may be set for a comeback. Later generations have dismissed cold showers as a masochistic fetish designed to control sexual appetite. But now German doctors have found that immersion in cold water has beneficial effects on body chemistry.

    Year-round swimmers in Berlin have half as many chest infections as other people, say doctors from the Herzog-Julius Hospital in Bad Harzburg and the Medical School at Humboldt University in Berlin. Swimming in freezing water, cold plunges in ice water following a sauna, and other forms of cold immersion harden the body and benefit health by increasing resistance to chest infections, the German doctors say.

    Dr Werner Siems, a biochemist at Herzog-Julius Hospital became interested after observing patients with rheumatoid arthritis who were given exposure to cold at -110C for up to three minutes at a time. Patients, who wear shoes and gloves and special protection for the nose, mouth, ears and other sensitive parts, report a reduction in pain following treatment in the cold chamber.

    Studies of year-round swimmers, both men and women, have found that regular exposure to cold changes the body's chemistry, making it more resistant to oxidative stress. The swimmers' bodies have increased quantities of a substance, glutathione, and elevated levels of several enzymes that enable the body to remove reactive oxygen from the body more quickly.

    It appears that swimming in cold water may help the body combat natural decay caused by reactive oxygen. Among the possible, but as yet unproven benefits could be protection against heart and blood vessel disease. "Modern life has a deficiency of stimulating factors such as cold, heat and physical stress and this results in poor resistance to disease," said Dr Siems. "Brief exposure to cold causes a mild oxidative stress which may prepare the body to resist a greater stress."

    Cold treatment is popular in Siberia, where it has been witnessed by Professor William Keatinge, of Queen Mary and Westfield College in London, an expert on cold exposure.

    "In Russia they call this treatment Ivanov therapy after a guru who walks in the snow barefoot and without a shirt," Professor Keatinge said. "I saw a number of expectant mothers in Krasnoyarsk, central Siberia, troop out of the hospital clinic into the snow in bikinis, meditate for a few minutes, and then troop back.

    "But I was even more astonished to see a newborn baby given Ivanov therapy. The baby was only a few hours old when a nurse poured a bucket of ice-cold water over its head. Then I was shown a one-year-old boy who had been given the treatment every day of his life. He had become so used to cold water that he continued to play on the floor after it was poured over him as if nothing had happened."

    Russian doctors particularly recommend the ice-water treatment for what they call post-Chernobyl syndrome, an anxiety condition recognised in Russia which may have psychological aspects similar to ME, the persistent fatigue syndrome.

    Professor Keatinge has for many years been studying the increase in deaths in this country during the winter. He has shown that some 30,000 people in Britain die each winter as a result of exposure to cold. These are mostly older people who go outdoors wearing insufficient clothing during cold weather when they may, for example, have to wait in the cold at a bus stop.

    "Cold stress acting over a period of half-an-hour to several hours causes the blood to become more concentrated and increases the risk of a heart attack," said Professor Keatinge. "Shorter exposures to cold may make people more resistant to it, but there are risks. People who swim in the cold may suffer heart attacks. So it is not advisable for older people, unless they have been doing it for a long time. It is particularly ill-advised for anyone who suffers from angina."

    'It's brilliant. It is like an addiction'

    The air had a frosty nip as Chris Ruocco dived into water at 9C (48F), writes Oliver Gillie. Every morning, winter or summer, Mr Ruocco swims in Highgate pond, north London, along with other members of the Highgate Lifebuoys.

    He began swimming in the pond at the age of 10, when, as a boy boxer, he worked out with the legendary trainer, Georgie Francis, and has been swimming year in, year out ever since. The cold baptism of Highgate ponds has blessed a generation of boxers such as Frank Bruno, John Conteh, Cornelius Boza Edwards, and Bunny Stirling who all hardened themselves in its water under the guidance of Francis.

    "It is good for toughening up," said Mr Ruocco, who won prizes in the ring as a young amateur.

    The cold plunge gives Mr Ruocco a big lift before he begins his work as a tailor. His clients have included pop groups such as Wham!, Bananarama and Spandau Ballet. Now after more than three decades of toughening up Mr Ruocco does not look his age.

    "An hour after swimming you feel a glorious glow through the body. It's brilliant. I have to do it. It is like an addiction," he said. In the winter the Lifebuoys have to break the ice before they can swim.

    Along with a few others Mr Ruocco swims year round despite warnings from Health and Safety Officers employed by the City of London Corporation who are responsible for Highgate pond.

    Tim Graydon, secretary of the Lifebuoys, warns: "You have to build up to it slowly. I wouldn't recommend cold swimming for someone who does not take other regular exercise. It doesn't matter who you are, diving into cold water in mid-winter is a shock to the system. Nobody can stand cold water for long - you have to get out sharpish."

    The Lifebuoys, who were founded in 1903, run a Christmas day race which has had to be cancelled twice when the ice was too thick to break.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-st...al-738026.html


    Cold Showers: What’s the Evidence?

    Some people have questioned the evidence behind hydrotherapy, especially the cold water treatments that are described in the book that Alexa Fleckenstein and I co-authored. German research supports the effects of cold water used on the skin as therapy. Unfortunately, the studies are in German, and they are small. (1) Because Pharma firms have no interest in inexpensive water cures, there probably won’t be big studies any time soon. Fact is, the German insurance system pays all or part of physician-prescribed treatments, including hydrotherapy and herbs. The importance and therapeutic potential of water, and especially cold water, are now simply taken for granted in Germany.(2) Here are some specific research studies supporting the health benefits of cold water treatments. Citations are listed at the end. (More cold water research details in Own Your Health (2003)

    Boosting the immune system

    A pilot study of immune effects from cold water therapy with a small number of breast cancer patients found significantly increased disease-fighting cell counts in every category examined, including neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes.(3)

    Reducing the perception of pain

    In a study in Japan, cooling by ice water was one of the “competitive stimuli” that reduced the perception of the pain of a laser beam on the skin. (4)

    Improved circulation and function in the legs

    A Swedish group administered three weeks of alternating cold and hot hydrotherapy to the legs of patients suffering from intermittent claudication (reduced blood flow) and found that improved systolic blood pressure in ankles and toes, reduced pain, and markedly better walking ability went beyond the results of standard treatment and persisted for at least a year after treatment.(5)

    Swimming in the winter?

    Ten healthy subjects who regularly swim during the winter were evaluated at Berlin’s Institute of Biochemistry at Humboldt University Medical School. Their blood and urine showed increased levels of anti-oxidants, which prevent cell damage, indicating their bodies’ increased tolerance to stress.(6)

    (1)Summarized in Bühring, M., Naturheilkunde: Grundlagen, Anwendungen, Ziele (Natural Medicine: Basic Application and Goals), Munich, Verlag CH Beck, 1997.
    (2)Haas, S.S., Hydrotherapy and more: Adapting Kneipp’s Natural Medicine to the U.S., Complementary Medicine for the Physician, 2000; 5(8):57,61-64.
    (3)Kuehn, G., Sequential hydrotherapy improves the immune response of cancer patients. In: Mizrahi A, et al., (eds.) Potentiating Health and the Crisis of the Immune System: Integrative Approaches in the Prevention and Treatment of Modern Diseases. New York: Plenum, 1997.
    (4)Kakigi R., et al. Pain relief by various kinds of interference stimulation applied to the peripheral skin in humans: pain-related brain potentials following CO2 laser stimulation. J peripher Nerv Syst 1996;1:189-198.
    (5)Elmstahl, S. et al., Hydrotherapy of patients with intermittent cluadication: a novel approach to improve systolic ankle pressure and reduce symptoms. Int Angiol. 1995;14:389-394.
    (6) Siems, W.G., et al., Uric acid and glutatione levels during short-term whole body cold exposure. Free Radic Biol Med. 1994;16:299-305.

    http://ownyourhealth.wordpress.com/2...-the-evidence/


    Take a Cold Shower to Protect Against Colds and Flu This Winter

    At first, it sounds crazy – can a cold shower really prevent colds and flu? But Dr. Alexa Fleckenstein, author of HEALTH 2 0: TAP INTO THE HEALING POWERS OF WATER TO FIGHT DISEASE, LOOK YOUNGER, AND FEEL YOUR BEST (McGraw-Hill 2007) says that a few seconds of cold water after your hot shower is scientifically proven to make you healthy – even if you’re in the cold water for less than 30 seconds a day.

    Here are 6 ways that a short cold shower protects you from colds and flu:

    1. A brief cold water shower will decrease your body’s “reaction time” to cold. The cold shower “teaches” the blood vessels in your skin to clamp down faster, so you are losing less warmth in draft or cold exposure. Especially, during the winter months while it’s cold outside, you’ll stay warmer, longer.

    2. Gamma interferon and interleukin-4 are two important virus-fighting cytokines (immune system proteins) A new German study has shown that cold water exposure helps these two disease-fighters work better together, resulting in fewer viral colds.

    3. A cold shower increases lymphocytes in the blood. Lymphocytes produce antibodies, which help fight germs.

    4. A cold shower makes you breathe deeply. (A big gasp when the cold water hits the skin!) A deep breath opens closed or clogged alveoli (small air sacs in the lungs) which are then less prone to bronchitis and pneumonia. And deeper breathing means more oxygen for the whole body.

    5. A cold shower increases blood flow in all organs, especially skin, heart and lungs. The pharynx/larynx ( organs of the throat) also benefit from the increased blood flow, and are better able to kill viruses.

    6. And a cold shower lifts your mood. Depressed people get more colds – probably because depression lowers immunity. A brisk cold shower has been proven to lift the mood and lower stress, both of which jumpstart the immune response – which kills flu and cold germs!

    Remember that cold water therapy works only if done regularly, and also needs a few weeks (about six) to work. Start with just your feet and hands in the cold water, and gradually work your way up to your whole body. It feels great!

    IMPORTANT: Check with your doctor first. Contraindication include uncontrolled high blood pressure, and narrowing of the arteries.

    http://ownyourhealth.wordpress.com/2...u-this-winter/

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