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Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
19 Jun

Cold Water Therapy

1305780814 3115bcfc33You’re in the middle of a nice, hot shower, feeling your muscles relax, the day’s tension (or night’s sleepiness) melt away. As you bask in the quiet moment of repose, suddenly your body gets a startling jolt. After a second of disoriented shock, you realize something has happened to the hot water. Did someone start the washer? Is the water heater going berserk? Your hopes of relaxation now dashed, your stress level through the roof, you finish only the most obligatory rinsing and step out of the shower cursing, muttering and shivering as you reach for your towel.

But does a cold shower need to ruin the day? Can they actually be more than a nuisance, but a legitimate health therapy as some say? We thought we’d do some digging to explore the notion MDA reader Alex recently put forth: “The way Grok kept himself clean sure wasn’t with sustained periods of temperature controlled hot water. Maybe we shouldn’t either.” The results we found were very intriguing (and encouraging) indeed.

The underlying premise of cold water therapy is that briefly and somewhat regularly exposing the body to certain kinds of natural stresses (like cold water) can enhance health. Promoters of cold water therapy say that it can boost immune function, decrease inflammation and pain, and increase blood flow. Some argue that a shower setting is suitable, while others say some level of immersion is necessary for real benefit. What does the research say? Here’s what we found.

The benefits of cold water therapy appear to depend on the subject’s adaptation over time. In other words, regular polar dips seem to enhance long term health, but a single cold burst in the shower won’t offer much beyond a good wake-up jolt. The power of cold water therapy, it seems, is in the habituation itself.

In studies comparing regular winter swimmers with subjects not adapted to cold immersion, winter swimmers showed an ability “to survive a significantly greater temperature gradient between body and environment than non-cold-adapted subjects.” Their advantage over the non-adapted subjects was a modification of the “sensory functions of hypothalamic thermoregulatory centres to lower heat loss and produce less heat during cold exposure.” The researchers concluded that regular winter swimmers show “metabolic, hypothermic and insulative” kinds of adaptation to cold temperatures.

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Cold showers, research shows, can help this habituation process, but only water at 10 degrees Celsius (as opposed to 15 degrees C) made a difference. Habituation also seems to be somewhat long-term. In a British study, subjects’ responses showed that habituation to cold water lasted 7-14 months as measured by respiration and heart rate.

Some of the specific benefits? A German study examined oxidative stress associated with ice-bathing in regular winter swimmers and found these swimmers showed an “adaptive response” through enhanced “antioxidative defense” as measured by several blood markers.

Other research highlighting cold water’s effect on immunity shows an increase in both the number and activity of peripheral cytotoxic T lymphocytes in those regularly exposed to cold therapies.

Full body cold water immersion and cryotherapy (cold air chamber) also resulted in a sustained increase in norepinephrine, which substantiates the long-term pain relief touted by cold therapy promoters. Exposure to cold also increases metabolic rate.

Finally, the benefits of cold water therapy show promise for those with chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic heart failure, and some (non-lymphoid) types of cancers.

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So, are you intrigued yet? Though the jury may still be out on some of the findings related to specific medical conditions, healthy individuals seem to have much to gain from the cold. It’s all about upregulating our systems, taxing them in a healthy, natural way like intermittent fasting. While the findings don’t suggest people should, in the name of health, give up hot showers altogether (who would give them up even if they did!) Alex may have a legitimate point after all. We will be keeping our eyes and ears open for new research around cold water therapy for future posts.

Some specific suggestions based on the findings? Very cold showers appear to be beneficial for the purpose of habituation, but we’d recommend alternating them occasionally with immersion when you can. Those of you in Northern climates might have more fun and social occasions (e.g. New Year’s polar dips) for such an exercise, but we can all spare the water heater for a day now and then for a nice cold dip in the old tub.

Thoughts? Questions? Fun stories of your own polar hydro-adventures? We’d love to hear your take.

GoGap, Mario Sepulveda, freezelight Flickr Photos (CC)

Further Reading:

Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy?

Hot To: Intermittent Fasting

What is The Primal Blueprint?

Drink Less Water?

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You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. This is a great article, I always finish off showers with a cold rinse and try to jump into cold pools and the sea whenever I can. its a totally energizing and refreshing experience.

    Chris wrote on June 19th, 2008
    • I know this is a really old post, but I 100% agree with you on this. Finishing off showers with a cold rinse keeps you from sweating after getting all clean, too, which is a bonus.

      TokyoJarrett wrote on February 29th, 2012
      • I first read this page, ‘BK’ in 2009

        Now revisiting this page, ‘AK’ in 2012

        Localad wrote on March 27th, 2012
      • cold water therapy…
        so how is that possible to countries like the philippines?

        gilian tajanan wrote on April 22nd, 2012
        • Aren’t streams and the ocean below room temperature in the Philippines? Try scuba diving below 30 or 40 feet if you can.

          Edward wrote on May 2nd, 2012
    • If you stop to think about it… cold adaptation is entirely a Paleolithic concept given that the earth was in various ice ages during the Paleolithic era.

      It only makes sense that cold weather exposure in human beings will bring about health benefits similar to switching to a Paleo/Primal diet.

      Matthew Caton wrote on May 10th, 2012
  2. A comment on the chronic fatigue hypothesis. I agree, CFS is related to the hypothalmic pituitary axis. It is directly related to low levels of thyroid and adrenal hormones. Muscle pain/low levels of serotonin is a symptom along with CFS–it is not CFS.
    I don’t think people with CFS feel better in cold water, but they do feel bad in hot water. Anything that increases metabolism or temperature is going to stress the body if the adrenal hormones are lacking, specially, cortisol and aldosterone.

    Crystal wrote on June 19th, 2008
    • CFS may also be caused by degenerative diseases of the nrevous system so people with this type of ailment must be cautious to the degree of water temperature they are using..

      kalopay wrote on December 29th, 2009
    • an autoimmune disease like myasthenia gravis also produces a profound symptom of muscle weakness and cold water therapy cannot counteract the devastating effect of acetylcholine and dopamine imbalance of this ailment

      kalopay wrote on December 29th, 2009
    • Hi, I have had CFS for years and for me the best help has come from frequent immersion in a cold bath. I try to have one each morning, and yes it is challenging, especially at the start, but the benefits it brings to my life are immense. Im in UK if any one wants to discuss further. As an unexpected side issue, cold baths have also stopped my Raynauds. I understand that we are all different in how we respond to treatment, but this is a free and accessible treatment for most. Do start slowly, perhaps by standing in a couple of inches at first, or try just washing head feet and wrists.

      Nino wrote on April 21st, 2011
      • Hi there, I have fibromyalgia and would love to know more about cold water therapy and how it has helped. I have been trying it for that last week and I feel slightly better.

        sally wrote on November 5th, 2011
      • Hey Nino how you going? I’d love to get in touch with you and hear a little more about your ice bath experience for CFS/ME. I’m putting an article together on it and am keen to give it a go myself, some people swear it got them back on their feet. Thanks! Joe

        Joe wrote on December 9th, 2011
        • Hey Joe, where can we read the article?

          Patrick3000 wrote on January 6th, 2012
      • Hi, I have Raynaulds and haven’t found anything that improves the condition. I’ve never tried cold baths. Do you think immersion in a bath tub is required or cold showers maybe work? just curious to how you improved your Raynaulds.

        Thanks,
        C

        Claudia wrote on January 22nd, 2013
        • Hello Claudia,

          No, cold showers – as I said in an earlier post – are not quite the same thing as immersion. Read all you can on TRHT (Thermo Regulatory HydroTherapy and V.J. Kakkar, and the Chelsea Clinic).

          For Reynaud’s there is something that might help, I’ve heard it has with others, which is Gingko Biloba supplements, normally prescribed for memory loss as the years roll on – the connection being peripheral circulation.
          Also might try: Rutin (in buckwheat, and buckwheat honey), rosehips etc.

          You could try also just immersing feet and hands in cold water, liit this to about 12C as this is one of the cut-off/pain threshold points, an upper one is about 16C, where you start with lower body TRHT. Good luck, PS. take the right does of Gingko, Costco do a good quality good deal on them, 3 tabs after main meal.

          Harry Mann wrote on January 23rd, 2013
      • Hi,
        I have Raynauds and it is horrible! I’d love to hear about your experience in stopping it. Please email me. Thanks!

        JM wrote on June 7th, 2013
  3. It isn’t the same, but I always love RUNNING into the ocean – it is THE only way to get in the water. Some people tip toe, and ooh and aah, and avoid the inevitable splash against *that* part of our body, but in reality, its a lot more fun and adaptable to just run in! Oh, and by the way, definitely stay in for a little bit – the water may not be *cold*, but it certainly isn’t ambient or blood temp!

    Ryan Denner wrote on June 19th, 2008
  4. Interestingly enough, part of Art DeVany’s EF lecture that was published to YouTube (with Art’s permission) deals with this topic.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=daO-xVhoYcg

    Brian wrote on June 19th, 2008
  5. This may be shifting the argument from whether cold water exposure is healthy to just vanity – but would one of the adaptations (i.e. insulative) be increased fat storage?

    JDS wrote on June 19th, 2008
  6. JDS –

    As Art mentions in the video link above one of the reasons surfers are often so trim is because they spend a lot of time in cold water. The cold water absorbs heat from the surfer which requires energy (calories) to create. All other things being equal you could, ostensibly, lose weight simply by sitting in cold water. This is a version of the drinking cold water tip you may have heard.

    Aaron wrote on June 19th, 2008
  7. I do “contrast showers” all the time. Aka…start off somewhat hot then do 30sec cold, back to warm, 30 sec colder….etc…trying to hit all the lymph node areas (under the arms, neck, front hips) and the spine to shock the CNS. Great stuff. Definitely feel more alert…and there might be a little something in regards to fat loss since it will generate some sort of norephedrine response (which is key to access the fat in all those hard to get places that have those stubborn A2 receptors, or we could just take an ECA stack…if you can find it).

    Also the contrast showers help the lymphatic system move waste away from the cells (lymph) with the expansion/compression effect of hot/cold. May aid in natural detoxification and boosted immune function through that.

    I know there are stories out there also of centurians who say the secret to them living longer was taking cold showers. May be something to it.

    Mike OD - IF Life wrote on June 19th, 2008
  8. Heh heh.. I was a member of the polar bear club in high school, TOTALLY invigorating.
    I can’t say I’d be making cold showers a habit in some way.
    Cooling down is a must, but at the end of the day at least for me…. the shower needs to be hot.

    Strong One wrote on June 19th, 2008
  9. I’m trying to do as much cold water swimming as possible this summer. On the only extremely hot day (for Seattle) so far this season, I swam in Puget Sound, in water that was about 50 degrees, for 15-20 minutes. I’d never spent anywhere near that much time in it before. It felt amazing in the 90 degree heat, although when I came out my foot cramped up and I couldn’t quite feel my legs.

    Water water tempts me.

    Food Is Love

    Huckleberry wrote on June 19th, 2008
  10. Hmm, I don’t know why the word “water” appeared twice there.

    Food Is Love

    Huckleberry wrote on June 19th, 2008
  11. As a kid I regularly swam in chilly water. We would go to Lake Tahoe a few times each summer and the community pool at my parents’ cabin in the mountains was huge and not heated, so the water stayed pretty chilly, often in the mid 60s. Maybe that is one reason why we kids had so much energy and my parents, who wouldn’t regularly go for a dip, didn’t!

    Nancy wrote on June 20th, 2008
  12. I occasionally end a shower with a few minutes of cold water only. Out of curiosity, I just checked the temperature and it is only 68-70 degrees…far shy of the 50 degrees mentioned. Looks like my only real option is adding ice to a bath which is a bit more work. I wonder if well water would tend to be colder than my city water? I remember the showers at a farm house I rented being much colder than my current house. Anybody else check their water temps?

    Rodney wrote on June 20th, 2008
  13. The well water at my house was 61 degrees this morning. I began taking cold showers as a health technique in April. My body has adapted quite a bit; it’s not near the shock now as it used to be. Also although I’m still somewhat invigorated by my 3 minute-long cold showers, the after effects of tingly, tight skin have decreased since I first began.

    Mark L. wrote on June 20th, 2008
  14. George: “Cold showers? They’re for psychotics.”

    Kramer “Well I take ‘em……..They give me a Whooooosh.”

    Ed Greenaway wrote on June 20th, 2008
  15. I was reading about sleep the other day, and I read a comment about how exercising just before sleeping tends to ruin your night’s sleep because of increased body temperature. This information totally matched my experience: I usually go lap swimming on Wednesday nights and then have trouble sleeping afterward.

    So this Wednesday, I went lap swimming like usual, and then I came home and took a nice cool shower where I gradually lowered the temperature more and more until it was downright frosty.

    Then I got out, went to bed and slept great.

    Caloi Rider wrote on June 20th, 2008
  16. Hi
    Another good post

    I use the cold shower for this purpose after I get up in morning year round-although I dont bother in summer unless I want a general colling.

    Also, if I do get sick, still happens occassionally, I stop for a day or so till I feel I coming good.

    If you are in a really cold climate is not to do this in deep pools etc as there is a risk of hypothermia\collapse and drowning— a bucket of icy water or 2 does the job fine with out the risk.

    I think that the cold experience is one humans must have had a lot of during the ice age and so we must have some beneficial adaptations to it.

    Another way of seeing it is as a sort of circulatory system type training (ie acute peripheral vasoconstriction).

    On cold days you wake up really quick and afterwards it just doesnt seem cold anymore. I also think that since I’ve been doing this my general cold tolerance markedly improved.
    OB

    ob wrote on June 20th, 2008
  17. One other thing. There is a bit of a trick to it in learning to relax , although you still shiver, when you get this right it becomes easy to do.

    ob wrote on June 20th, 2008
  18. So *that’s* why I’ve been so danged healthy the past few years. I’ve got to stop nagging the landlord to fix the plumbing.

    dragonmamma wrote on June 21st, 2008
  19. Hi

    I’ve been having cold showers twice a day for nearly a month now.

    Its helped my depression & outlook in life. I feel more content & happier & a lot less stressfull.

    Riz wrote on July 16th, 2008
  20. I have the good fortune that my gym, only 5-minutes walk away, has a cold pool that they maintain below 60 deg.

    After my intense 30-minutes of resistance work, I go into the sauna to increase the heat stress even more, and I leave as soon as I get really uncomfortable; 5-10 minutes. Then it’s into the steam room, i.e., lower temp but very high humidity. This really gets the sweat pumping. After a couple of minutes, I then go into the hot tub, so now the heat transfer efficiency is as high as you can get.

    Usually, just a minute there, and then right into the cold tub, full submersion. When I began this over a year ago, I could take no more than 30 seconds. Now I’m up to five minutes. I do this at the end of each of my two weekly sessions.

    It’s great. It’s like my treat after the workout. From a primal/evolutionary perspective, I imagine a very strenuous hunt, after which everyone jumps in the cold spring runoff to cool off.

    The other great thing is how it is a total reset on energy. I leave the gym totally refreshed, totally cooled down, totally invigorated and energized.

    Richard Nikoley wrote on August 6th, 2008
  21. Richard – That’s awesome you have those facilities at your disposal. I can imagine looking forward to it at the end of a tough workout… almost like a day in a Primal Spa.

    I use to soak in an ice cold (I’d literally pour the freezer ice machine box in the tub) bath I’d draw after an extremely long bike ride. It was torture at first, but the relief and effects (placebo or otherwise) afterward were always worth it.

    Aaron wrote on August 6th, 2008
  22. A comment for Crystal:

    We may (albeit respectfully) disagree that immersion in cold water taxes certain hormonal organs involved in CFS. I say, “We may,” because I experienced symptoms similar to those associated with CSF but not exactly the same. I experience a great deal of fatigue and occasional muscle cramping and even injury; in addition, I had some mental sluggishness and a broad spectrum of gastrointestinal symptoms; in fact, the g.i. symptoms (cramping, constipation, excessive flatulence) were my primary complaint. After moving to the American Northwest coast, I found myself swimming twice daily in the cold coastal waters. Nothing I had ever tried during the previous ten years of suffering from the above symptoms had ever made me feel so vastly better–especially regarding the mental benefits. I soon found that if I was trying to remember something before my swim, I would surely remember it while doing my laps across the shallow, salty waters of the river coursing down the beach into the vast, onrushing tide.

    I later discovered that taking kelp tablets virtually eradicated my symptoms overnight; therefore, I concluded I had (mild) hypothyroid, like my biological sister. But I have continued open water swimming since that very first time I tried it. Over five years have passed, and I must admit I have become somewhat of an addict to the effects of cold water. It not only gives one a rush; I think it offers one a gentle (certainly low-impact) stimulation and positive effects on one’s health…provided one enters into the activity–or, quite literally, immerses oneself–with an attitude of hope and confidence rather than one of reluctance and fear. I suppose that, in the final respect, cold water swimming, or “therapy”, can be likened to other controversial therapies, in that its results seem to defy predictions whenever the participant simply believes the treatment will do some good.

    Carlos wrote on November 19th, 2008
    • Can you give more details on the kelp? Does kelp actually work for symptoms?

      Tom wrote on January 6th, 2012
  23. It seems as though I remember a movie shown to us in grade school of native Americans sweating in a hot Tee Pee, then running directly to, and jumping in to a freezing cold lake. I don’t recall their exact purpose, but maybe they were on to something.

    Dave Bryant wrote on November 26th, 2008
  24. When I was a teenager trying to lose weight, I read something about a french method of immersing your lower body in the coldest water you could get (from the tap) and sitting for 5 minutes. It was hard and I did it every night. When you get out and dry off, you get a heat and tingly energy in your legs and body. I loved the feeling, but doing it is torture! Maybe I’ll try it again :)

    Elise wrote on December 8th, 2008
    • Out of curiousity, since I’m also trying to lose weight. Did that work for you?

      Tammy wrote on July 20th, 2009
  25. When I was a lifeguard, the first thing we’d do was a 10 minute morning swim, in water that was anywhere between 55-70F. Let me tell you that cold water would rip any sort of hangover right out of you! We used to have a slang name for it, TBS. Total Body Submersion. It’s a known hangover cure among lifeguards. I’m not promoting heavy drinking, I’m just saying IT WORKS. No matter how hard you went the night before, TBS would take care of you in the morning. If it was a morning run for some reason, you were screwed. ;-)

    Fixed Gear wrote on April 13th, 2009
    • In my circle of friends we go out to Montauk in the summertime. The deep water off the end of Long Island stays REALLY cold throughout the summer. Of course, we binge on wine, steaks, clams, wine, beer, oysters, lobster rolls, wine and more wine. We call the ocean “The Big Aspirin,” for the very same reason.

      Wake up at 10am, head pounding, eyes dried shut…stumble to the beach, drop your stuff and run into the water…BBBBBBAM!! Hangover gone.

      PS – Watch out for sharks! Saw a BIG old fin while boogie boarding out in Montauk a few years ago, REAL close.

      Futureboy wrote on March 20th, 2011
  26. I recently started taking alternating hot/cold showers. I start off quite warm then gradually make it as hot as I can for about 3 minutes then switch to cold for about 1 minute. I do 3 cycles and gradually make the hot hotter and the cold colder each cycle. I’ve only been doing this for 2 weeks now but the chronic headaches I’ve had for 30 years have lessoned (only 1 in the last 10 days-absolute heaven) and I’ve mysteriosly lost 8 lbs. (I’m quite obese) without changing my eating habits. The fact that it has been stinking hot the past 2 weeks and I’m sweating to death with no air conditioning could also be a factor for the weight loss! LOL I’ve also been doing some awesome meditations, listening to binaural beats and watching subliminal videos so it could be a combination of everything. I enjoy the showers though and will continue them daily.

    Shannon wrote on August 2nd, 2009
  27. Does anyone know a good place to buy a cold plunge tank? I’ve been thinking seriously of investing in one for our gym and have had little luck finding something that looks like what you would find in a locker room.

    JB - CrossFit SS wrote on August 24th, 2009
    • Get a horse trough. Eva T brought one to Crossfit NorCal back in the day I believe.

      Chad Cilli wrote on August 12th, 2010
      • I was just thinking of this last night after I came in from my sprints all sweaty – I used to love the cold immersion tank in the gym in HS. We’ve got a Farm Supply right here, I might get one, especially after reading this post!

        Kristina wrote on November 2nd, 2011
  28. I have suffered from a mild form of Raynaud syndrome all of my life. When I started using cold water thereapy a few years back, one of the benefits that emerged several weeks later was a increase of blood circulation to my fingers and a cessation of the Raynaud Syndrome.

    Roger wrote on October 17th, 2009
  29. The French method Elise mentions in her post is called ‘Bains dérivatifs’, it’s based on an ancien bath technique developped by L. Kuhne, a german therapist from the 19th Century that used water & cold water in particular, to heal all sorts of ailments
    you can read about it here

    http://www.pureinsideout.com/louis-kuhne.html

    Grace wrote on January 30th, 2010
  30. Cold showers … the thought struck me this morning as I was enjoying a slightly warmer than freezing shower. Could the benefits of cold showering be an evolutionary adaptation? A trait that improves survivability which is inherited to the next generation?

    The reason I thought of this was that the first cold splash induced the mammalian divers reflex (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammalian_diving_reflex) in me. Why do we retain this reflex unless we have some history of water adaptation? May the added health benefit we experience with cold showers have something to do with that those who tolerated colder water in order to get to the food deeper down into the sea were the ones that was the best hunters and was seen upon as a better mate?

    Also our adaptation to use ketones for fuel decreases the use of oxygen in order to oxidize glycol in our muscles. Using ketones for fuel doesn’t need oxygen. Also, a keton adapted brain tolerates and need less oxygen.

    Just speculating wildly here, any thoughts to the idea?

    Sungrazer wrote on April 21st, 2010
  31. Interestingly, one of the most senior instructors of Systema, Vladimir Vasiliev states that he was taught to use cold water ablutions in the Spetsnaz (Russian special forces). From a health perspective, the soldiers were told that Russian scientists had found that for micro seconds the sudden shock of the cold water pushed the body`s core temperature up to 42.2 degrees C – effectively mimicking a `fever` and burning off all the nasty foreign microbes that may be lurking in the body. Vlad says that he has persisted with the practice ever since…and has yet to suffer another cold, despite now residing/teaching in Toronto!!
    His practice consists of filling a bucket and leaving it outside…but for more practicable purposes I recommend a washing up bowl placed in the fridge overnight..

    Dave wrote on July 17th, 2010
    • A follow up. Our water here in January runs around 57 F and so there is a slight shock and awe when I first turn the water from hot to cold. Since my body acclimated to the shock I now find the coldwater to be quite exhilarating and I still do not get colds or flue. When I first started this regimen over five years ago, one minute was all I could stand but now I have no problem with several minutes. For those of you who have serious heart burn, try eating an apple before you go to bed. It stopped the acid reflux dead in its tracks.

      Roger wrote on January 30th, 2012
  32. About four years ago (I am 65 now) our doctor suggested that my wife and I start taking a cold shower on a daily basis and I decided to give it a try. Now I shave while showering so I start off with a very hot shower and after shaving I turn the shower all the way cold. In the summer here in Idaho the cold water is in the upper sixties and into the seventies but in the winter it is downright shocking.

    Before I started this regimen I caught every cold and flue bug that got passed around in the office. Since then I have been pretty much flue and cold free. also about four years ago I started a hydrogen peroxide inhalent regimen after the cold shower and it has done wonders for breathing.

    Roger wrote on July 17th, 2010
  33. I have been doing the “James Bond” showers for about two weeks now. I start with hot water and then switch to cold for the last minute or so. It sure feels great, just not sure it is reallying doing anything beneficial.

    Frank wrote on July 21st, 2010
  34. I live in AZ and was running a lot throughout the winter. I was very sore and started doing 10 min dips in my cold pool. I noticed much less soreness- ! 4 months had passed without a cool dip (hot here). I just swam ALcatraz without a wetsuit. My AZ companion froze in a wetsuit, I found it refreshing! I think my cold immersions helped prep me for the swim. Interesting that the adaption to the cool lasts that long.

    sarah williams wrote on August 7th, 2010
  35. I can’t help but wonder if there may be some benefit that Navy SEAL candidates get from all the exposure to cold water that allows them to push there bodies to seemingly superhuman levels for months on end.

    Chad Cilli wrote on August 12th, 2010
  36. Brian wrote on December 13th, 2010
  37. I recently used the hot and cold shower treatment during a recent bout of flu and I can say that it really works. After the bath I spent a very peaceful night when on previous days I had been coughing throughout the night. For more on these treatments visit http://www.cureyourself.net/2010/12/short-cold-bath.html

    Samuel Phiri wrote on February 20th, 2011
    • I agree. When I lived in Canada for many years, I would catch a cold and flu every now and then. Did not use cold water therapy then. A year ago I have moved to Middle East and at the same time started cold water therapy – water is not that cold here from the tap so I put a 2 gallon bucket into my fridge and let it cool overnight. After a hot shower I would just pour it quickly over my head feeling the rush – a form of mini immersion. Doing this every weekend (2 days a week) and have not been sick once for a year with anything. Even though there is no cold in Middle East, the A/C in the car and the buildings can get you in addition to alternating from hot outside to cold inside. Fridge cold water helped me this way, there is no other way for me to immerse in cold water, all swimming pools are hot outside. There was a Russian fellow last century, don’t know his name, who used this bucket cold water therapy to stay healthy and was even tortured by authorities to check his claims and became famous in Russia….that’s how I have heard of this and started doing it…

      Stan wrote on July 28th, 2014
  38. Who would give up warm water… Well me and yes it is by choice, I’ve found that the benfits of cold water are so great that I have cancelled out any warm water entirely. I will likely never deviate from this, unless I have a really really good reason;) Oh I also live in New England year round.

    Conor wrote on March 11th, 2011
  39. I have always liked the ocean in the winter. As kids I would ditch school and go bodysurfing for hours in January. As i got older i moved away from bodysurfing and cold water. A few years back I was filming some outrigger canoe races and found myself swimming in some pretty cold water Off Avila beach for up to 40 min at one swim. I do not like wetsuits at all so this was with just a patagonia shirt and short and my trusty Churchil fins. The point is Man did I feel alive. I cannot talk about the science of it but I know and knew that the cold water is good for me. Now I just need to part from the comfort and get wet.

    Andy wrote on March 30th, 2011
  40. I love cold showers, especially in winter.

    Cold showers are amazing, I time myself for 4 minutes and the first 20 s really hurts, especially when it’s winter but the next 3 minutes are… liberating (the only word that seems fitting)

    When you emerge the warmth the towel offers is a little reward and when your hair dries, in my case for once it actually has volume. Yeah my hair is usually a straw mess which sticks to my scalpt, but cold water gives it volume and a shine (it liberates it! hahah). After the shower I go outside in the sun to let it dry naturally.

    Brandon wrote on April 17th, 2011

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