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Cold water immersion techniques/benefits?

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  • Cold water immersion techniques/benefits?

    Is it shock or time of immersion that spawns the most benefits?I use my daily shower for this.when I'm done,I turn on the coldest water my house can muster and tolerate it as long as possible.This is usually quite a only lasts for several seconds however.would more benefit be derived from a temp I could tolerate longer?

  • #2
    In the late 18th and early 19th Centuries, people believed cold baths in the morning staved off colds, flu, etc, and hardened the body to illness generally. I can't locate the source, but apparently there is some truth to the "hardening" idea, though it just may be that people who have the gumption to do this generally take better care of themselves. My granny (1889-1983) believed in cold baths first thing in the morning. I do a quick cold water rinse after my shower (not baths--not as much gumption as Gran!). I used to think the cold rinse was why I never had blemishes in my teen years, but who knows. Not so bad in summer, but you got to steel yourself in the winter.
    This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
    Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism


    • #3
      I don't know any facts, so I just want to show support for the cold water therapy. I started doing it at the end of showers and had that same reaction you did. I now take full showers at lukewarm or even cool because it's the most comfortable. The tricky part is having your pores open when you wash with the washcloth. The Romans had 2-3 stages in their baths. It was work up a sweat, warm bath with scrubbing, and finally a cool bath to close the pores and harden you like Digby says.


      • #4
        It has been used for sports recovery. I recall a few newspaper articles about it a couple of years back.

        I just tried googling and came up with a journal article:

        What is the biochemical and physiological rationale for using cold-water immersion in sports recovery? A systematic review -- Bleakley and Davison 44 (3): 179 -- British Journal of Sports Medicine

        There are certainly people offering it as a solution to sportsmen:

        Cryotherapy for speedy recovery and treatment of sports injuries