(NaturalHealth365) Did you know that cold showers can improve your brain function and energy level? The reality is that taking a cold shower is still traditional in many nations. This is not a joke – cold showers or alternating between warm and cold has been shown to have great health benefits.
Before the advent of gas and water heating it was common to bathe in cold water. Today, people in Finland, Russia, Thailand, Korea and Japan have a long history of cold showering for great health. The polar bear club engages in winter swimming escapades and they report better memory, mood and energy.
Interestingly enough, people who have suffered with chronic pain, rheumatism and asthma have reported great improvement from cold water immersions.
A great way to improve your circulation and lymphatic drainage
Cold showers or alternating shower temperatures between warm and cold has a powerful effect on circulation. When you expose yourself to cold temperatures your body constricts blood supply. When exposed to heat the vessels dilate and expand. Changing these temperatures and using cold water dramatically improves the tone of the blood vessel walls. This gives the body a greater adaptability in driving blood into areas that are needed.
This also dramatically improves lymphatic flow. The lymph system carries away waste products from immune related activity. Lymphatic flow depends upon muscle contraction to move through the system. If lymphatic flow is slow or stagnant it leads to pooling and lymphedema in the lower extremities.
Cold showers lead to whole-body contractions which squeeze lymphatic flow through the system faster. This helps the body squeeze metabolic waste products and environmental toxins out of the skin. This helps you feel fresher and the skin and hair appear cleaner and younger.
Research has indicated that taking cold showers releases endorphins and improves circulation throughout the body – including the brain. The net effect of this is that cold showers have been shown to help individuals suffering with depression; insomnia; anxiety and mental lethargy. It also opens up the lungs and enhances respiration and the bodies’ oxygen intake and utilization.
Boost your immune system with a blast of cold water
Cold showers also boost the immune system by activating two important virus fighting cytokines. A German study indicated that gamma interferon and interleukin-4 are elevated and work more synergistically after the body was exposed to cold. People who take cold showers on a regular basis have been shown to have a lower chance of developing cancer; colds; flu’s; hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
Taking cold showers on a regular basis also helps your body adapt to extreme temperatures better. Sudden weather changes are one of the more challenging environmental stresses we have to deal with on a regular basis. This is why so many people get colds and flu’s when the temperature drops. People who take cold showers are more adaptable and their body responds to this stress more effectively.
A natural way to increase your metabolism
Cold showers have also been shown to improve metabolism and fat burning. There are white fat cells and brown fat cells. Brown fat contains more mitochondria than white fat and burns more energy in order to produce heat. Individuals who live in colder climates or use cold showers – produce more brown fat for greater body heat production. Brown fat helps protect us from aging, fights obesity and reduces the risk of degenerative disease.
The best strategy for beginning to use cold shower therapy is to begin with a comfortable warm shower and then switch the temperature lower towards the end of the shower. If you do this consistently, over time your body will adapt and get more tolerant with the temperature change and you will reap the health benefits.
About the author: Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information – visit: DrJockers.com. Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance phone consultations to help you beat disease and reach your health goals.
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