Cold Showers

This is my hand after a 5 minute cold shower before bed. My hand starts out white with big purple patches in the meatiest parts of the hand. Then back to white and red splotches. I’m observing my circulation in awe.

Why cold showers?


I started doing the Wim Hof Method of breathing, holding the breath, push-ups, stretching, head stands, all followed by a cold shower. All of this practice raises your oxygen levels, raises your alkalinity levels, resets the nervous system, makes you feel very alert and clear minded, increases your flexibility and teaches you to face your fears, and so much more in the feel good brain chemicals. There are so many benefits I’m sure I have forgotten some.

Also, cold showers are hip. They are the in thing with movie stars and pro-athletes.

Facing Fears


So you may think you’re not afraid of any of this, but then I challenge you…go turn your shower knob to full on cold and feel your minds reaction; I don’t want to get in there. So then the observer in you hears this message and you force yourself to get in. This one small action is a quantum leap. Pay attention to these feelings. What has happened here is you have created a new healthy neuropathways. Bravo!!




How I started was by getting the Wim Hof Innerfire app. (Free). He explains to start off with a warmish shower and to slowly turn it to cold. This was a great starting point, and you can build up your resistance by trying for longer periods of time. The key for me personally to stay in longer is to really concentrate on my deep breathing. It becomes very bearable this way.



By reading some of my older posts you may catch the drift that I like to start new healthy habits. Starting new patterns and breaking free from the old habits also creates new neuro-pathways. Brain health. Feel the change in your thinking be very observant of feelings to reinforce the quantum leap of it all. The feelings in the middle of your chest and the connection to the arguments in your head. This is HeartMath. There’s an awesome book called The HeartMath Solution by Childre and Martin. I will discuss more on quantum leaping and HeartMath later. For now know that the benefits of this types of habits help to:

  • Immediately lower stress hormones
  • Raise anti aging DHEA hormone levels
  • Improve your heart rate for maximum longevity
  • Maintain emotional clarity in the midsts of chaos
  • Achieve peak mental and intuitive performance

Another excellent book on this topic is Grow Younger, Live Longer by Deepak Chopra.

Try a cold shower and let me know how you FEEL!!!



1. Reduces stress

According to experts, swimming in cold water significantly decreases cortisol. Splashing your face with it slows your heart down. It is an apt treatment for unusually fast heart rates.

2. Improves mood

Cold showers increase your beta-endorphins and noradrenaline blood levels, which will lift your mood.

3. Enhances skin quality

Cold water tightens your skin’s pores and reduces under-eye puffiness. To experience its best effects on your skin, do wash your face with warm water first.

4.Improves alertness and focus

Cold showers may enhance your concentration. A combination of hot and cold water accelerates your breathing rate and oxygen intake.

5. Prevents depression

Cold showers are ideal for people with chronic depression or inflammation. Triggering cold receptors is therapeutic. Cold water constricts your blood vessels, allowing the body to conserve heat. It also sends fresh blood to the brain and other organs, oxygenating them. With fresh oxygen and nutrients, you are bound to feel refreshed.

6. Improves hair quality

Cold showers drastically improve your hair quality. Cold water moisturizes and conditions your hair naturally. Cold water smoothens hair follicles and retains moisture.

7. Treats sore muscles

There may be more benefits of cold showers that you probably expect, especially with ice-cold water. Their advantages make them favorites among athletes and fitness experts. Chris Beakley from the University of Ulster found that treating sore muscles with cold water was more efficient than doing nothing. It reduced muscle soreness by 20%. Athletes Kobe Bryant and Lechon James use it to treat their sore muscles and inflammation.

8. Prevents Varicose Veins

Cold water can help an older person stand up without any pain in his legs. It is one of the best remedies for varicose veins, a common malady among the elderly. Cold water stimulates the smooth muscle that links vessels and causes them to contract.

9. Stimulates Immune System Function

Cold water encourages blood cells to gather around your organs. It allows the arteries to pump blood efficiently, therefore increasing circulation and boosting overall heart health. Renowned natural health expert Dr. Joseph Mercola attests to its ability to lower blood pressure. It also clears blocked arteries and purges waste from the body, therefore boosting your immunity.

10. Enhanced will power

Willpower is an emotional muscle that needs to strengthen and grow. It is a higher predictor of success than IQ. Take a cold shower to increase it. A cold shower in the morning works as well as doing 100 push ups.

11. Encourages weight loss and fat burning

Cold showers increase your metabolic rate and enhance your fat-burning capabilities. They also encourage the build up of healthy brown fat, located around the neck and collarbone. Brown fat determines if your body mass is healthy, and people often associate it with trimmer waistlines. It also helps to regulate blood sugar.

12. Boost Fertility

Cold showers are a boon for fertility levels, and explain why testicles are the only organ outside of the body. They need to have a lower temperature to preserve sperm. Some old school powerlifters had the habit of freezing the ballsack before big competitions.  Studies performed on rams and monkeys by J Androl. et al. showed that animal cells exposed to heat could not secrete testosterone.

13. Increase emotional resilience

If you feel put out because of a tough day, a cold shower will help you. According to a study by Siems WG et al., winter swimmers secreted more antioxidants and less cortisol than people who did not swim in cold conditions. Their bodies adapted better to the cold.

14. They wake you up

An ice-cold shower is a way to get you up in the morning. If you have trouble getting up for the day, a cold shower provide assistance.

15. And help you sleep

Cold showers can wake you up in the morning, and help you get your beauty sleep as well. In The Four Hour Body, Tim Ferris states that a 10-minute ice bath acts like a powerful tranquilizer that puts an elephant to sleep.

16. Improves the lymphatic system

The lymphatic system ferries waste from your cells. Like all objects, your lymph vessels contract in cold temperatures and expand in warmer ones. The adaptation results in a stronger immune system and better health.

The Side effects of taking cold showers

Although there are benefits of cold showers, they are not perfect health boosters; they can have detrimental effects, especially after rigorous exercise.

Since they cause blood vessels to constrict, you will want to avoid them if you have heart diseases or hypertension. The narrowing of the veins will reduce blood supply to the brain, which could lead to a stroke.

Why a hot shower may work

Hot showers are a practical alternative if you feel tense and anxious. Hot water can soothe aching muscles. It massages your back, shoulders and neck.

Hot water also raises oxytocin, the hormone that creates a soothing, “cuddle” effect. It reduces anxiety and makes sleep easier.

Hot water opens pores and behaves like a natural decongestant. The steam will keep your nasal passages moist.

Experiencing the benefits of both hot and cold showers

Cold showers have benefits, as do warm ones. Alternate them to boost your well-being.

You may finish off a hot shower by rinsing yourself in cold water for a few minutes. Alternating hot and cold water will work as well. Start with your upper body to prevent a sudden increase in blood pressure.

By Suzi Shelhamer

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