Cold Water Therapy
Happy Monday everyone! I hope your week is off to a great start!
One of the more frequent requests I receive for guests on my Living 4D podcast is Wim Hof, the Dutch extreme athlete people call “The Iceman.”
It is a well-deserved nickname, given all of the amazing things Wim Hof has achieved, including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in shorts and standing in a container covered with ice cubes for just under two hours!
This week on my blog/vlog, I want to share some of my thoughts about the benefits of cold water therapy with the help of our pool at the Rainbow House.
We don’t heat our pool during the winter, but it can get down to around 37-38 degrees at night which makes it so convenient for me sneak out of my sauna and hop in for a quick cold swim and some Wim Hof therapy.
Fact is, I’ve only taken two warm showers over the past 14 years because it vitalizes my body so much. Doing the daily cold shower really trains the autonomic nervous system and arterial tree.
The desired effect: Pushing your blood to the surface so your body creates a sympathetic reaction to keep your warm. As your body starts to numb, the arterial tree contracts, and you experience a hunter’s reflex that pushes the blood into your core to protect your organs.
These sympathetic/parasympathetic reactions exercise your arterial tree and keep your blood system strong. They also help your body become more capable of handling shifts in your environment.
Remember, most people spend so much of their days in temperature-controlled environments and away from shifts in heat and cold which cause them to age so much more quickly than before.
Among the benefits, I’ve read research explaining how cold water exposure increases the production of androgens (your growth and repair hormones). I use this approach to help my clients recover from adrenal fatigue because it stimulates the production of adrenaline naturally too (especially when it’s this cold!).
Typically, I can do three laps in the cold pool before my brain begins to go so numb that it hurts, unless I want to do a deep Wim Hof meditation.
I don’t believe people need to torture themselves by doing extreme things, but 6-10 minutes in a cold shower is a great way to vitalize yourself.
A couple of tips to keep in mind:
- See how you like this first by running cold water on your hands then, as your body adapts, expose more of your body to cold water. You could run a shower and expose an arm or leg to a cold shower too. (Your back and butt are more capable of handling cold than the rest of your body.)
- Don’t use this approach if you’re sick or your body isn’t strong enough to handle the temperature shock.
I can’t wait to hear how you use cold water therapy to improve the health of your body!
Love and chi,