Hydrotherapy involves using the physical properties of water for pain relief and treatment (2).  There are several benefits to taking a cold shower, whether you start with 30 seconds to 1 minute daily or take a cold shower for a few minutes.  Consider the benefits below to decide if you’d like to try some cold showering treatment!

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Hydrotherapy has been shown to:

BOOST THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

Taking a cold shower boosts your immune system by the exposure to oxidative stress, which ends up increasing the production of antioxidants (4) . Winter swimmers who are exposed to cold water were used for the study of cold exposure and antioxidant boosting effects.  Additionally, the sudden cold water can increase the blood-brain barrier permeability which helps kill infections (6).  Cold shower treatments in one study saw a 29% decrease in sick days (7).  Last, the lymphatic system hops into action when the body is experiencing the cold water of a cold shower, clearing it out along with waste and bacteria (6).

HELPS WITH CIRCULATION

Cold exposure encouraged increased blood flow to the tissues (3).  With exposure to cooler temperatures, our body works to get back to homeostasis, which increases blood pressure and blood flow to the tissues due to vasodilation.

EASES SYMPTOMS of DEPRESSION

One to two cold showers of two to three minutes long found that cold hydrotherapy acts like a pain killer, in addition to increasing the release of norephinephrine, and boosting blood levels of endorphins (8).

 

 reduces joint and sore muscle pain

I was always told to take an ice bath post marathon to reduce muscle soreness and boost recovery, and my trainer told me to take a cold shower if I wasn’t going to stretch post-workout to avoid delayed onset muscle soreness.  Cold water showers and baths have been shown to help with muscle pain and recovery (9).

Have you tried cold showers? Clearly they are easier to handle in the summer and hot months, but could be a tough sell in the winter months. Let us know if you try it!

Sources:
(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27631616

(2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrotherapy#cite_note-ISPAonhydrotherapy2009-2

(3) http://www.najms.org/article.asp?issn=1947-2714;year=2014;volume=6;issue=5;spage=199;epage=209;aulast=Mooventhan

(4) https://academic.oup.com/qjmed/article/92/4/193/1586500

(6) http://www.najms.org/article.asp?issn=1947-2714;year=2014;volume=6;issue=5;spage=199;epage=209;aulast=Mooventhan

(7) http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0161749

(8) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030698770700566X

(9) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25375114

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