Recently, you may have heard a lot about cold showers and ice baths. Cold showers and ice baths are actually a type of hydrotherapy.
In addition, hydrotherapy is the internal or external use of water in all of its forms (steam, ice, or water) to improve health or treat a variety of diseases.
Hydrotherapy has long been used in ancient cultures, such as China, Egypt, India, etc. as an alternative treatment for a wide array of health problems.
That’s not all, many other countries have also used it to provide different therapeutic/physiological effects on different parts of the human body.
The Regular Exposure to Cold Water (through Swims, Showers, or Baths) Could Have Many Health Benefits, Such as:
- Protecting against injuries: Soaking in a cold bath, also referred to as cold therapy or ice bath, could help decrease tissue breakdown and swelling in runners after distance runs.
- Improving male fertility: Higher scrotal temperatures could depress the production of sperm. This means that taking hot baths might be a method of male contraception. A study showed that the “wet heat” contraception method has been known since the fourth century B.C. It includes placing the testes in hot water (about 116 degrees Fahrenheit) for nearly 45 minutes each night within a period of 3 weeks. In addition, this method is believed to provide protection for about 6 months. However, it is not a practical method. Also, there is not any scientific evidence that taking cold showers has the opposite effect.
This Could Also Boost Your Immune System
Dr. Sergei Bubnovkiy, a prominent Russian doctor, claims that you can greatly boost your immune system by soaking your legs in ice cold water for about fifteen seconds on a daily basis. Additionally, he also notes that this method could help protect against common colds and flu.
Furthermore, an English study showed that taking cold showers each day raised the number of white blood cells responsible for fighting disease.
The researchers at the Thrombosis Research Institute in Britain concluded that as the human body warms itself after and during cold showers, it could accelerate the metabolic rate and boost the immune system, thus resulting in a higher number of white blood cells.
What’s more, a German study showed that an occasional winter swim in cold water could contribute to oxidative stress. However, if practiced on a regular basis, this would result in an adaptive antioxidant response; so that the human body would be able to fight oxidative stress in general.
Specifically, fill a basin with cold water, and then add as much ice as possible to it.
Afterwards, soak your feet in the water for up to fifteen seconds. It is advisable to repeat the same procedure each night before bedtime.
In case you have a weak immune system, repeat it every four hours.
A study conducted at the University of Virginia confirmed that the icy water could induce the formation of norepinephrine, i.e., a hormone that plays an important role in boosting the immune system.
Other Therapeutic Effects of Taking Cold Baths Include:
- Help close your follicles and make your hair smooth and shiny
- Help improve your mood and prevent depression
- Help tighten your pores and energize your skin, thus keeping your skin healthy.
- Campion, Margaret. ˮHydrotherapy: Principles and Practiceˮ;
- Edison, Richard. ˮHydrotherapy for Health and Wellness: Theory, Programs and Treatmentsˮ;