Cold Water Therapy (CWT)
In recent years Cold Water Therapy (CWT) has become increasingly popular and the BBC TV series Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof gave an insight into why and how it can be used to manage, and even overcome, long held fears. It’s not all about tackling the biggest challenges in our lives though and CWT has a range of benefits that impact of our general physical, mental and emotional health and well-being.
Boosting the immune system, improving sleep, raising energy levels, reducing anxiety and stress levels, alleviating inflammation, easing depression, enhancing physical performance, lowering blood pressure are some of the many benefits of CWT that are increasingly backed by science. There’s a full list at https://bit.ly/3vmH2cy I know my mood can shift after a shower and if you ever want to be totally and absolutely present a cold shower will do that for you!
Although there will be some instant reactions the benefits will become more evident over time and, if nothing else, your energy bills will be less!
Dipping Your Toe In
Most people don’t start with an ice bath or a sea swim and it’s about respect and kindness rather than punishment – I know it’s hard to believe it’s not about punishment 🤣!
My own journey into CWT started a few years ago now with turning the shower to cold at the end of it to stepping into a cold shower and, this year for the first time, sea swimming all year. I was in the sea for ten minutes on the 2nd January this year and loved it amazing – most people go in on the 1st! I now have cold showers daily and especially after a run.
Here are some ways to start and develop your own CWT practice at home. For every technique if cold water is too daunting start with lukewarm water and overtime gradually shift to cold – iced isn’t necessary.
- Hands, arm or leg under a cold shower
- Water on the back of the neck
- Face splashing
- Foot soaking
- Turning the shower colder towards the end and, over time, reducing temperature and increasing the time its colder
- In the shower, wetting your body with warm water, rising off with cooler/cold water
- Cooler baths building to deeper and colder baths
Cold water shock IS a thing and not to be ignored. There are techniques to safe and beneficial CWT so get guidance and advice rather than just taking the plunge.
Gradually and slowly are always a starting point and each and every time you intend to get cold is different. Needless to say if you have a medical condition check with your GP its ok to start exposing yourself to CWT.
if you decide to go outdoors always have something warm to wear after any cold water exposure, if possible have a companion along and a warm drink afterwards is a must.
Your brain will get in the way initially – and maybe for quite a while – though once you dip your toe in the water you may be surprised. You’ll discover a whole new meaning to the expression ‘chilling out’!
With another week of hot weather forecast now could be the perfect time to give one or two of these techniques a go. If you do let me know what you discover.
Till next time…
Enjoy the day you create.