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Cold Water Therapy: Benefits of Cold Showers, Baths, Immersion Therapy  

A cold-water shower especially after an intense workout brings in euphoric feelings as your body interprets the drastic temperature change as a shock impulse and initiates a cascade of physiological reactions to adapt it instantly. For understanding the science behind cold showers, continue reading.

Cold Water Therapy Concept

Cold water therapy or immersion is the practice of bathing using cold water with a temperature of around 59°F (15°C) to treat health conditions or enhance health benefits. It is also called cold hydrotherapy. When the water touches your body, the skin receptors undergo massive stimulation which causes them to send impulses to your brain. As a result, certain regions of your brain get activated which triggers the release of mood-regulating neurotransmitters. Moreover, this concept of cold showers has been practiced for a couple of millennia. Its recent adaptions include brisk daily showers, ice baths, outdoor swims, and cold-water immersion therapy.

Series Of Events During Cold Shower

As the water touches the surface of your skin, various physiological changes might follow. Let’s have a look at such changes as mentioned below:

  • It causes the synaptic release of the stress hormone, noradrenaline which is a neurotransmitter responsible for increasing and maintaining blood pressure in limited, short-term serious health situations.
  • Because of cold water, your blood vessels constrict as an adaptive mechanism to maintain body temperature.
  • Your breathing rate increase and your heart rate also accelerate to ensure adequate amounts of blood reach your heart as it needs to work harder to pump blood through the narrowed blood vessels.
  • The blood flowing through near the surface vessels is redirected towards the deeper vessels for conserving heat and protecting vital organs. Metabolic waste products are flushed away as blood rich in oxygen reaches every organ.
  • Sufficient blood flows to the brain which ensures its optimal function.

Benefits of Cold-Water Therapy

Cold water sends electrical impulses to your brain which makes it release various chemicals or hormones that can have many benefits including relief from inflammation, increases energy levels, improved circulation, and sound sleep. Some anecdotal evidence also reveals that cold showers can improve the symptoms of erectile dysfunction in men due to their ability to improve circulation. However, not much research has been done to consolidate those claims. Moreover, erectile dysfunction is a common sexual disorder in men which can be treated using ED medicine like Filitra. It is a proven solution to erection problems in men. But as per science, cold-water immersion therapy does have significant benefits. Let us understand these points one by one as explained below.

  • Boosts Immunity

According to a Dutch study, cold-water showers can influence your immune response. As you practice this therapy, your body might produce anti-inflammatory chemicals and fewer pro-inflammatory cytokines in response to the infection. Cytokines are cell signaling molecules that aid cell-to-cell communication in immune responses and control the activity of the immune system cells and blood cells. In addition, other studies conducted by the National Institute of Health, also suggest that cold showers can help boost antitumor immunity.

  • Improves Circulation

Cold showers cause your blood vessels to constrict or vasoconstriction, which makes the circulatory system allow optimal blood flow. Regular cold showers improve circulation and ensure vascular health. Consequently, your skin and hair health also get better.

  • Reduces Inflammation

Your skin’s exposure to cold water draws a quick-fire cascade of adaptive physiological and psychological changes. The sympathetic nervous system gets activated during a cold shower which lowers the amount of pro-inflammatory cytokines which are mainly implicated in chronic inflammation and auto-immune diseases. According to medical experts, cold water reduces pain and swelling by causing vasoconstriction which reduces blood flow to a particular area.

  • Brings Down Anxiety and Depression

Some studies suggest that cold water open swimming can significantly alleviate the symptoms of various psychological problems such as anxiety, stress, depression, and other such conditions. Swimming regularly can relieve you from depression and keep the symptoms of other such mental health conditions at bay.

To Conclude

Cold water therapy has been around for centuries and has long been supported by celebrities, and professional athletes, sportspersons, health, and wellness gurus. Regular cold showers can offer a myriad of benefits for your physical and mental well-being.

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