Did you know that cold showers can boost your immunity? Practiced for centuries in Asian countries like India, cold water therapy is based on the belief that the controlled stress provided by cold water improves resilience of the body, and increases its immunity. Cold water therapy basically entails taking a cold shower, no matter what the surrounding temperature is. The therapy is gaining prominence globally as a simple but effective way to boost the immune system.
Experts suggest that the exposure to cold water works on various systems of the body, thereby helping boost the overall immunity. It causes the lymphatic circulation to increase, which flushes out the toxins from the body. It also improves the cardiovascular health by stimulating the blood flow, thereby improving heart health.
When the cold water touches the skin, the nerve endings are said to activate the endorphins in the brain, which stimulates the immune system. A study conducted in 2007 estimated that brief cold water stress repeated daily over several months can enhance anti-tumor immunity of the body.
Studies suggest that cold water immersion prevents muscle soreness and helps the muscles recover faster after exercise. High-intensity sports athletes are looking at cold water therapy for physical rehabilitation and relief from muscular pain. Cold water therapy triggers the release of the anti-inflammatory norepinephrine, which reduces short-term pain from injuries.
Studies conclude that cold showers can be a potential treatment for depression. Cold water therapy is said to boost happiness by releasing mood-boosting neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine.
Other benefits of cold water therapy include increased metabolism, increased antioxidant content, which improves functioning of the liver, and increased tolerance of the body to stress.
The best way to get started with cold water therapy is to start slowly. One of the ways to get started is by following the usual hot shower with a cold one for not more than thirty seconds. The feet, hands and the face should be first introduced to the cold water, and later on, the whole body.