Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Easy, free medicine, in the SHOWER?


One of the most effective prescriptions we give in the clinic is home hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy is the application of cold and hot water to enhance immunity and support inflammatory processes. A very simple treatment is to end your warm showers in a cool spray for 30 seconds. Sounds uncomfortable, I know. But you get used to it. And your body loves you for it. Here's why...

Ending your shower in cold water improves circulation. It helps bring the blood back from the surface of the skin to all the internal organs. This process supports the prevention of cardiovascular disease by decreasing inflammation. Cold water contrast also stimulates metabolism, increasing oxygen absorption and carbon dioxide excretion. Carbon dioxide can actually be very toxic to the body when we don't get rid of it efficiently. (This is why deep breathing is so important.) It also increases nitrogen absorption and excretion, increases tissue tone, peripheral white blood cell and red blood cell counts, and decreases blood glucose. In other words, this routine will support many different functions of digestive and cardiovascular health as well as immunity.

So, the point? PREVENTION of colds and flus! Contrasting hydrotherapy increases lymphocytes which fight viruses.

You need more reasons? Cleaner skin. Cold water helps the pores to close after being opened and flushed with hot water. Close em up before dirt clogs them. Unless you like zits and blackheads.

And another? It's a free anti-depressant! Depressed people have a lowered immunity status, leading to more illnesses. By ending your showers in cold water, you will stimulate your immunity while bringing a smile (or flinch) to your face from the shock of ice pellets hitting your skin.
No really, it helps.
Do it. Every day.

Other ideas- take a sauna or run up to the hot springs at least once a week and follow up with a brief cold rinse. If you just can't handle the cold water, take a wet, cold washcloth and rub up from fingers and toes towards core with quick friction movements. Don't forget your neck, back, armpits, etc.

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