Why You Should Finish Your Shower On COLD
An introduction to Naturopathic Hydrotherapy
by Sheryl Hockey
Yes, I did say that you should finish your shower on COLD water! Yes, I know winter has only just finished, and I know that a warm or hot shower, depending on your personal preferences, is much more comfortable, but hopefully once you finish this article you will understand why it is now a part of my daily routine, and why I recommend you should give it a go as well!!
What is Naturopathic Hydrotherapy?
Naturopathic Hydrotherapy (or Kneipp Therapy as created by Sebastian Kneipp in the 1820’s) is the process of using hot or cold water to stimulate the body and initiate a healing response. This treatment method has been used in Europe for hundreds of years, is still offered all over Europe in Spa’s and Hotels as part of health retreats. It is a part of everyday life in many towns where there are outdoor (YES in the winter!) hydrotherapy pools. This therapy has become a part of their daily routine to use cool water immersion of the feet (and other parts of the body) for maintenance of health and preventation of dis-ease in the body.
The principle behind Naturopathic Hydrotherapy is based on using hot and cold water to stimulate blood flow which enhances oxygen and nutrient transport around the body. This also strengthens the immune, digestive, nervous, cardiovascular and metabolic systems, which gives the participant an overall feeling of well-being while it is also used to support a variety of conditions and to bring healing and balance to the body.
There are many therapeutic benefits for this treatment which help to enhance the body’s functioning and overall sense of well-being. Water can be used in a number of ways depending on the individual and their health status but can be used to help with many conditions including the common cold, digestive disfunction, headaches, hot flushes and the list goes on!
Different modes of treatment include heating the body first (using methods such as an infrared sauna or hot bath/shower) then followed by a rinse with cold water. A variety of different temperatures of water can be used with different methods including using alternating soaking or immersion methods, using compresses, sitz baths, enemas and colonic irrigation. With careful application from a natural health care practitioner, we can direct blood or withdraw blood to any part of the body. This can be a very useful tool to accelerate the body’s own healing potential.
To finish your shower on cold…
Method: Have a shower or bath to warm the body for at least 10 minutes. Then turn the water to cool for your first try. The bigger the difference in temperature from hot to cold, the stronger the treatment. Focus on taking 10 deep breaths (one where the cool water is aimed at your front, then rotate to take your next breath with the water on your back.) Repeat for 10 breaths. Then hop out of the shower-with the water finishing on cold-, dry off and go about your day!
So, by finishing your shower on cold (I actually really enjoy it now!) you can help to enhance your well-being and prevent dis-ease in your body by supporting the functioning of your major body systems. Why don’t you give it a try and see how you feel?
All treatments are individualised to support the person’s constitution and condition. Please see your health care provider for support with an individual treatment plan to suit your health goals and condition. Be aware that you may feel light headed if you have high or low blood pressure and to use caution with the variation of temperature when you first start.
I am Medical Herbalist with 11 years experience in both clinical practise and health education. My focus is to address the whole person on an individual basis. My true passion is Iridology! I offer individualized consultations which include iris photos, nutrition advice, vitamin and supplement reviews and lifestyle recommendations. I also offer detox foot spa treatments.
As a Complementary Medicine Practitioner, I look for the underlying causes of disease states, and try to help prevent them by looking at many different factors including: family medical history (genetic factors), internal (stress, physiological, nutrition) and external (lifestyle, work-related) factors which all affect how you live your daily life. It is from this complex picture of you, that I work out a wellness plan to help you feel better, and live a longer and healthier life!