Health Benefits of Taking a Cold Shower.
Would you believe me if I said, ‘a cold shower a day keeps the doctor away’? Scepticism is advised and encouraged here of course, as we cannot expect anyone to believe something as truth that they have not experienced for themselves. So I invite you to keep reading with an open and curious mind 😉
Chances are you are thinking this sounds crazy, as we have been primordially conditioned to fear the cold; making fire, huddling in caves, and nowadays layering up with clothes to combat it. However, in more recent times the science behind cold water benefits is surfacing, and revealing its extraordinary impact on our vascular system, also known as our circulatory system.
This intricate system delivers blood throughout the body, and with it, all the nutrients, oxygen, and vitamins our bodies need to thrive. There are approximately 100,000 km of veins, arteries, and capillaries in each of us (wow!), containing millions of little muscles that contract and open the vascular channels in reaction to the weather. It is a delicate system designed to protect us from the cold and heat, and maintain our core body temperature at 37 degrees C.
The wearing of clothes, however, has de-stimulated our vascular system, meaning the little muscles are no longer required to contract and expand, which puts undue stress on our heart on a chronic basis. Hence, being one of the primary reasons along with diet and exercise, why cardiovascular related diseases are the number one killer in our society today.
So how do you re stimulate and exercise your vascular system to reduce this pressure on your heart? Yes, you are right… The answer lies within the cold shower. Within ten days of taking these showers you will notice that your heart rate decreases, as your vascular system is exercised and adapted, which simply translates to a lot less stress in your body.
The cold is also a stressor, so if you can get into the cold and control your bodies response to it, you will be able to control stress in any form. Whether it be heat, emotion, work, frustration in traffic, relationships and so on. You have an innate capacity to deal with stress, and the cold shower will help reveal this superpower within you.
You are having a shower anyway, right?! So, all you have to do is finish cold 😊 Steps include:
- Enjoy your warm/hot shower
- Finish cold for ten seconds day one
- Use your breath to keep count and focus on extending your exhalation
- Increase by ten seconds per day, as you feel comfortable to do so
- Smile and high five yourself after each cold shower finish
I have personally experienced the benefits of cold showers for nearly twenty years and continue to love and learn so much about the cold and its teachings. Not only is it an exhilarating start to the day, but you also reduce your stress level, you feel more energised, the increased blood flow delivers better nutrients to your cells, reducing your vulnerability to sickness, and leaving you feeling stronger! I look forward to hearing of your experiences, thoughts, or questions as you journey into the cold and reveal your hidden potential.
Hannah Hokarari Social Ambassador Snaffle.com.au
Reference: The Wim Hof Method – Activate Your Full Human Potential (book)
Whatever the cause of your pain, myotherapy could help you.
So, what is myotherapy you may ask?
Myotherapy is a form of manual therapy that addresses a number of musculoskeletal conditions. These can include back, neck, shoulder, sacroiliac joint (SIJ) and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain. Also headaches and migraines and sports injuries amongst others.
As myotherapists, pain reduction is our immediate aim. However, over a longer period our goal is to restore muscle, joint and nerve function. This can help to achieve optimal range of motion and correct biomechanics.
Whilst treatments are quite specific and targeted, myotherapists use a more holistic approach in both assessment and treatment. We assess the entire musculoskeletal system, including muscles, joints and the lymphatic and nervous systems. This thorough assessment helps to determine the underlying causes of your pain. Assessment includes postural observation, identification of range of motion and bio-mechanical deficits as well as the consideration of certain lifestyle (including work) activities.
What to expect at your first visit to a Myotherapist:
The initial session also includes a detailed health history, as well as further orthopaedic special testing should this be necessary to determine what is going on in your case.
Once the possible cause of your pain has been determined, one or more of the following treatment techniques will be used:
- Soft tissue release which utilises a variety of massage and myofascial release techniques.
- Trigger point therapy in which direct pressure is applied to specific points to reduce muscle tension and relieve pain.
- Myofascial dry needling in which sterile, single use needles are inserted into the muscle belly or active trigger point. This elicits a twitch response that ultimately results in a reduction of pain.
- Myofascial cupping which involves the use of glass or plastic cups to decompress and draw the superficial muscles and fascia into the cup. This technique causes a sustained stretch to release tension and improve muscle tone.
- Joint mobilisations that comprise gentle oscillations to a joint to improve movement and reduce pain.
- Neural flossing which involves releasing a nerve that may be compressed between stiff joints or tight muscles. The nerve may have become irritated and painful. This technique encourages the nerve to move smoothly in its pathway between the joints or muscles.
- Electrotherapy which uses a low voltage electrical current through needles or pads to reduce pain and tension, stimulate circulation and increase muscle performance.
- Muscle Energy Techniques (METs) or Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) that engage neurological reflexes to promote stretching of the myofascial tissue.
- Corrective exercise to facilitate and improve muscle imbalances as well as postural and biomechanical dysfunction; and/or
- Taping to unload injured tissue, stabilise a structure, encourage correct posture and reduce pain.
Usually towards the end of your session we reassess you. This also occurs throughout your treatment plan as part of the process.
What do I have to do?
Your myotherapy session is definitely not a passive treatment and you should expect to actively participate in various movements and stretches facilitated by your therapist as part of the process. You may also be required to follow through with an exercise regime at home as part of your healing journey. This will lead to rapid improvement but also long-term prevention.
So now that you know, if someone asks you ‘What is Myotherapy?’ you can let them know!
Myotherapy is now available at our Robina location with more coming soon! Book your time using the button up the top of this page.