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Would You Take a Cold Shower for Better Health?

By Stephen R. Farris

You may be used to taking a long, hot shower or bath after getting home from work or exercising, but have you considered -- or ever thought of -- the health benefits of taking a shower or bath in cold water?

You might be thinking, no way. I'd rather take a lukewarm shower or bath rather than immerse myself in freezing water. But studies show that by doing so it may help your body recover better from certain conditions. The technique is more commonly called hydrotherapy.

Nordic countries use this technique, as do many athletes. Most of the time after sporting events, athletes hit the trainer's room and soak in an ice bath for a few minutes to help with muscle pain recovery. There could be other benefits as well, so let's take a look at a few.

Increases Endorphins

In clinical studies, taking a cold shower at least two to three times per week is healthy. The cold feeling sends a shock, or electrical pulse, to the brain that releases endorphins. Endorphins are sort of like a happy pill inside humans. This could help people who suffer from depression.

Improved Metabolism

Research has shown that the brown fat in our bodies -- the healthy kind -- is triggered when exposed to cold conditions, such as a cold shower. However, just because you are obese doesn't mean you'll start losing weight simply by taking cold showers. You also have to change the way you eat and should perform some type of exercise each day as well. 

Improved Circulation

Remember earlier when I mentioned athletes and ice baths? Taking cold showers or baths can also help increase circulation in the body. If done on a regular basis, it can make our circulation system much more efficient.

Bathing in cold water could also help with combating common illnesses as well. There are a few things to consider if you decide to start a hydrotherapy program. It's not a cure-all for any ailment, and you should probably not do it every single day. Just a few times a week for a short period of time. You also should be healthy enough before trying this technique out, and if you are using medication to treat mental conditions, don't stop. Keep doing what the doctor ordered.

And if you are experiencing aches and pains in your back, joints and neck, visit with your local chiropractor to get relief. You can also talk to them about any other health problems you might be having, from mental to nutritional. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractic at The Joint Chiropractic in National City, Calif.

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