Cold Shower Therapy - Editor's Choice

Over the years, Earth Clinic readers have sent us many reports about their treatments for Cold Shower Therapy. The editors at Earth Clinic consider the below posts to be some of the most helpful and informative and have named them 'Editor's Choice'. We hope that you will find this useful.

Fountain of Youth

Posted by Rosina (East London United Kingdom) on 08/26/2020

I had to laugh when I just received an email through talking of cold showers! I am 74 years of age, very petite, and have the body of a 30 year old so I can't wear anything a 74 year old lady would wear. My hair is long and dark brown, I had been dyeing it for over 20 years and I decided to let it grow out. My roots always came through dark brown and yes it took me two years to grow it all out and is definitely dark brown. I hate heat in any form and like Peter*, I have been having cold baths for many years. I always say if you get in an ice cold bath or shower it will shock you, especially if you are used to wearing all warm clothes and have heating on.

I never use my heating and am charged £15 a week for heating I never use, I have fans whizzing round in every room, and even when the snow is down you will find me strolling along is summer clothes and short sleeve tops. I only own 2 long sleeved blouses!

Everyone keeps giving me weird looks, I have beautiful skin for my age, and good little legs! Lol. I don't know if its the cold baths I had continuously over the years, but I walked into a pub last week and got chatting to a 50 year old woman. When I told her I had a 50 year old son, she looked at me and burst out laughing and said "oh come on! You can't have a son that age?! You look 30 years younger. It definitely boosted my confidence but then I'm told that all the time.

You know for people who love everything hot and pjs and hoards of blankets, try getting into a warm bath, and slowly run the cold tap, you will find it much easier to cope with the cold water, I tell my friends, but none of them will try it cos they complain they feel the cold.

I love everything about the cold weather, it makes me feel healthier and can't wait for October when the clocks go back because I love the Autumn and the winter time. For all those that did try the cold showers, you keep it up! If you find it is doing you good, brilliant!

Sadly I can't have a shower fitted because I don't have the pressure for a shower, so I have to put up with the bath, but providing the water is ice cold that suits me fine! Well done to all those trying it, you won't be sorry!

EC: Rosina is referring to Peter's post under Cold Showers - Beautiful Skin:

Posted by Peter (Dresden, ME) on 05/08/2007

I have been taking cold showers (first hot, then cold) for 35 years. I am constantly searching for the coldest water although our water here in Maine comes from 250 feet underground and it is pretty cold. I have sometimes been in showers where I cannnot stand in the water, but I can let it stream full onto my face and body. I dread going south, even to New York or Washington D.C. because the water is lukewarm. One of the benefits besides those already mentioned is greatly improved skin tone. I'll be 66 next month and my skin is the same as it always has been. I see friends of mine whom I wish would take cold showers because I can see by their complexion that they have poor blood circulation. This is a great way to stay healthy and it's FREE!

Fountain of Youth
Posted by Catherine (San Diego, Ca) on 08/09/2018

I've been trying to lose weight and have been suffering from depression, arthritis...I originally started a cold rinse on my hair for the health of my hair and to sustain the funky colors I color it. I was so impressed with how shiny my hair became I googled articles about the health benefits of a cold shower. I now start off warm, wash my hair in cold, rinse my hair and body in cold and have noticed my depression, arthritis and weight loss are improved. My hair and skin are glossy and soft. I'm sticking with this for life.

Mood Enhancer

Posted by Lillian (Houston, Tx) on 02/02/2014

I was searching for "spiritual cleansing baths" on Google and came across a Cold Shower Therapy link for Earth Clinic. (I'm a fan of EC and have lurked for a couple years - I had to sign up to tell this.) I decided to follow the link and read all the wonderful responses regarding cold showers. Well - I started out with my regular shower, and lowered the temperature to "pretty cold" (but not all the way freezing)!

I was talking out loud to myself, saying "They said put your armpits up there!! "

OMG, I had to force my arms up. I could only stay a few minutes, not the full 10 minutes. Anyway, once I got out, dried, dressed for bed, put on some nice music - I felt I had absolutely no body at all. I was floating in mid-air, I felt so good! I went out today, it was around 40 degrees and raining - it didn't bother me one bit. Normally, I'd be bundled from head-to-toe and shivering. It was nice out. I'm working on making all my showers cold.

Thank you all for sharing your lives and thank Earth Clinic for enabling us to do so!


Anxiety, Depression

Posted by Tim (North Dallas Area, Texas, Usa) on 05/12/2012

When I was a kid around the age of 9 or 10 I developed severe separation anxiety from my parents. It was hell just dropping me off at school in the morning, and was sleeping in my mothers bed at that age because leaving her caused me such distress. My anxiety disappeared sometime from turning 10-11 years old, I'm 17 now and about 1-2 years ago my anxiety returned but in a form of social anxiety and just whatever the 'bad feeling' could attach itself to. Like my anxiety is just a base feeling and attaches to whatever might cause me distress such as socializing in school which is a big stress for me as I am a pretty self conscious person.

Only about 2-3 days ago I came home from a jog and checked my Facebook and happened to notice a page "cold showers after a workout" and decided to try it out as I was pretty sweaty and hot from running (I live in Texas it starts to get warm/hot this time of year). I had my first cold shower probably about 3 days ago. I felt very refreshed and energized and almost anew after my first cold shower.

Now after only 2 days of practicing cold showers I have to say, it's definitely got some sort of therapeutic value in it for me. My thoughts seem clearer and a bit more focused but most of all I noticed the energy and motivation gain. I didn't have to make myself want to jog anymore, the jog was no longer an endurance. It was fun and I kept pushing harder and felt like it wasn't a chore but a pleasure. Everything seems the same way, it's no longer something I just have to do I enjoy doing more things. I guess to sum it up it's helped with my depression which I have also been suffering from since my recurring anxiety.

The most amazing moment during a cold shower is when you flip from hot to freezing water and nothing is there but the shock and the feeling of the freezing water rushing around your body. It's almost like a spiritual release of stress because your mind goes into a shock and all you can think of is how uncomfortable the water is, and on top of that it's healthy! My acne seems to be smaller, still breaking out but it's not huge bumps anymore more like dots which is amazing because severe acne runs in my family. It's been 3 days since I started and it's almost like hot water is uncomfortable and cold water is where the relaxation is at. It's just amazing. I highly reccomend this to anyone, don't be scared I encourage you to flip that shower handle from hot to no heat whatsoever. You'll know when there is no heat in the water when the lever or whatever u use to adjust your water temperature gets to a certain point and you can hear the pipes make a lighter noise.

To get the best mental results ( ie not skin health or hair loss but the mental clearness and motivational feeling) I would recommend no Luke warm. Endure the cold and it will gift you with a fortitude of mental strength and clearness. It's like a high when you first flip it to cold, don't focus on how cold the water is just try to think of something else while that waters rushing around you and you'll realize your completely stress free! Ok ive written too much! I hope you all can find the same experience with this as me. Good luck and glad I found this site many other remedies I intend on trying.


Posted by Hellfang (Toronto, Canada) on 04/07/2010

Here's my own personal story that is related to this concept.

I've always been the person with the weakest immune system, when I was a kid I had anemia, and since then I would get the flu 3-4 times a year, each time resulting in 3 weeks in bed for recovery.

Then at age 25 by pure fluke I started taking cold showers (ok it was no fluke, I couldn't pay my heat bill so they cut off the hot water :S), and I immediatley started feeling a difference. I went on close to 5 years now without getting sick once! (I did eventually pay my bill but continued taking cold showers). As a matter of fact I once stayed in a household full of sick people, shaking hands, hugging and kissing, and I was the only who didn't get sick, even though I had the worst medical history of all of them.

Ever since, I've been taking cold showers exclusively. I've varied it now so that I start out with a hot shower, then halfway through I flip to cold water until my body temperature gets to the point where the water stops feeling cold and starts feeling refreshing. What this does is it promotes the flow of blood throughout your whole body, first by forcing the blood out of your organs to your skin (that's why your skin looks red-ish), then the cold water sends them rushing back into your vital organs. The amount of energy you gain is incredible, try it, you won't be sorry! Not to mention its better for your posture, & cures back pain.

Anyways, point is that showering with cold water everyday fools your body into thinking that you are about to get sick, so your immune system gets triggered and is prepared for any virus or microbes coming your way for the rest of the day.

I find it sad and ironic, that I've wasted thousands upon thousands of dollars going to doctors, taking medication, trying everything so that I can live a normal life without fearing something as trivial as a little WIND, having to spend 60-70 days a year in bed recovering, and the answer was as simple as a cold shower!

I don't understand why this isn't common knowledge. The answer isn't to try and cure diseases, it is prevention. Simple prevention.

In contrast, hot showers are so bad for you I'm surprised there are no awareness campaigns against them. Hot showers cause depression, bad posture, back pain, lowering of the immune system, low energy, they are horrible for your skin as they dry it out completely and makes your skin looser and makes you look older, its bad for your hair as it also dries it out and makes it weak and brittle...

In life there are few things that are for sure. Love, Reltionships, Religion, god, the future, the stock market....
But now, as silly as this sounds. the only sure thing in my life is a cold shower every morning!

Fountain of Youth

Posted by Gerald (Sydney, Australia) on 06/07/2009

I have taken a cold shower in the morning for over ten years, and can attest that I suffer less cold and flu symptoms than other workers in my office. In fact when the flu virus strikes Sydney each winter, I am normally the only one unaffected.

When I am in the shower I also do some stretching. I hold onto the top of the shower screen and stretch my spine, to release stress. Which is great, because I have a stressful job.

For years I have told others my theory about the benefits of cold showers, but am usually met with derision. So I am glad I found on this website a community of like-minded enthusiasts. I had my blood tested and my white cell count is three times higher than average. So I am sure that a wider scientific study would verify the health benefits of the cold shower.



Posted by Lavina (Lake Jackson, TX) on 06/01/2009

I live in texas and in the summer months there is often no cold water in the taps. I am sure several people have this problem. May i suggest buying one of those basic camping showers that come with a hose and hanging bag. You can put the bag in the fridge every night before bed and have an ice cold shower for the morning. Most of them have some sort of hook so you can hang it right on your shower head.

Mood Enhancer

Posted by Sarah (Nailworth, Glos UK) on 10/20/2008

I have been an avid reader of your site since i found it. I use many of your suggestions such as acv, bsm and baking soda for a cleanser. I heard about cold showers and depression and decided to give it a try.

The main reason i tried it was because one day I was with a friend and we do wind each other up a bit and hurl joking insults at each other, but this one day i got really down about some of his comments as i suffer from depression and menopause i was feeling very vunerable. I could not get over his jokes and as much as i tried to reassure myself that he did not really mean them they still hurt and I was in tears for days. I thought i would take a cold shower to see if it cheered me up.

All I can say is WOW. I must admit although i had lost the will to live I honestly thought I was going to die in the shower and decided I am not only depressed, I am bloody bonkers.

I was convinced i was going to die from heart failure, shock and hypothermia all at the same time.

But after I stopped shivering and my teeth stopped chuttering I realised I was going to live after all and actually started to enjoy it. That was only this morning and I have been in such a good mood all day i cant wait to try it again tommorow.

My face has also been glowing all day without any make up and I cant stop looking in the mirror, maybe it's just because i feel better but it has took years off me.

I have got curly hair and heard it is good for curly hair as mine is going a bit frizzy. I will give you an update in a couple of months to see if it helps . I am one of the few women who love my curly hair and would not touch a straigtener. Everybody comments on my hair and how nice it is but lately with the onset of the menopause it seems to have died so i would love to see if something this simple gets it back to normal.

Cured Chronic Diarrhea

Posted by Zvonko Spasic (Belgrade, Serbia) on 05/14/2008

Cold showers helped me to become stronger.

When I was little, stomack problems often troubled me. Diarea, for example. Whenewer it was cold you could se me running home or to the nearest bathroom. Sometimes I would not eat anything for houres, so I would not have the need to go.

Also, I had a few embarassing moments because of my problem, but nothing to seiouse.

Then, one day I came across the idea of a cold shower, because I saw the Russians runing in to the frozen lake after being in a sauna for 15 minutes, as a tradition. There were children, little boys and girls among them. I remember thinking:"Those must be some strong people.".

Then it also came to me that we, in Serbia, have a simillar tradition, but without the sauna and as a part of oure religiouse heredity. Those are definitly strong people, because most of them are members of serbians ellite police force. That made me step up. I wanted to become stronger... And I did.

I have been taking relatively cold showers for a year and a half now. I have stomack problems very rarrely now and they are more under my controle.

I rarely get a cold now, although i hade a few ones only because I took a cold shower and went in to a, not so warm, room. So be carefull. Don't make the same mistake. That would be stupid,as was I. Also, my whole body functions much smoother... I can't explane it, but it feels good.

Then I made another step. I joined the Serbian tradition and jumped in to the lake in the middle of winter, alongside the members of the police force and some more people like me. It was freezing. Despite the air themperature, wich was 12 degreas (Celsius), the water was 3-4 degreas (Celsius, don't know how much is that in Farenheits). It felt like my mind separated it self from my body and alowed it to run on authomatic for a few seconds.

When I came out off the wather I expected to get a flew or something, but I was just fine, and had a simbolic lunch with the other guys who jumped.

Anyway, cold showers helped me plenty. With my body and mentally. The coldnes takes youre thoughts from the things that are on youre mind and leave you in a peacefull state. Try it... If you like it, continue, and begin with babysteps. Sorry for the gramar mistakes and for writing this much. Greatings...

Fountain of Youth

Posted by Jacob Witherson (Raleigh, North Carolina) on 01/24/2008

I began taking cold showers 2 weeks ago. Needless to say, they make me feel incredible, like I can touch the sky. No joke. I usually take them at night but I had a state test today so I decided to take it since I've read on here it boots energy and concentration (I get distracted and tired really easy) and it turned out to be true. They also make me sleep like a baby, where before I had insomnia.

As 2 others mentioned, it makes you hair really curly (I have extremely curly hair, even with warm water) but they get less frizzy than they usually do. I would reccommend these to anyone as they do help.

Word of advice, I purchased one of those shower heads that have the metal cord thing so you can hand hold it to spray parts of your body. This helps a lot as you have more self control over doing it and dont instinctively move out of the water, you are forcing yourself to do it. Awesome remedy, thanks much!!

Heals Horse Wounds, Strengthens Immune System

Posted by Shirl (Missouri) on 12/12/2007

Hello all,

It's been 9 months or better since I found this site and started taking cold showers.
I am so glad I found this site and was brave enough to start the cold showers.

I did know to start off with my feet because many years ago we owned horses and one of the mares got injured out in the pasture. It was a huge gaping injury on the upper part of the front leg. The vet's instructions were to run cold water on it for 15 minutes, twice a day. Since I wasn't working at the time, it would be my job to do until the sore healed.

The mare would have had a fit except I would run the water over her feet first for a few minutes then work my way up to the sore. She would stand still for all of it that way. It took quite a few weeks to heal. It not only healed but the large hole closed up and it was hard to see a scar from it.

So by that, I knew it would be easier for me to start on my feet and work upwards. Starting at the feet, legs, arms, head and body. I even wash my hair in the cold water. I have less hair fall out using cold water along with a good natural shampoo.

I will usually stay in the water completely from 10 to 15 minutes. I do get a slight headache while I am washing my hair under the cold water but it stops as soon as I finish.

I have started using the baking soda scrub before I start my shower. I get the wash cloth wet and add a little liquid soap then sprinkle baking soda on the cloth and do a gentle scrub all over & making sure to not forget the back of my hands. After I get all finished, I turn on the shower and begin. I've never had such smooth skin as now.

Also you had a poster some time ago, say that the cold shower made his hair curly and he wasn't sure if it was the cold water or not. It does that to mine too. I've always had straight hair until the cold showers and now it's very curly right after the shower and stays semi-curly after it dries.

I'm 65 years old and have to say I've always been very healthy. I haven't had to go to a doctor in years. My doctor moved from our area several years ago and I've not looked for a new doctor because so far I haven't needed one. I thank God for my good health and for leading me to this site.

Best Time to Take Cold Shower

Posted by Putranto Sangkoyo (Jakarta, Indonesia) on 10/15/2007

I am very delighted to read all the good positive stories about cold water shower healing. Allow me to share my story.

I am a Moslem (from Indonesia), and the month of Ramadhan (fasting) was just over. For those not familiar with this, Moslems fast for 30 days during the Ramadhan month, every day, wake up at dawn (around 3 AM), have meal, fast during the day (no drinking no eating no sex), and break the fast at around 6 PM.

I have this problem with my right leg knee, it gives me pain when I bend during a prayer. For one month of Ramadhan, I "practiced" the cold water shower each time I wake up, at around 2:30 AM. After that, I pray (the so called "night prayer"), and have meal. To the best of my knowledge there is no reference in Al Quran about taking shower at "night", although there is the so called "night prayer" which is not obligatory, but very strongly advised for Moslems, and it takes time somewhere between 2:30 and 3:30 AM. We call it the "last one-third of the night".

I just felt I had to heal myself this way, because I heard many times especially from elders and those "natives" coming from rural villages, of cold water shower "healing", which normaly takes time between 2 and 4 AM.

Many people here say, it's not healthy to take shower at night, before 12 AM, but it's healthy if taken after say, 1 AM. Some martial arts practitioners here do take shower after evening/night training, at around 1-2 AM or later. I had a friend who literally couldn't walk, not paralyzed but pain in both his legs (thigh), was eventually healed, could walk (and run) normally again after spending about a month or so taking cold water shower from a well (using bucket / dousing) every night (at around 3 AM).

Back to myself, after 30 days of night cold water shower, I do feel better now. I can bend my knee again, with less pain.

Perhaps someone have an explanation about the "state" of water during the night, especially between 2 and 4 AM ?

Fountain of Youth

Posted by Brandon (San Angelo, Texas) on 03/27/2007

We haven't had hot water at our house for almost a year now because the gas bill was too high. So we decided to go without. I was forced into taking cold showers. In the summer, the water was cold, but not freezing, so when I got out, I was very cold. Winter is just ending and the water has never been colder. It's so cold I almost can't breathe out when I'm under it. Still, as soon as the water turns off, I'm instantly warm and inexplicably comfortable. I've never felt better.

The shower itself is torturous for the first few minutes, but when it's over I feel amazing. I can't explain why I feel so warm immediately after the shower. I don't even shiver, I feel perfect. It's two things in one. It's a thrill/challenge, and it's therapy. I'm addicted to both the rush and the incredible comfort that immediately follows.

Lowered Blood Sugar and High Cholesterol

Posted by Cory (Tacoma, Washington) on 03/26/2007

I have been taking cold showers every day now for almost three months, and I recently got the results of my latest blood and urine lab tests from my doctor. Blood sugar and cholesterol were markedly lower than the tests showed just prior to starting the cold shower regimen, with no appreciable changes in diet or physical exercise. My blood pressure was lower, and my pulse rate at rest has decreased from 72 to 54, which I find amazing. I am not in "great" shape physically, and I can only attribute these changes to the cold showers. This might actually be the 'fountain of youth'.

Stress-Induced Psoriasis

Posted by Katrina (Sterling, VA) on 08/28/2006

After the death of two very close friends and a lot of stress, I ended up with stress induced psoriasis all over my head, neck and shoulder. I tried EVERYTHING OTC and nothing worked so finally, I gave up, and started saving money to go to the doctor. I came across the cold water therapy on this site and although I did not intend to use it to treat this issue, it sure cured it. I started taking cold water showers in the hottest months here in Virginia. Immediately I noticed the increase in energy and my hair is SUPER SOFT even after months of harsh psoriasis shampoos that had my hair turning to straw. Call me crazy, but it seems my shower doesn't get as grimy as it did before when I was using hot water. My complexion has improved, and there is an obvious difference in my pores. Basically, I have nothing bad to say about cold showers. After 2 months of them, I can't even STAND a hot shower now.

Fountain of Youth

Posted by Gracie (Pasadena, CA) on 08/08/2006

My body hums, vibrates with energy, after a cold shower, very obviously so when I take one just before bed .I lie down on nice clean sheets with a fresh feeling that honestly makes me feel like a kid again. I feel sensual, youthful, trim and slim after a cold shower. As a professional artist my color palette has become brighter, cleaner and more like freshly squeezed fruit juice than in past. My ideas have opened up, become more playful and light hearted. I have opened up more to other people which has attracted new clients into my business life. I have no interest in hot showers. The thought of standing under hot water is actually unpleasant to me now. I love stepping under the flow of water that feels like plunging into ocean. You get the same rush of electricity from a cold shower as you do in large bodies of water. I wish that I had known about them years ago .They have changed my entire outlook on life which is helping the world because I am more loving,open and kind to the people that I come into contact with. I am also more tolerant of situations that used to drive me into states of serious anxiety.

Fountain of Youth
Posted by Willem (The Netherlands) on 03/01/2006

I know a man who suffered a heart attack at the age of 45. He lives near the beach and started to take a bath in the ocean every day, even in the winter. He is 93 now! He claims he never even had a cold since he started.

Eliminates Body Odor

Posted by B C (Willow, AK) on 02/04/2006

Another factor that you may not realize is that cold showers reduce, if not stop, the vaporization of chlorinated water that is in most municipal water systems.

I have for years now taken luke warm showers at the start and after rinsing off soap I end the shower with a cold rinse. In the summer up here in the last frontier I bath in the creek behind my cabin with just the sand gravel from the bank while using baking soda for washing my hair. I have noticed that I have no B O even without any soaps or deodorants.

Cold Shower Tips

Posted by Ahmad (Kansas City, Missouri) on 01/31/2006

Cold showers are not for everyone! Your body will tell you; shivering inconsolably like a pager on vibrate without acclimating. In this case, the potential good will have to be outweighed by your own mental well-being and stamina. But if you're those fortunate ones to stomach this midwinter dance, then try to make routine the targeting of the area under your arms (where the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems connect. This is a conduit point for blood flow and setoffs the body for a silent symphony of contractions between your bouts of frigid shower time.

Invigorates Mind and Body

Posted by Cas (Windermere, FL) on 01/14/2006

Cold Shower is the only type of shower there is!

I started taking cold showers in the mid eighties as a method of punishment for partying too much. One day, my Chinese landlord got fed up with the comings and goings out of my place and turned off my water heater. I figured that IF I did not confront him about it he would not gimme any lecture. So... I continued taking freezing showers and I LOVED IT!!! While in the shower I used to shout - I LOVE ICE COLD SHOWERS...

Many years and dollars later, I concluded that there is no question in my mind that it was one of the best discovers I ever made. Everyday I feel vibrant and alive.

Helps Bipolar Depression

Posted by Trevor (Cambridge, NY) on 08/04/2005

My hot water tank malfunctioned recently so I had to take cold showers. At first I dreaded the idea but have since found that tepid showers invigorate my spirit and lighten my mood. I'm bipolar and have crushing depressive episodes. Believe me when I say that I feel my cold showers mitigate the effects of my dark moods and project a feeling of well being and joy throughout my whole body and mind!

Invigorates Mind and Body

Posted by Sid (San Francisco, CA)

I take a hot-cold shower 7 times as recommended by Dr. Schultz.

At first I thought this was excessive but it wasn't at all. Moreover, it encouraged me to involve myself in taking cold showers at all.

I found after 3 hot-colds that my body tolerated the cold much easier and by the time I got to the 7th time, I was able to endure the cold shower easily. The results are remarkable as it easily brings me out of depression and brings good cheer and optimism to my heart. Moreover, my energy levels are high and I can then take my exercise routine with no difficulty whatsoever.

There are too many good points about this discipline and I would encourage anyone to undertake this to do. If it is winter time and you feel really chilled out then it may be better to really arm up your body with a very warm shower until you feel enough strength for the first cold shower. And, it may be tough so do it for only a few seconds if you feel your body is weak. Then hot again until you feel strong enough to do the cold again for a few seconds. If after the third time you find it is chilling your body too much then I would not continue.

However, there is a distinction between a healthy body that can endure and enjoy the hot-cold routine and someone who may have a chill that has weakened the body so it is best to start the hot-cold routine during the summer or when you are feeling well rather than start it when you are tired, feel weak and lacking energy. Moreover, people who exercise have better circulation and can naturally enjoy the difference. I

have tried taking only a cold shower but my feeling is that there is a distinction and that the hot-cold may have an extra edge on getting a better circulation and it will certainly encourage non-participants in getting involved. If anyone has other thoughts or info on this I would be glad to receive their input.