Cold Shower Benefits: Ancient Rituals and Modern Health Boosts

| Modified on Oct 27, 2023
Mental Health
Posted by Michael (New Zealand) on 09/10/2021

Hello there fellow posters!

This tough Kiwi farmer is doing the Hard Yard in raising money for farmers' mental health concerns.

(You should be aware that it is winter Down Under eh?)

You can check her out right here.....



Posted by Cindy (Illinois, Usa) on 08/30/2020 443 posts

The Universe, Cold Showers, The Ice Bucket Challenge and ALS - What IF... occurs to me - you know how the universe sometimes puts things together in awesome and amazingly huge and "coincidental" ways? I've been looking at cold showers and, by the effect they have on the body, it appears to me to trigger a sort of reboot to critical systems in which, cold water over the head, in particular, appears to have a singular effect of its own.

The practice goes back thousands of years as both a spiritual and medicinal ritual. It feels so good to the body and mind that the horrible awesomeness of it is craved when it's not available because the effect is so immediate and profound and that got me wondering about the effect it might have on ALS. What What might it be doing?

Dissipating an acute adrenaline attack? Breaking up loops of crippling thought patterns? Regardless of the PHYSICAL effects on the circulatory, renal, digestive, immune and nervous systems, I think everyone would agree that one's mental state is critical when it comes to serious illness. Particularly in this day and age, when it comes to the media's criminally negligent and deliberate horrification of the world around us.

Might it happen that an ALS patient who has found both his footing and his sense of humor might have a prayer answered? And might it happen that a universe/God with a divine sense of humor might answer and spread the results of such a prayer in such a light-hearted manner as the "viral" impact of something like the Ice Bucket Challenge?

A shallow lake is awesome for boat racing but it's horrible for cold water in a heat wave which got me wondering about the singular effect of dowsing the head first, The immediate effect on one's mental state, Lavina's idea of putting a camp shower bag of water in the fridge, ice water over the head in a pinch which made me think of the ice bucket challenge which turns out to be all about ALS which made me think about how I stumbled upon EC "way back when". And since 2 + 2 is 4, I thought about how AMAZING the universe/God is.

It probably seems silly, I know, but the most profoundly amazing things often are! Just a thought.

Best Time to Take Cold Shower
Posted by Pascale (Limoges, France) on 08/30/2020

This 3 a.m. thing makes me think that this is the exact time the liver regenerates.

I heard this from a Chinese traditional medecine practitioner.

The liver filters your blood all day, retaining chemical residues, normal blood residues and also the products from negative emotions. These are like poisons. Around 3 A.m. the liver has to excrete them, to clean itself ; this is why at that hour, especially if our liver is malfunctioning, we wake up with uneasy sensations, anxiety, bad dreams, etc...

Some other people on this topic have made the link between bad sleep and the liver. There is also obviously one with acne and skin that many people noted. Skin is the excreting "organ".

My take is that the cold shower greatly helps the liver if taken at that time of night.

Posted by Cindy (Illinois, Usa) on 08/29/2020 443 posts

Lavina! A camp shower in the fridge? That's BRILLIANT!

Invigorates Mind and Body
Posted by Cindy (Illinois, Usa) on 08/29/2020 443 posts

I've tried this but wasn't aware that it got easier so didn't pursue it. I don't actually "bathe" - like with soap - anymore but I am SOOOO going to do this with what is basically just a "rain" shower! And it makes sense because, obviously, there aren't many hot water sources in nature, lol, and will definitely report back! Unless I'm more of a wuss than I think I am. Thanks to Sid and all you other bubbas!! SWAK

Invigorates Mind and Body
Posted by Teddy (California ) on 08/27/2020

Although I was a bit skeptical of taking a cold shower, since I was so used to taking warm ones for my entire life, I decided to give it a shot. My grandma, who is practically 70 years old and in amazing shape (mentally and physically) may I add, takes cold showers every time she showers. She recommend this process to me, claiming like many others that it would make me more energetic, positive, and healthy for my mind and body.

I first tried it a few weeks ago before I went to sleep and it felt so calming. The shower helped me feel asleep quicker and it literally left my body feeling refreshed, clean, and happy. In the morning, when I would have to wake up quite early for sports tournaments, I would rely on cold showers, and they 100% made me play better, act better, and it increased my concentration.

I completely recommend anyone, no matter your age or health to at least try cold showers. It may change or life!!

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!

Invigorates Mind and Body
Posted by Spirittlk (Phoenix, Az) on 08/26/2020

I LOVE my cold showers. I started doing the Wim Hof Method over a year and a half ago and ever since take a cold shower followed by a little warm, and it has made me strong minded, trained me to instantly relax, and I've been very healthy as well. I even go in the creek when its 35 or 40 degrees now when I can and get in my cold swimming pool several times a week in the winter. Wonderful for the body and soul!

Fountain of Youth
Posted by Greg C. (New Zealand) on 10/28/2018 1 posts

Yes, after a month of taking cold showers in the morning - with quite incredible benefits similar to what others have mentioned in these posts - two weeks ago I started taking them at night. When out of the shower I dry off vigorously and clean teeth etc without putting night clothes on for about 10 minutes. In that time my body feels the benefits similar to the morning shower coupled with a genuine warmth. My sleep has been excellent.

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.

Posted by Robin (Alamogordo Nm) on 07/22/2016

You are talking about CORE temps. It takes a looooong time to change your core temp. Stuff like this just confuses people and scares them off from doing more research into something that could help. A 1 to 3 minute cold shower will not affect your CORE body temperature!!!

EC: Right, but the poster wrote about a 15 minute cold shower, not a 3 minute cold shower!

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!


Posted by Had (White River Jct, Vermont) on 08/24/2012

Actually, there are many studies that B-vitamin deficiencies leads to depression, anxiety, agitation etc..

That is just one site, look up more for reasurrance

I would do a multi B-liquid (for best absorbtion) and extra on Methyl B-12 ( the other form is from cyanide and leaches methyl from your body, so very bad)just to make sure my bases are covered thoroughly

Posted by Lucy (North Vancouver, B.c Canada) on 08/24/2012

I been doing for more then 10 years, happy all the time, never ever sick!

Posted by Cris (Sibiu, Sibiu, Romania) on 08/06/2012

Is it better to begin with hot or warm water then finish off with a really cold shower or just a cold one from beginning to the end? Thanks a lot!

Anxiety, Depression
Posted by Juliette (Reston, Va) on 05/14/2012

I used to be on a cold shower kick and loved but but got out of the habit going to try it again thanks for posting!!

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.

Cold Baths
Posted by Srividhya (Chennai, Tamilnadu/india) on 01/23/2012

Thank you for the useful article given for woman's not to take cold shower during menstruation. Good message! Why do getting sneezing, nose destroy after taking bath in cold water for few minutes? Did taking cold water bath immediately after an exercise is good for health? Taking cold water bath will keep the body physical and mentally active?

Posted by Timh (Louisville, Usa) on 12/21/2011 2063 posts

Marissa, all your symptoms are common in heavy metal poisoning. Do you detox periodically? Master Cleanse? Take Vit/min supplement? Eat lots of greens, Chlorella? Oil Pull? it could likely be anything else like allergy or who knows, just sayin' it's likely.

From what I've read, cold shower therapy can be dangerous for LOW blood pressure folks. Try CST s l o w l y. Just a little cool at end of shower, more cooler and end of next shower etc.

I would do the CST along with other detox methods. A high profile, high potency multivitamin/mineral/foods supplement as directed on label alone will help very much if you are one who never supplement.

Posted by Marissa (Williamstown, Nj) on 12/20/2011

I suffer from anxiety so much! And I want to start this cold shower therapy, but will it negatively effect my high blood pressure? btw this high blood pressure is all new ever since I've started with these headaches that seem like tension. (alot if pain on almost a daily basis) will the CST be a good solution for me? Does it help with headaches? Thanx so much!!

Posted by Bipbip (Budapest, Hungary) on 10/07/2011

Let's be serious!

Hydrotherapy wasn't invented by the East, and not all people use all the day heavy synthetic drugs in the West. Moreover, in some situations you must use those heavy drugs to save your life. Even the "Easterners" know this, because they have adopted the "Western" medicine that has saved millions of life. Let's keep ourselves on the middle of the road.

Cold Shower Tips
Posted by Lisa (Lafayette, Lah) on 09/10/2011

Dear Dr. Fleckenstein:

I have your book, and as I read it, the one thing that stood out is your constant reference to your belief that we have evolved from specks in the ocean to the complex, awesome human beings that we are now. You repeat that over and over, and in my opinion, it makes it harder to take anything else that you say seriously. You can't really believe that nonsense. God did not make specks in the ocean that aren't still there today. We are made in his image, and He certainly isn't a speck.

Now, as for cold showers, I have begun taking them, and they are invigorating. My hair is definitely shinier. Thank goodness I'm not a speck, or a shower of any temperature would just wash me right down that big ole drain.

Cold showers, after a warm one, are highly recommended for more energy, and whatever it does inside my complex, wonderfully, fearfully made body that I can't see!

Fountain of Youth
Posted by Dave Murray (Derby, Uk) on 08/31/2011

I recall reading that part of the Spartan regime at Gordonstoun School in Scotland is/was cold showers. HRH Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh attended this school and he has recently reached his 90th year. The cold showers haven't done him any harm have they! As for me, I have just discovered them. Kind people have given me a shower head, curtain etc so it's only cost me a few pounds to make my cold shower. It's great!

Posted by Kp (Punjab, India) on 05/07/2011

i read about cold water shower yesterday and tried it today. it took me off from my depression medicine.

Stomach Pain
Posted by Earthy (Dearborn, Mi) on 03/12/2011

Ok this is amazing this totally works I had horible stomach pain and then I took a cold shower and then felt tottaly better and even more amazing in the muslims book ( quaran ) it says to the prophet jacob to wash himself with cold water.

Fountain of Youth
Posted by Jaymie (Newport, Nc) on 12/18/2010

So I tried my first cold shower on perpose this morning...... WOW!!!!! I do have to say though, I feel great! I started out in the warm water and then gradually decreased the hot. It was not easy, but I felt so alive when I was done. I can't wait to do it again tomorrow!!!

Cold Baths
Posted by Francisca (Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France) on 10/05/2010

It is Autumn here now but we keep the swimming pool running for a while longer so that we can have a swim during our sauna sessions (we have a little infra-red sauna in our garden). It is a bit of an effort at first but after a few minutes you don't feel the cold anymore. The second time around is even easier maybe because by then the circulation is flowing like mad. After we close the pool because of frost we will still leave the garden shower going for a while. Too bad when everything is gone but then we come inside to have our cold showers. Funny enough my allergies make me sneeze a lot with differences of temperature but never with this.