Cold Shower Benefits: Ancient Rituals and Modern Health Boosts

| Modified on Oct 27, 2023
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.

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!

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 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.

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 Brenna (Rochester, NY, USA) on 08/07/2007

Well, I found your site from a link on and I suggested this "crazy idea" to my husband who's been dealing with panic attacks and anxiety. He hopped in, screamed for a few minutes, and came out looking a lot better than he had in a long time. I figured I'd "take the plunge" as well, just to try it out. As a FORMER hot-shower addict, I have to say that cold showers are IT!! I feel amazing, my face isn't dry, my hair is silky, etc. Plus, my husband happened to jump back in and...well, let's just say that "taking a cold shower" has a whole new meaning for us! ;)

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!!

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 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.

Posted by Marc (Toronto, Canada) on 02/28/2007

I've been suffering from anxiety and depression for years, and recently I've started to get panic attacks. I finally got motivated to start researching my problem on my own because I've discovered that doctors (at least the ones I've been too) are useless.

I've discovered a lot of useful information on this website, but what really caught my eye is the cold shower therapy. I've never taken a cold shower in my life so I tried it today. Honestly, I've never felt so great. I don't know what it did to me, but I got a terrible fit of the giggles that lasted half an hour. I feel a lot better, and motivated, which is rare for me especially in the morning. I'll keep it up and see what else happens, but I definitely recommend trying it, for whatever reason. And Thank You for this great website!

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.

Posted by Cindy (Illinois, Usa) on 08/30/2020 427 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.

Multiple Ailments Treated
Posted by Daniel (Blackwood, Nj) on 12/28/2009

So I started taking cold showers about a week ago and I've already noticed a few effects.

First, I have much more energy which is helpful in my day to day life.

On top of that, I've had problems with a sore stomach that I've been trying to heal with limited success for awhile now and within a week it feels so much better now I can hardly believe how well and how fast its working.

I also have noticed that my digestive complaints have much improved, I've had intestinal inflammation which has been helped with exercise to a degree but after taking cold showers its seemed to disappear and my evacuations are quick easy and complete.

I've also developed minor food intolerance's over the past few years and almost immediately they decreased considerably I hope with time they will go away completely. I've also had great luck with an almost complete reduction in muscle soreness after my workouts by taking a cold shower right after I'm done.

Overall after the first week I have to say I'm hooked and I can't wait to see what other benefits I gain from this. As for why it works I cant say completely but I'm going to assume at least for my stomach and intestinal issues it was from the increased amount of blood that made its way into my organs which facilitated healing. As for the other things who knows but I know its doing something!

Posted by Sveta (Des Plaines, IL) on 07/23/2009

I just want to say that cold showers are great for major depression and anxiety disorder, but they don't help much if you don't shower your head. First, I was doing cold showers but was avoiding showering my head. It helped but I still had a lot of anxiety and depression going on. Then, after trying to SHOWER NOT ONLY MY BODY BUT MY HEAD too with cold water (I was told it's good for hair loss), I felt like I was born again. Plus, my hair doesn't seem to fall out much any more.

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 Gwendolyn (Baltimore, Maryland) on 06/13/2007

Hi Everybody. I found out about cold showers by default. I had always heard that hot and cold showers were good for you and on occasion i would take one. But, when my gas got turned off, i had no choice. Now, i want no other. It is the most invigorating event of my day. I have been taking cold showers for at least a month with no regrets. My skin seems to be changing for the better and i feel great everyday. I sleep like a baby. I do not get sick even when everyone around me is coughing, sniffing and spitting. I dont even know if i want my gas on anymore. I am glad i am learning how to live without it. I thank God that i found this website. I will keep in touch. God bless you trendsetters.

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.

Severe Food Allergies
Posted by George (Cherry Hill, Nj) on 01/22/2010

Alright so I really need to tell people this because I can scarcely believe it myself. Over the past few years I've had a few stomach ulcers and I've suffered from leaky gut syndrome, because of this I've developed allergies to all manor of things including cellulose in most supplements in pills and magnesium stearate and by allergies I mean if it came in contact with my skin it would start to become raw and inflamed even if I just put it under my tongue so this severely limited me from even trying most supplements to help my ulcer and leaky gut issue.Also and again this is hard to believe but I have no reason to lie to you I started developing allergies to bottled water and water from fountain soda machines, I could only drink water filtered or non filtered from a home filtering device. If I did consume these things my throat immediately swelled and my stomach ulcers burned. Over the past year or so I've learned to live with these things but I cant say its been easy. Although now my leaky gut has been remedied through a strict diet I adhered to and my ulcers are better my allergies to these things remained.

I started taking cold showers about a month ago now and at first I just stayed with cold, I enjoyed this but sometimes it would cause my stomach to become inflammed, I'm not sure why but it wasn't pleasant. Now I alternate hot and cold a few times then end on cold for 100 seconds. Now to why I'm writing this, my allergies and stomach issues are almost completely remedied!!! I just did a test with a supplement made out of fruit and it had magnesium stearate in it and no burning under the tongue no redness or irritation and after five minutes I swallowed and guess what almost no reaction at all.

The same goes with liquids from fountain machines!I drank from one yesterday for the first time in I cant even remember with no reaction. I plan on continuing this and the way things are going I think I will be free of allergies within the next month or so! This site is truly one of the best things that has ever happened to me I'm slowly gaining my old life back and for that I am truly truly thankful. To think all it took was some cold water.