Cold Shower Therapy Health Benefits

Fountain of Youth
Posted by Gerald (Sydney, Australia) on 06/07/2009
5 out of 5 stars

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.


Weight Loss
Posted by Lana (Des Plaines, IL) on 06/02/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I've been doing cold showers for 2 weeks, and my appetite significantly decreased, and i lost 4 pounds already. Amazing! ACV helps too, but it doesn't decrease appetite as cold showers do, at least for me.

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 Patrick (Sydney, Australia) on 05/25/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I found cold water by accident. I swim each day and when the cold weather arrived I kept swimming in the outdoor pool until they closed for winter. And, I was the only person left swimming in the 15 degree water. I found that cold water gave me an incredible feeling and I wondered if anyone else has experienced it - so I checked the internet. And yes, many had - I was not alone. Now, for the past month I have been swimming in the heated indoor pool but having cold showers after - plus I also have cold showers each morning. I laugh before I get in the shower; my head is a can of worms screaming at me not to inflict this pain. But I do it. I stay under the water until it feels comfortable. BUT, it is best to wear rubber thongs/jandalls/flip flops to save freezing your little feet off on the cold tiles.

Cold Shower Tips
Posted by James (Roseburg, Oregon) on 05/05/2009
5 out of 5 stars

This is a submission for the cold showers remedy.

My Method and what I Know:

First how I got started. I got involved because my father told me about it (he his interested in some of the Hindu's practices and practices some of them) and that it was beneficial to ones health. He also told me of some other Hindu practices that I now combine into my shower regime.

So, next is what I do. First I turn the tap on warm. But since I am not close to the hot water source, it takes some time for it to reach me. So I usually have a 10-15 second cold shower. I then take a hot shower for the next minute or so. Following that I rinse myself with another 10-20 second shower. At the end I pat myself dry with a towel. Also during the shower I usually yell as loud as I can for stress relief reasons. Plus to give my vocal cords some exercise.

Now I will tell you what I experienced during my time taking cold-hot-cold showers. First, I noticed a peculiar thing about my perception of the waters temperature. The first section felt quite cold and I usually try to keep it short. The portion after the hot part on the other hand did not fell anything like the one before. It was almost like my body had created a shield; likely to be the blood rising to the surface from the first cold water blast, and then my body was further heated from the hot water. Two last thoughts, At the beginning I had a lot of trouble turning the water on. But, I noticed that as I continued it was taking less and less effort on my part, till now I have next to no trouble. Thought two, I also noticed that taking my shower is very revitalizing, and is good for clearing my head so I can think properly.

This next section I will talk about the benefits I have seen of taking a cold-hot-cold shower. I know it would be good for warding off sickness in two ways. First, it acts as a mixer to the blood. The cold bringing the blood to the surface, then the hot driving it inwards, and finally the cold drawing it back out again. ( I think the blood does this because of homeostasis, a bodies mechanism for keeping balance.) The second reason I think these showers are good for wellness is that hot promotes openness and movement, essentially opening the pores of your skin. Cold on the other hand closes things and promotes stillness.

So, I would advise a person to end with a session of cold water at the end of a period of hot water. UNLESS, that is, they wish to have their pores open for health purposes. Although as general practice I would usually close my pores.

Also a word of caution. Try to keep the water from being to hot. Especially where your hair is concerned, as it can cause damage to the roots. (Or so I have hear. But it does make some sense.)

Thank you for reading this, and I hope you got something out of reading it.
Good Vitality and Enthusiasm to you!

Fountain of Youth
Posted by Rob D. (San Francisco, CA) on 05/04/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I feel sad for a very odd reason. Why on earth did I not find this simple cold water shower cure earlier. I suffered from a lot of diseases all life and this cold water shower cured this. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED AND A MUST FOR EVERYONE WHO WANT TO STAY HAPPY AND HEALTHY.

Cold Baths
Posted by Leon (Wichita, Ks) on 04/17/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Actually I find that cold baths have a more soothing effect on my body than cold showers and I don't have to have it frigid cold and I get the same benefits.

Fountain of Youth
Posted by Linda (York County, Maine) on 03/12/2009

Hi Chris....I've done a little cold showering and I'm not as dedicated as a lot of folks, but I like to start with a warm (not hot) shower in order to wash up...also, I haven't used soap in ever so long and haven't missed it, just scrub really well with a shower brush...once I'm finished washing, I turn the water just a little colder for a couple of minutes exposing my pulse points to the cooler water first, then allowing the rest of my body to be bathed in the cooler water...after 2 or 3 minutes, the water begins to feel not so cold - kind of like going swimming in the lake - once the water feels warmer, I turn it another notch colder for 2 or 3 more minutes, etc. until I feel like getting out of the shower. I read that it takes 3 minutes for our blood to completely circulate through our bodies; I have no set time that I stay in the shower but always feel really good afterward. When I do this in the evening, the boost in my circulation energizes me enough to finish my bedtime routine, get into some warm jammies and enjoy a good night's sleep!

Fountain of Youth
Posted by Chris (Alberta Canada) on 03/11/2009

You wrote, "Cold showers, used properly, are a tonic for the entire body." Sould you please elaborate more on how to use them properly? Thanks, Chris

Mood Enhancer
Posted by Heidi (Ogden, UT) on 03/02/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Cold Shower:

While I was in the shower, it wasn't so great. I could only take the water on the front of my body, and not ice cold, but cool. Then I moved and let the water go over my shoulders. My back is really sensitive, so I didn't go there, but when I put my head under the water and allowed it to flow through my hair and over my scalp! oh! that felt so good! I did that over and over again. mmm. then got out and toweled off, and now I feel terrific. Really tired, as if I could sleep deeply (but I have work, so...)

But I'm relaxed and warm, and my emotional state is calm and level. I plan on repeating this every day. I can feel the vigor and alertness, yet I'm relaxed. Calm and alert.

Yeah, I can live with this!

Posted by Igor (Moscow, Russia) on 02/21/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Dear Earth Clinic,

Thank you for this excellent forum on cold water therapy. I had an anxiety which seemed to 'come from nowhere'. Cold baths work on this much better than cold showers. Also swimming in the sea or lakes. There is a tradition of doing this in Russia and also northern China: but in modern times people think it is madness. In this time of credit crunch (2009) this is a practice which everyone can afford.

I have a question to people on this forum: what about time? I do it for 1-4 minutes, 2 times a day, before and after sleeping, every day, as my uncle showed me, like the brushing of the teeth. (The washing with warm water and soap I do before or after this: it seems not to matter which.) It seems that a longer time is not beneficial at all. So I am interested to know other people's ideas about timing.

Another question: I work sometimes in Arabia where it is very hot in the Summer times. There is no problem to make a bath of water, but it is not very cold. So do people know of any device/machine which can be put in a bath to make the water cold? Putting ice from the fridge is OK but this method needs a lot of ice.

Kind regards,


Fountain of Youth
Posted by Jan (Seattle, WA) on 02/02/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I read years ago that the late Katherine Hepburn who lived to age 96 took two cold showers daily her entire life, as I recall inspired by her grandmother as a child. I found this quote from a close friend of her online that shows the zest Hepburn had for life; I suspect her cold showers were a great impetus for her good health and long life.

Reduces Blood Glucose
Posted by Sushan (London, UK) on 02/01/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Cold shower therapy to reduce blood sugar:

cold shower therapy to reduce blood glucose, and get lots of other health benefits. as someone with type 2 diabetes i have been experimenting off and on over 2 years or so with cold showers. they definitely work to reduce blood sugar, by encouraging the cells to utilise the glucose.

some tips:

1. for sustained benefit, its necessary to habituate to cold water( colder temperature is better, ideally around 10 degree centigrade , so it helps to live in a cold climate). It will probably take about a month to habituate. You know this has occurred when you dont really feel the cold after a minute or so of the cold shower, but instead feel quite deatached from consideration of the temperature- you dont really mind it; in fact you rather enjoy the sensation.

2. duration: best results occur when the duration of the shower is upwards of 3 minutes ( it takes 3 minutes for blood to make a complete circuit of the system )to 15 minutes. I personally aim for 2 cold showers a day, 11 minutes each time. morning and evening. self- massage your body during the shower to stimulate circulation, and warm the body. Peripheral circulation (PC) is an issue with diabetes - i have found my practice has significantly improved my own PC- but the self massage is essential especially where the body feels cold.

3. wrap up well after the shower, incl thick socks and if you take longer showers (over 6 minutes) ensure the body temperature has returned to homeostasis before venturing out.

4. caution - if you have diabetes with uncontrolled HBP or atherosclerosis, dont try this approach . At the start it can spike BP up, although its final effect on BP is benign and beneficial.

Cold Baths
Posted by Tamara (Reading, Berkshire UK) on 01/27/2009
5 out of 5 stars

In the early 90's I took part in a trial of cold bath therapy. This consisted of taking a cold bath every morning and started off at 22 degrees C for 5 minutes and increasing the time and decreasing the temperature so that when one got to 14 degrees C one was immersed in the water for 20 minutes. That proved to be too long for me, but I did manage 14 degrees for 10 minutes and I must say, having done the therapy for a period of 6 months, I felt extraordinarily well on it. I have now decided to resume it and, having done my first 5 minutes in 22 degrees this morning, am feeling really rather well!

The therapy was thought out by a Pakistani physician here in the UK initially as a cure for Asthma and then ME. I have however lost all reference to him and the therapy and would be grateful if someone knows anything and would care to share! Happy cold bathing!

EC: FYI, 22 C is about 72 F.

Posted by Jeff (Houston, Texas) on 12/31/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Cold Shower Therapy for Depression:

I didn't initially read about cold shower therapy for depression here, but wanted to comment on the positive benefits and why scientists think it works.

I've suffered from treatment resistant or refractory depression since the age of sixteen and am now forty-one years old. I've tried over 50 medications (MAOI's are the best in my personal and medical option), had over 70 ECT (electronvulsive or shock therapy treatments at the age of 18/19), and have tried every other known treatment for depression in the history of mankind.

Cold showers (or baths, swimming in lakes) has been a complimentary or adjunct therapy for me over the past several years. Scientist think it stimulates the blue spot or locus cerulus in the brain which is the main source of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine (noradrenaline), but it also stimulates endorphins and has other effects on the hypothalamus/pituitary like stimulating thyroid hormone, helping with hot flashes (I have them with depression) and helps normalize circadian rhythms. I believe it works wonders and am living proof.

I also want to add something else for those who suffer from depression that they might want to try. Sleep deprivation for one or two nights. You might think it would cause depression, but it stimulates most of the neurotransmitters in the brain and is useful for enhancing the antidepressant effect of medications.

Lastly, if one is not so depressed that they're bed ridden, exercise can work wonders.

Posted by Leon (Wichita, Kansas) on 12/28/2008

I agree. The Western medicine is atrocious. The only side effects I get from them is insomnia, weight gain, nervousness, and irritability. But most of all it tastes bad. I am glad to embrace the Eastern way of handling the problems with my body through taking cold baths and nasal cleansing. It works. It worked for Neiman in the Bible (leprosy), it worked for Father Sebastian Kneipp (tuberculosis), and it works for me (asthma and allergies).

Cold Shower Side Effects
Posted by Leon (Wichita, Kansas) on 12/28/2008

I agree. The shower does cause me stomach pains, headaches, especially around the sinus area, and lower back pains. When I took the cold bath, the pains seem to go away. May I suggest the cold bath? It works for me, maybe it'll work for you.

Cold Baths
Posted by Jane (Los Angeles, Ca) on 12/27/2008

I think that the shock to the system can weaken an already weakened immune system. This is what happened to me one day when I went to a Korean spa in K-town. Except I went from dunking for 5 minutes in the mugwort tea pool (amazing but about 105 Farenheit) to the cold pool and plunged in. I almost fainted from the dizziness. It was not a smart thing to do. Any rate, the next day I had a terrible flu. Drastic temperature fluctuations are not healthy to the body I reckon.

Cold Baths
Posted by Leon (Wichita, Kansas) on 12/27/2008

You're right cold showers are brutal. 12 inches of bath water, my bathtub isn't big enough for that. What I do is fill up my bath and while the water's running, I get my clothes ready, water my nose and then I get in after it's filled up. I try to keep the cold water comfortable and not frigid.

Cold Baths
Posted by Leon (Wichita, Kansas) on 12/27/2008

I have never had the flu from taking cold baths. It is almost impossible. With nasal irrigation along with cold baths, you are less likely to get a cold, much less the flu.

Cold Baths
Posted by Leon (Wichita, Kansas) on 12/26/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I am taking cold baths now. I feel there is a better difference between the bath and the shower. For me the cold bath helps me to better recover from the night's sleep. My routine of starting my day is easier when I take baths than showers. While the bathwater's running, I can irrigate my nasal passages, wash my face, and play my music. I still get all the benefits of cold showers, but in a different way. I have more energy than taking the shower, and the energy lasts all day. 12 inches of water in my tub is not all possible but I do fill up. I am so happy about cold baths because they work.

Cold Shower Tips
Posted by Paul (Uxbridge, MA) on 12/01/2008
5 out of 5 stars

1. Not sure. I take mine in a regular shower with a normal shower curtain. I don't think it would matter to be honest.

2. Fixed shower heads probably work better b/c you need to force yourself under the cold water. A moveable head doesn't give you the full affect of the refreshing blast of cold water coming at you.

3. I used to take hot showers for a good 15 minutes. I've been able to cut my showers down to 5 minutes while fully cleaning myself. Cold showers are extremely environmental friendly in that respect.

4. Dry off. I don't feel the need to shiver in the bathroom and try to warm myself up. My body temp has risen to the point where I can get out of the shower and not reach for the towel to warm up but rather dry off.

5. Not at all. I thought it would when I first started but it really isn't. The shampoo and soap come off just as if it was warm water.

6. Dimensions... I don't think it matters. One thing I do is run in place as soon as that cold blast hits me. You do feel a good shock to the body but compose yourself and run in place for 30 seconds and you will notice that you can handle the cold water better.

7. Not that I can think of.

The best way to promote cold showers would be to talk about how healthy cold showers are. My moods have improved, Headaches are limited, I almost never get sick, I can handle sleeping in a cold basement now, my hair is thicker and stronger, my skin is smoother, I have much better circulation. To be honest, I didn't even think of the environmental effect cold showers would have, but it certainly has cut my oil and water bill drastically.

Best of Luck!!!

Cold Shower Tips
Posted by Alice (Reims, France) on 12/01/2008

Hello Everybody,

I have been fascinated by the experiences shared on this forum concerning cold showers. I am a design student developing a project to encourage people to have cold showers in order to consume less water (and energy) resources.

I would like to pose this forum some questions in order to help me design the best environment to take cold showers:

1. What type of materials do you feel is the most suitable for the environment in which to take a cold shower?(wood, glass, metal etc) and colours?

2. Is there a preference for a fixed or moveable showering head?

3.What is the average length of shower? (in minutes)

4. What do you like to do directly after taking a cold shower?

5. Is using soap and shampoo an issue when taking cold showers?

6. Taking a cold shower is a vigourous affair...I sometime knock my elbows on the side of the shower. What dimensions would ideally suit 'cold showering'

7. Is it disirable to have special 'non-skid' surfaces, special taps?

Any thoughts you would wish to share regarding these questions would be wildly appreciated.
Cordialement, Alice

Mood Enhancer
Posted by Pat (London, England) on 11/10/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I am the sort of person that will not swim unless the water is lovely and warm so I dont know what made me start turning the shower to cold after my normal hot session. I didnt stand under it just put my arms and legs under and splashed myself. Then I had the bizarre idea of running a shallow cold bath and putting some good oil in and getting into that. At first I just paddled and splashed but now i sit down in it, and sponge myself down. Wonder if I will ever lie down?? i dont have any ailments i want to cure, but I feel so good after the bath that I dont think I will ever stop startng my day like this. I googled cold shower to see if I was not the only completely mad person and found this site. Since reading this thread i tried the hand held shower nozzle but that was unpleasant and made me feel cold afterwards rather than tingly warm. i am sure it is improving my skin tone, I am 60 this week and my skin needs all the help it can get. And is it just a coincidence that my tennis elbow has gone??

Fountain of Youth
Posted by Leon (Wichita, Kansas) on 10/31/2008
5 out of 5 stars

The cold shower has improved my body and my health. I am so full of energy and do not have any allergies or asthma. I feel great. No medication, no flu shot, and no pharmacy trips need. Ever. I am WATER-CURED.

Mood Enhancer
Posted by Sarah (Nailworth, Glos UK) on 10/20/2008
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Posted by Jon (Monongahela, PA) on 09/30/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Oh God...this is the most greatest thing in the world. I embrace the Eastern philosophy of medicine which talks about natural and organic treatments to the ailments that we all suffer. Unlike Western medicine that gives you toxic pills to swallow only to treat the symptoms and not to cure you. I feel great. I've never been so happy and energetic in my life and I feel like I'm high all day long...of course with out the impairment of psychotropic drugs. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED...yeah, there is the hesitation associated with jumping into a swimming pool, but please, just "bite the bullet" and do it.....every day.


Tips From Our Readers
Posted by Jeff (Madrid, Spain) on 09/26/2008

That's interesting about the underarm area you mentioned...I had a hard time hitting that and the shoulder area...thanks for sharing the tip!

Invigorates Mind and Body
Posted by Kevin (Rochester, NY) on 09/16/2008

Great visual! I never thought to sing opera in the shower. I'll have to try that. ha.

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