You’ve probably heard about cold showers having some positive health benefits but like most people can’t brave the cold water every morning, right?
There is a happy medium, at least for me it was a lot easier than having a cold shower – contrast showers.
What are contrast showers?
Basically, a contrast shower is as the name suggests, a contrast between hot and cold water.
There are different time intervals to switch between, but generally speaking contrast showers tend to be 3 minutes of hot water followed by 1 minute of cold water, and so on.
One minute of cold water is a lot easier to take than just a straight cold shower, especially after being in the warm water.
And the good news, there are just as many if not more health benefits to contrast showers as cold showers.
One key reason to have a contrast shower is its ability to stimulate your body’s detox process and strengthen the immune system, as I will explain in more detail in this article.
Why Is It Important to Detox?
While you may think you’re in great shape and do not need to detox, it’s likely that you’ll feel much better if you.
We absorb lots of chemicals through the foods we eat and pollution we are surrounded by, and our bodies can only do so much without a little help.
Contrast showers are one of the easier ways to stimulate better lymphatic function among other benefits, and it’s easy to incorporate as part of your daily routine.
There is also the benefit of burning extra fat and there is some evidence to suggest contrast showers help you to lose weight via the stimulation of fat burning.
Why Is a Strong Immune System Important?
Our Immune systems are our natural defense against illness, viruses, etc. It’s made up of a complicated network of tissues, cells, organs, and does all the hard work for us keeping us healthy.
We all have different strength immune systems. If you’re the kind of person who always seems to have a cold, the sniffles or worse are just sick a lot this is something you need to look at.
There are lots of ways to keep our immune systems operating at their best. Mostly revolving around positive, healthy lifestyle choices.
Such as sleeping well, eating well, exercising, not being stressed, etc. There are also some other things we can do as part of our daily routine, such as meditating, contrast showers, and so on.
How do Contrast Showers Help Us Detox and Boost Our Immune Systems?
Firstly, contrast showers improve lymphatic movement which is how it helps our bodies detox and flush more toxins.
This is because the lymphatic function relies on good blood circulation and the contraction of muscles, both of which are stimulated by alternating between hot and cold water.
Secondly, not only due to flushing out toxins that are putting a strain on your immune system, contrast showers stimulate the production of extra white cells which help fight off illness and boost your immune system.
One of many studies into the effects of contrast showers on the immune system (source) carried out on over 3,000 subjects showed positive results.
The study concluded, ‘A routine hot-to-cold shower results in a statistical reduction of self-reported sickness.’
For such a simple change to your daily routine to see a reduction in illness makes contrast showers very appealing, at least they were for me which was why I started taking them.
How to Overcome the Fear of Cold Showers
The main reason more people do not take contrast or cold showers is due to braving the cold water.
It’s not the nicest feeling I’ll admit, especially first thing in the morning. But it’s nowhere near as bad as you’re thinking, and once you start taking contrast showers it becomes easier every day to the point that you no longer notice.
All I can suggest is taking it slowly and reducing the temperature of your shower over the course of a few days. Or even using the cold bursts for less than a minute at first.
It’s mostly a mental hurdle you need to overcome. Like a lot of things we fear in life there comes a point when we need to face up and just do it.
All I did was take a few deep breaths and just go all in the first time. It was a shock I’ll admit, but it wasn’t that bad and now it’s something I look forward to each day.
For the feel-good factor and the health benefits it’s worth it, trust me. Give contrast showers a go and see how you feel afterwards, feel free to drop me a note and let me know.
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.