Believe it or not, the manner in which you bathe can contribute in a big way to looking, feeling and staying young. Baths are of different kinds Cleopatra, remember, is said to have bathed in asses milk ? However, the most common modes of bathing are hot and cold baths. Both have their advantages and benefits, with cold baths scoring quite decisively over hot baths. Simply soaping yourself and pouring water over yourself is only the beginning of an important story. Bathing in the true sense of the word is actually much more than a means of keeping your body clean, which, in itself is a vital element of good health. Cold baths are also beneficial when your are feeling tired, as they act as a pick me-up.
A cold bath improves your circulation, clears your body of ‘impurities’ and generally contributes to staying young. That’s because when you pour cold water on your body, the blood rushes to warm it. Your circulation will improve, your skin will improve, your general body functions will improve. Jordan and Kyla Miller have written how Vincenz Priessnitz, a farmer in the 1920s, developed and marketed a medical treatment he called hydrotherapy. He sold the concept of using cold water to cure a long list of aliments, and achieved almost instant success.
Researchers believe that the increased metabolic rate, which results from the body’s attempt to warm itself up, activates the immune system and releases more white blood cells in response. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that people who take regular cold baths are less likely to develop colds, flu’s, and even some forms of cancer.
Good blood circulation is vital for overall health. The natural tendency of the body when it is exposed to cold is that your blood rapidly circulates to your vital organs to keep them warm, hence increasing your overall blood circulation. It prevents problems like hypertension, hardening of the arteries, and the appearance of varicose veins. Good circulation improves the performance of your system and thus helps in looking and feeling better. Cold water baths are also known to promote weight loss by increasing metabolism.
Researchers believe that the increased metabolic rate which results from the body’s attempt to warm itself up, activates the immune system and releases more white blood cells in response. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that people who take regular cold water baths are less likely to develop colds, flu’s, and even some forms of cancer.
Depression is yet another problem that cold baths can help and prevent. How ? By stimulating the production of Noradrenaline — a chemical that many believe helps alleviate depression. Amongst the benefits of cold water baths, the ‘shock’ from cold water opens up the lungs much like strenuous physical exercise does and results in a higher average intake of oxygen. Cold water baths can also make hair stronger and look shinier and the skin look healthier by tightening cuticles and pores, preventing them from getting clogged, thus reducing blemishes like acne. Stronger hair prevents hair from easily falling out and it helps in slowing down overall hair loss.
In addition, cold water baths increase hormone production and activity by giving the body’s glands a boost. It is believed that cold water therapy helps regulate the endocrine system, including the adrenal glands and the thyroid. And that’s not all. Cold water baths can be of great benefit to the reproductive system as well when trying to conceive a child. Even if one is somewhat skeptical about the many benefits of having cold water baths, there is little doubt that a cold water bath definitely leaves one feeling invigorated and energised. The heart starts pumping blood more rapidly, and the rush of blood through the body helps shake off the lethargy of the previous night’s sleep and enables one to make a fresh new start. What better way than this to start your day ?
Simple But Effective Tips
When you are having a cold bath you must do it systematically to derive the greatest benefits. Here are some simple but effective tips.
- Rub your body briskly –from head to toes — with your hands or a small towel before beginning your bath.
- After bathing, instead of simply wiping yourself dry, give yourself a vigorous rubbing.
- Both before and after a bath, do a few simple stretching exercises.
- If your body is strong, begin with a hot bath and end with a cold bath. This will invigorate you and make you healthier, but once again, this must be done systematically.
- A bath should be taken an hour or more before a meal and at least three hours after a meal.
- In Indian conditions, hot baths in summer and cold baths in winter can be beneficial.