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Cold Showers for Longevity?


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15 replies to this topic

#1 SoulTech

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 05:27 PM


I'm wondering if many people here are incorporating cold showers as a part of a longevity routine. For one thing they have been shown to increase glutathione levels (see http://www.cold-show...thione-levels/), and mice exposed to cold water stress have lived longer than controls when both groups were exposed to a lethal parasite.

I realize that any small stressor can improve health by making the body adapt, but it seems like cold showers are even healthier because they also stimulate circulation and may activate brown fat.

#2 Shepard

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 08:49 PM

Maybe good, maybe not. I use cold/ice water therapy because it makes me feel good.

#3 lunarsolarpower

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 09:45 PM

Other than promoting calorie burning/weight loss are there any other known reasons to want to stimulate brown fat?

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#4 Lufega

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 09:49 PM

I shower with cold water only because it's always 1000 degrees where I live. No sense in using the water heater...

#5 Sillewater

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 10:23 PM

I take cold showers too because it feels good. Even during the winter.

#6 forever freedom

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 11:00 PM

I normally take showers with very hot water; i almost never take cold showers, even in the summer.

If there were very concrete benefits i could try to get used to more cold showers (at least in the summer), otherwise it's definitely not worth the suffering.

#7 TheFountain

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 12:46 AM

I start my shower warm then make it luke warm then cool, but not ice cold. I find it helps me adapt to temperature variations.

#8 SoulTech

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 01:45 AM

lunarsolarpower - i think weight loss / metabolism is pretty much the main benefit of brown fat, and the accompanied ability to stay warm.
Shepard and forever freedom - doesn't the evidence seem pretty concrete? There is a lot of information on studies on the site, although most were fairly small. However they have one doctor's endorsement: http://www.cold-show...n-cold-showers/

I myself take a hot shower, long enough to heat up, and then blast myself with cold. One, it feels good, and two, if I only use hot water I tend to keep wanting it hotter and hotter until it is no longer satisfying. Plus, I do it for potential health benefits. I don't do purely cold showers because they feel too stressful for me.

It looks like I posted in the first post didn't translate correctly; here: http://www.cold-show...athione-levels/

#9 Buzzing Health

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 11:39 PM

I can vouch for cold showers I read somewhere that they help cleanse the blood but the main things I have noticed about cold showers is they get my bloodflow going in the morning and I seem a lot more enrgetic after a cold shower besides the saving on gas does me wonders

#10 tunt01

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 12:19 AM

cold showers are hormetic.

prison inmates use extreme cold showers to train the body to deal with shock. so when they get stabbed by homemade weapons (a "shank"), they can react appropriately while the knife/weapon is still lodged in their body. it is conditioning.

#11 niner

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 12:51 AM

cold showers are hormetic.

prison inmates use extreme cold showers to train the body to deal with shock. so when they get stabbed by homemade weapons (a "shank"), they can react appropriately while the knife/weapon is still lodged in their body. it is conditioning.

OK, from now on it's cold showers for me. If my wife or kids tries to shank me, I want to be sure to be able to act appropriately. (Aren't hot showers hormetic too?)

#12 tunt01

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 01:05 AM

OK, from now on it's cold showers for me. If my wife or kids tries to shank me, I want to be sure to be able to act appropriately. (Aren't hot showers hormetic too?)


hot showers are hormetic too, up to 104 degrees farenheit. i don't remember the difference between the two biologically, it's on my loooooooong list of things to go back and look at. there are some books by a guy named Rattan on the subject (hormesis/temperatures).

the reason why prisoners prefer cold showers is that it helps them deal w/ the 'shock' effect better of a knife stabbing, and the goal in a prison fight is typically to go for vital organs and usually permanently harm/kill another inmate. so they stab and then twist into the vital organs in an attempt to maim the person. i guess the cold showers help them deal w/ any stabbings to repond better and minimize damage to the vitals. so that while they are bleeding w/ a shank in their body, they can still punch their opponent in the face or whatever.

i actually happen to be reading while this stupid prison documentary was going on TV (I have CNN/CNBC going on 24/7 practically in the background). i looked up briefly and heard this prisoner give an interview talking about cold showers and it was like a nirvana moment.... hormesis in action.

i then watched these guys talk about their daily routine of physical activity, a very regimented spartan-like military training process, that helped them prepare for gang warfare in prison fights.

Edited by prophets, 28 October 2009 - 01:06 AM.


#13 Delorean

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 04:44 PM

Found this today http://ownyourhealth...s-the-evidence/

Some people have questioned the evidence behind hydrotherapy, especially the cold water treatments that are described in the book that Alexa Fleckenstein and I co-authored. German research supports the effects of cold water used on the skin as therapy. Unfortunately, the studies are in German, and they are small. (1) Because Pharma firms have no interest in inexpensive water cures, there probably won’t be big studies any time soon. Fact is, the German insurance system pays all or part of physician-prescribed treatments, including hydrotherapy and herbs. The importance and therapeutic potential of water, and especially cold water, are now simply taken for granted in Germany.(2) Here are some specific research studies supporting the health benefits of cold water treatments. Citations are listed at the end. (More cold water research details in Own Your Health (2003)

Boosting the immune system
A pilot study of immune effects from cold water therapy with a small number of breast cancer patients found significantly increased disease-fighting cell counts in every category examined, including neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes.(3)

Reducing the perception of pain
In a study in Japan, cooling by ice water was one of the “competitive stimuli” that reduced the perception of the pain of a laser beam on the skin. (4)

Improved circulation and function in the legs
A Swedish group administered three weeks of alternating cold and hot hydrotherapy to the legs of patients suffering from intermittent claudication (reduced blood flow) and found that improved systolic blood pressure in ankles and toes, reduced pain, and markedly better walking ability went beyond the results of standard treatment and persisted for at least a year after treatment.(5)

Swimming in the winter?
Ten healthy subjects who regularly swim during the winter were evaluated at Berlin’s Institute of Biochemistry at Humboldt University Medical School. Their blood and urine showed increased levels of anti-oxidants, which prevent cell damage, indicating their bodies’ increased tolerance to stress.(6)

(1)Summarized in Bühring, M., Naturheilkunde: Grundlagen, Anwendungen, Ziele (Natural Medicine: Basic Application and Goals), Munich, Verlag CH Beck, 1997.
(2)Haas, S.S., Hydrotherapy and more: Adapting Kneipp’s Natural Medicine to the U.S., Complementary Medicine for the Physician, 2000; 5(8):57,61-64.
(3)Kuehn, G., Sequential hydrotherapy improves the immune response of cancer patients. In: Mizrahi A, et al., (eds.) Potentiating Health and the Crisis of the Immune System: Integrative Approaches in the Prevention and Treatment of Modern Diseases. New York: Plenum, 1997.
(4)Kakigi R., et al. Pain relief by various kinds of interference stimulation applied to the peripheral skin in humans: pain-related brain potentials following CO2 laser stimulation. J peripher Nerv Syst 1996;1:189-198.
(5)Elmstahl, S. et al., Hydrotherapy of patients with intermittent cluadication: a novel approach to improve systolic ankle pressure and reduce symptoms. Int Angiol. 1995;14:389-394.
(6) Siems, W.G., et al., Uric acid and glutatione levels during short-term whole body cold exposure. Free Radic Biol Med. 1994;16:299-305.

#14 Brain_Ischemia

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 03:15 PM

OK, from now on it's cold showers for me. If my wife or kids tries to shank me, I want to be sure to be able to act appropriately. (Aren't hot showers hormetic too?)


LOL!

A Swedish group administered three weeks of alternating cold and hot hydrotherapy to the legs of patients suffering from intermittent claudication (reduced blood flow) and found that improved systolic blood pressure in ankles and toes, reduced pain, and markedly better walking ability went beyond the results of standard treatment and persisted for at least a year after treatment.(5)


Perhaps there is greater benefit in alternating between extreme heat and extreme cold?
I've been taking brief cold showers for about three years now (ever since I was first introduced to them involuntarily at the showers on my old college campus). I wash my face in ice cold water in the morning and very hot water at night before bed. Seems to work well for me. I reduce my potential for skin absorption of toxins in municipal water, keep my heating bill low (no long, hot showers or baths), and my skin seems to be in pretty good shape.

#15 kurdishfella

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 11:40 PM

if you need to shower a lot to be fresh you must have some underlying health problem and cold showers aren't gonna make a difference if you are healthy.



#16 kurdishfella

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Posted 08 August 2021 - 02:46 PM

Its the duration and force of water that matters. Just watrr hitting your skin once isnt enough especially if ur unhealthy. Cold shower to make it harder turn it on for 5 seconds then off and repeat with warm water to trick the body.




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