Just asking, and I can almost guarantee that the answer is “No.”
Let me explain:
A couple of days ago, I posted a photo of myself standing in the snow, dressed only in shorts and sleeveless top. This prompted my blogger friend Gilly Gee to ask, “Are you one of those crazy people who go from sauna to icy dip too?” I replied, “Funny you should ask that, Gilly. I always have an ice-cold rinse after my shower. It really wakes me up!” 😀
Last August, which is the middle of our winter in South Africa, I was sitting having lunch with my mom, when she suddenly came out with, “I really have to thank you for introducing me to the idea of a cold shower to finish me off every morning, I’m sure that’s why I haven’t even had a sniffle this winter.” You see, even at eighty-seven years of age, my mom is no sissy, and like myself, turns the cold water on full blast at the end of her shower. I’m sure that when she said, “finish me off,” she didn’t mean it in THAT sense, although even the very idea of standing under a spray of icy water, would I have no doubt finish most people off. 😉
I haven’t been able to convince hubby yet of the beneficial effects it will have on him, even when I tell him that it’s known as “The James Bond shower.” I mean to say………you can’t get more macho than the great JB, can you?
Hubby is neither shaken nor stirred by my assurances that it will rev up his circulation, improve his libido, and make him feel as warm as toast once he’s dry. I can walk around in my undies for an hour afterwards without feeling the least bit chilly, whereas fresh from his stinging hot shower, he “Brrrrs” himself into his clothes as fast as he can make it.
Those of you who have read the James Bond books may recollect that he always ends off his shower with an ice-cold rinse, but he wasn’t the first to enjoy the benefits of a shot of cold water. In ancient times, hot water was a luxury. People had to live near to hot springs in order to enjoy the comfort of a hot bath, so for most of human history people bathed in cold water. But even when the Ancient Greeks developed heating systems for their public baths, they continued bathing in cold water purely for the health benefits.
The Spartans, hardy folk that they were, believed that hot water was for the weak and unmanly. When they did take baths (which was, probably only once a year) they used only cold water because they thought it toughened them up and made them even more formidable opponents to their enemies.
Many cultures incorporated a cold water dousing into their religious ceremonies. Some Native American tribes would alternate between sitting in a sort of sauna and then jumping into an icy river or a bank of snow. Ancient Russians also took frequent plunges into icy rivers for health and spiritual cleansing. Japanese practitioners of Shinto, both in ancient and modern times, would stand under an icy waterfall as part of a ritual known as Misogi, which was believed to cleanse the spirit.
Just in case you’re not convinced, here is a list of the benefits: Cold water showers improves circulation, by causing your blood to move towards your organs to keep them warm, whereas warm water reverses the effect, making the blood move towards the surface of the skin. It is said to relieve depression, and reduces stress by stimulating the brain’s “blue spot,” the brain’s primary source of noradrenaline, a chemical that could help mitigate depression. Cold water closes up your pores and hair cuticle, making your skin healthier, and your hair shinier. It increases your metabolic rate and activates your immune system, releasing more white blood cells. It’s also thought to increase testosterone and boost libido, thus increasing strength and energy.
Well, maybe I haven’t convinced you, but tomorrow, as you stand under your hot shower, just think of me blasting myself with ice-cold water, and be just a little bit tempted to try it out, especially if it’s summer on your side of the globe.
Have a great weekend everyone.
(photos from Google images.)