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Greg Battaglia
12-12-2007, 03:49 PM
Anybody else find this practice to be incredibly useful? I usually take ice cold showers in the morning and they work wonders for waking me up and increasing energy. The only problem is now that it's getting colder out, the water is getting incredibly cold and I'm experiencing intense leg cramps during the showers. Anyone else have this problem or know the cause of it? I plan on switching to dousing in the near future (standing out in the freezing cold in a speedo and dumping a bucket of ice water over ones head!) but wanted to get this figured out first. I also get dizzy if I run the cold water for too long, but have eliminated that problem by reducing the duration of the showers.

Garrett Smith
12-12-2007, 04:23 PM
Greg,
As with any modality, things can be done at the wrong time or with too much intensity.

The origin of nearly all hydrotherapy used today began with cold water applications, by Father Kneipp. I actually have a patient who was trained in his methods in Germany.

As we tend to live in climate-controlled environments today (which tend to the "warm" side, cold water (showers, dousing) balances that out. As the outside temperature gets colder in the winter, combined with the water temp getting colder, it can tend to be a bit too much "cold" on the system (note leg cramps). This may also combine with the possibility in your situation of spending a lot of time outside in the colder weather.

It's all yin and yang, really. In the winter, shorten the intensity and duration of your cold exposures. In the summer, lengthen the duration and intensity of your cold exposures.

Another example--Bikram (hot) yoga, done in Tucson in the summer. Way too much heat. I think the best time for hot yoga is in the cooler months.

Think of balancing the temperature exposures, knowing that the overall balance will lean towards the season.

Cold water exposure does stimulate the immune system. Overstimulating anything leads to suppression. Take care not to slip into "more is better".

Mike ODonnell
12-12-2007, 04:25 PM
Do contrast...hot and cold cycles.

Greg Battaglia
12-12-2007, 06:59 PM
Thanks. I figured I was going a bit overboard. I knocked it down quite a bit. I read this article not too long ago about this centenarian who finished his showers with 100 seconds of cold water. I'm gonna stick with that method throughout the winter and increase the time during the summer when the minimum water temp. rises.

Mike ODonnell
12-13-2007, 05:38 AM
finished his showers with 100 seconds

I would think 30 seconds is enough to get the lymphatic response and increased blood flow you are looking for....unless you are trying to recover from serious muscle damage from a workout or injury. Did it say if his showers were hot before too? The contrast from hot to cold may be better drastic response then just going cold all the time...as your body will just adapt to it and like Dr G said, too much of anything good can always come back around to bite you in the ass. Much like sprinting...change from not moving to full out...and jogging, a constant pace with some incremental increases over time...which is better and gives the greatest hormonal response?

Greg Battaglia
12-13-2007, 06:20 PM
Mike, good point. He went from hot to cold. He finished the showers with 100 seconds of ice cold water, every time. 100 seems to be right in the limit for me, almost pushing it. I may try 75 seconds.

Michael Miller
12-14-2007, 11:22 PM
Greg, i have been doing hydrotherapy for a while now...first found out about it through Dr. Richard Schulze. I do 7 15 sec cycles of alternating hot as i can stand to as cold as i can stand...always ending with the cold.

I certainly do not agree with everything Schulze says but on the recommendation of a very well known JKD instructor i decided to try out some of his advice. I will say this, ALOT of his stuff has worked for me where nothing else ever did.

To reinforce what Dr G said...its all about balance!

From a Dr. Schulze Total Health Newsletter concerning hot/cold hydrotherapy
http://healingtools.tripod.com/thn9.html

Garrett Smith
12-15-2007, 04:26 AM
I'm sure GLAD I don't WRITE like THAT guy!!!

He'll be shut down soon enough if he keeps throwing the "CURE" word around...

Hydro is awesome, I don't think writing about it like that will work with many people though...

Frank Needham
12-15-2007, 06:49 AM
Thanks. I figured I was going a bit overboard. I knocked it down quite a bit. I read this article not too long ago about this centenarian who finished his showers with 100 seconds of cold water. I'm gonna stick with that method throughout the winter and increase the time during the summer when the minimum water temp. rises.

Got curious and looked up the article you reference Greg, here:http://www.cnn.com/2005/HEALTH/11/15/living.well/

Some very interesting statements in there....if I live to be that old I'd sure prefer that my life be like his.

Tony Ferous
12-15-2007, 09:39 PM
I assume that cold shower increase cortisol and adrenaline release(due to the shock). Perhaps best done in the morning.

Michael Miller
12-16-2007, 05:01 AM
LOL yeah if i were him i would tone it down just a bit. Actually i think Schulze WAS shut down in the past for such claims! From my experience he is definitetly over the top...almost comes across like a natural health televangelist. Has some good material if you can get past all the bad presentations of it.

Matt Lawson
02-04-2008, 05:10 AM
I get the leg cramps too. When i was involved in, shall we say, "an educational process" we would jog in place to keep the craps from kicking in. when your that cold though the jogging looks more like someone hooked electrodes to a zombie's legs.