SQUEEL INTO SPRING WITH COLD SHOWERS | Michelle’s awakening every sense with the Wim Hof method

It appears to have become very popular of late, everyone around us seems to be Wim Hof‘ing. It’s a method of meditation and pranyama (breathing exercises) designed to calm your system to the point you can withstand prolonged periods in freezing temperatures. Breathing I’m familar with and have practised varying techniques through my yoga practice, but cold showers…no! Part of the Wim Hof method is to have a cold shower. As much as I love the water, if it’s not tropical temperatures the wet suit is on! Michelle, on the other hand, is far braver and has embraced this wholeheartedly and incorporated it as part of her morning routine.

Michelle stayed over recently. When I heard a screech I ran to the bathroom…she’d just entered her freezing cold shower!

I asked Michelle about this crazy notion…

What inspired you to the Wim Hof method?

I was down and needed a pick me up and someone pointed me in that direction

Were you not scared of the the shock of entering cold water?

Yes! Haha! I squeeled a lot at first. But once you are in it’s the exhilaration you feel and the shock quickly disipates. There’s no way I could have done it without my daily CBD dose though – that certainly calms my system enough to brave the freezing cold.

What preparation is involved?

Taking your clothes off! It’s mental preparation. It’s a challenge to do something you really don’t want to do at the beginning of the day. Once you’ve done it, your mentally prepared for greater challenges the day may throw at you.

How does it make you feel?

Exhiliarated. Tingly. Alive. My whole system feels toned.

What’s the next step or is this a daily ritual now?

This is it now. You start at 30 seconds standning in the cold water and gradually increase to as long as you can bear it.

As bonkers as I think this is, cold showers, wild swimming, ice baths etc… certainly have many real health and wellbeing benefits.

This is not Michelle. But in her mind, this is what her freezing cold morning shower looks like.

By incorporating a cold shower into your daily routine you could experience a speeding up of your metabolism, improved circulation, reduced inflammation, swelling and sore muscles. A great way to speed up your recovery time after physical exercise.

Cold showers have also been linked to improved sleep, higher levels of energy and relieves symptoms of autoimmune diseases.

A study conducted in 1993, showed that those who took daily cold showers, in comparison to those who only took hot showers, had an increase of illness fighting white blood cells. Researchers suspect that the increase in immune functions comes about as a response to an increased metabolic rate.

The shock of the cold water kicks the cardiovascular system up a few gears, which in turn results in a boost to metabolism. Thus, you’ll be burning up more calories for the whole day. When the body is exposed to cold water, the shock causes our blood vessels to constrict and tighten, sending blood away from our skin to the internal organs, this also includes the brain, it becomes awash with lovely fresh blood, bringing vital oxygen and nutrition to the brain, lowering cortisol as well as boosting feel good neurotransmitters like serotonin. The density of the cold receptors in the skin are 3 times higher than that of warm receptors so a whole body exposure to cold water is the most effective way to reset your system and kick start your day.

It is also worth noting that when taking cold showers, when combined with other holistic approaches, like a daily ldose of CBD, daily meditation, gratitude, breathing exercises, mindfulness, nutrition and exercise, decrease stress levels and increase overall happiness.

Cold showers really help in getting you out of your head and into your body. If you’d like to have a go at cold shower therapy Wim Hof suggests, not to be too overzealous in the beginning and dive head first into a frozen lake, start small (a freezing shower is full on at first) and slowly, slowly increase your tolerance. A good place to start would be to take your regular warm shower and then lower the temperature to a place you can stand it, stay in for at least 30 seconds. Gradually you will be able to increase the amount of time you spend taking cold showers. While this all may sound crazy and unpleasant at first, we promise that you’ll soon be feeling invigorated, energized and loving them.

You CAN positively impact your health in just 30 seconds a day.

For further reading:

Wim Hof himself has astounded scientists with his physical and mental endurance. There’s an interesting TED talk here. And a really interesting article in Smithsonian Magazine on the science of it.

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