Contrast Bath Therapy
Contrast bath therapy, also known as “hot/cold immersion therapy“, is a form of treatment where a limb or the entire body is immersed in ice water followed by the immediate immersion of the limb or body in warm water. This procedure is repeated several times, alternating hot and cold.
The theory behind contrast bath therapy is that the warm water causes vasodilation of the blood flow in the limb or body followed by the cold water which causes vasoconstriction, increasing local blood circulation. Additionally, the lymph vessels contract when exposed to cold, and relax in response to heat. The lymph system, unlike the circulatory system, lacks a central pump. Alternating hot and cold, lymph vessels dilate and contract to essentially “pump” and move stagnant fluid out of the area. This positively affects the inflammation process, which is the body’s primary mechanism for healing damaged tissue. One study showed that fluctuations in intramuscular temperature were lower than those caused by a hot bath alone.
Other studies indicate that thermal stress seems to positively influence the immune system.
Hot and Cold Hydrotherapy – Shower
One’s circulation can be given a tremendous boost by taking a shower and alternating the flow of water from hot to cold, back and forth. The result is invigorating and extremely healthful.
One of the main advantages of hot and cold showers is their ease of use. Wouldn’t you love having a cheap easy way to improve your circulation, relieve pain, feel more energetic and revitalize your health?
Hot water has relaxing properties, helping to reduce stress. Cold water helps relieve inflammation and stimulates the removal of toxins from elimination organs like the skin and lymph. Hydrotherapy is a time-honored technique that uses these properties of water such as temperature and pressure to stimulate healing and cleanse toxins. There are many different types of hydrotherapies, including saunas, colonics, and simple hot and cold showers.
Why Hot and Cold Shower Therapy Works
When the body is subjected to cold external temperatures, the flow of circulation is directed inward toward the internal organs. As the outside temperature gets hot, the flow of circulation goes outward toward the skin. Alternating hot and cold makes the circulation move in and out. This has the effect of unblocking stuck flows, increasing the rate of detoxification and moving nutrients more readily to various parts of the body.
This is how to do it:
- Make sure that the water used does not contain chlorine, fluoride or other highly toxic chemicals commonly used in public water supplies. It is counter-productive to greatly increase one’s circulation and at the same time drive in a large dose of toxic chemicals. If you cannot readily filter these chemicals out of the water before it comes into your home, install a shower head filter that is truly effective in this regard.
- Get completely wet with a temperature of water that is comfortable.
- Slowly increase the temperature up to the point that you can barely stand it. Quickly expose all the parts of the body to this hotter water including the top of your head and your face.
- Now turn the water temperature down to the coldest tolerable setting. No matter how cold the water is, at its coldest, it cannot harm you in any way. The only thing stopping you from going to the coldest setting is your ability to confront the experience. Make sure all parts of your body get this cold water exposure.
- Next turn the water to hot again but make it a little hotter than you had it before. Again, get each part of your body good and hot before reversing the temperature to the coldest setting.
- Repeat the procedure seven times – seven times hot, seven times cold. Always begin with hot and end off with cold. Make the temperatures as hot and as cold as you can tolerate.