Cold Showers

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Johnny Dangerous
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Cold Showers

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:53 pm

What do you think of the benefits/drawbacks of cold showers?

I know in TCM and I assume Tibetan Medicine people are always talking about how terrible cold is for you.
On the other hand, I know serious Yoga people, and people who do things like the Wim Hof method ( I have tried his breathing technique and was mostly unimpressed, at least in comparison to something like tsa lung or Qigong) who swear by the energy/health benefits of them.

I have tried it a few times and it definitely gives me energy, then again, I have also done Polar Bear Plunges and liked it. Does anyone know particular opinions on this subject from different Buddhist yogic traditions?
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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Ayu
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Re: Cold Showers

Post by Ayu » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:05 pm

Just from a practical view and observation I believe it depends on the individual. E.g. my husband practices winterswimming since twenty years - and the same twenty years I stand aside just looking how he swims. He enjoys the cold water and it's effects, I enjoy my warm cloths. I'm sure I would get seriously sick from this icecold water.

But sience says differently: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10. ... 63i2.17700
But they examined people who are used to winter's water, nobody asked people like me.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:

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Re: Cold Showers

Post by madhusudan » Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:49 pm

I have been taking cold showers regularly and, like you, enjoy the effects.

It is worth remembering that what for us may be a minor austerity is for much of the world simply daily life. I recall bathing in Nepal with a bucket of cold water and a scooper indoors or just wearing a lungi and washing myself at the local water pump in the street.

Sorry I don't know of any perspective from Buddhist yoga. I do remember learning from Nepali Kanphata yogis the practice of seeking out whatever you dislike. So, there's that.

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Re: Cold Showers

Post by boda » Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:06 am

Wim Hof claims it’s natural and healthy to subject ourselves to temperature variations, as we did through the vast majority of human evolution, because it kind of exercises the arteries when they expand and contract.

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justsit
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Re: Cold Showers

Post by justsit » Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:26 am

For those with a scientific bent, here's a link to a controlled study in which some participants were coached by Hof. Very interesting results, not a large sample size and limited to healthy young (19-27) subjects, but nevertheless intriguing. Also interesting that meditators were excluded from the sample.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4034215/
Scroll down to discussion section for a summary.

Anyone with a cardiac history might want to consider checking their physician before starting cold therapy, just as a precaution.

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Re: Cold Showers

Post by Mirror » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:08 am

From my own experience a cold shower is the best method, how to be more disciplined. It'll help you with enduring any kind of hardship and laziness. Through cold showers you teach your brain not running away from difficulties. For our body it's also very beneficial.

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Re: Cold Showers

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:27 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:53 pm

I know in TCM and I assume Tibetan Medicine people are always talking about how terrible cold is for you.
Actually, in Sowa Rigpa, cold water is great for the head and face. I've been told by a Menpa that they only use cold water on their head and face and are absolutely horrified by Americans using hot water on their head and face.

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Re: Cold Showers

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:28 pm

boda wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:06 am
Wim Hof claims it’s natural and healthy to subject ourselves to temperature variations, as we did through the vast majority of human evolution, because it kind of exercises the arteries when they expand and contract.
I also generally follow this mindset. I always rinse off with cold water at the end of my showers and let it run on me until it doesn't feel shockingly cold anymore.

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Re: Cold Showers

Post by Meido » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:34 pm

Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:27 pm
Actually, in Sowa Rigpa, cold water is great for the head and face.
Have heard the same in Zen circles I know, where splashing cold water on the head and face is a remedy for certain conditions.

RE the subject in general, may be interesting also to remind about takigyo (waterfall training) in Japanese Buddhist and Shinto practice.
It is relatively easy to accomplish the important matter of insight into one’s true nature, but uncommonly difficult to function freely and clearly [according to this understanding], in motion and in rest, in good and in adverse circumstances. Please make strenuous and vigorous efforts towards this end, otherwise all the teachings of Buddhas and patriarchs become mere empty words. - Torei

The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org

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Re: Cold Showers

Post by boda » Thu Aug 29, 2019 5:52 am

Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:28 pm
boda wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:06 am
Wim Hof claims it’s natural and healthy to subject ourselves to temperature variations, as we did through the vast majority of human evolution, because it kind of exercises the arteries when they expand and contract.
I also generally follow this mindset. I always rinse off with cold water at the end of my showers and let it run on me until it doesn't feel shockingly cold anymore.
I often do that also. More frequently in the summer months, I must admit. :smile:

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Re: Cold Showers

Post by boda » Thu Aug 29, 2019 5:57 am

Meido wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:34 pm
Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:27 pm
Actually, in Sowa Rigpa, cold water is great for the head and face.
Have heard the same in Zen circles I know, where splashing cold water on the head and face is a remedy for certain conditions.

RE the subject in general, may be interesting also to remind about takigyo (waterfall training) in Japanese Buddhist and Shinto practice.
I haven’t tested it myself, but it’s scientifically proven, I’ve heard, that putting your face in cold water slows the heart rate.

The waterfall training is intriguing. What’s that about?

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Re: Cold Showers

Post by justsit » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:44 pm

boda wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 5:57 am

I haven’t tested it myself, but it’s scientifically proven, I’ve heard, that putting your face in cold water slows the heart rate.
Try an experiment. Get a pan of ice water, put your hand in for 5 minutes. See what happens to your heart rate.

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Re: Cold Showers

Post by justsit » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:48 pm

justsit wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:44 pm
boda wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 5:57 am

I haven’t tested it myself, but it’s scientifically proven, I’ve heard, that putting your face in cold water slows the heart rate.
Try an experiment. Get a pan of ice water, put your hand in for 1-2 minutes. See what happens to your heart rate.

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Re: Cold Showers

Post by boda » Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:49 pm

justsit wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:44 pm
boda wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 5:57 am

I haven’t tested it myself, but it’s scientifically proven, I’ve heard, that putting your face in cold water slows the heart rate.
Try an experiment. Get a pan of ice water, put your hand in for 5 minutes. See what happens to your heart rate.
I tried this with a hand and no change. And yes, I’ve got too much time on my hands today. There was a 15% reduction with the face though, so looks like that’s true.

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Cold Showers

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:18 am

With Polar Bear Plunges there are some pretty crazy physical effects - including cardiovascularly. I'm wondering how much you can change your reactions to it with intentional practice.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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justsit
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Re: Cold Showers

Post by justsit » Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:58 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:18 am
With Polar Bear Plunges there are some pretty crazy physical effects - including cardiovascularly. I'm wondering how much you can change your reactions to it with intentional practice.
First, sorry for the double post above, edit went awry somehow.

Yes, the body can be slowly acclimated to cold by consistent repeated immersions with cooler and cooler temperatures. I'd guess that over time some pretty cold temps would be tolerable. Sudden changes without acclimation, though, can have some pretty negative CV results.

Is that what you mean by "intentional practice," or are you referring to some type of Buddhist practice?

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Re: Cold Showers

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:07 am

justsit wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:58 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:18 am
With Polar Bear Plunges there are some pretty crazy physical effects - including cardiovascularly. I'm wondering how much you can change your reactions to it with intentional practice.
First, sorry for the double post above, edit went awry somehow.

Yes, the body can be slowly acclimated to cold by consistent repeated immersions with cooler and cooler temperatures. I'd guess that over time some pretty cold temps would be tolerable. Sudden changes without acclimation, though, can have some pretty negative CV results.

Is that what you mean by "intentional practice," or are you referring to some type of Buddhist practice?
Either one really. I wouldn't imagine a plunge has any great effective positive or negative when it's just every now and then, and one has no pre existing cardio vascular difficulties.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Re: Cold Showers

Post by tkp67 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:21 am

School children use cold water therapy in Liberia to trigger immune system. There are a number of studies that complement the one posted that list numerous physiological benefits.

I wonder if learning not to react strengthens command over emotional response outside this given scenario.

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Re: Cold Showers

Post by DharmaN00b » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:18 pm

I wonder if its like a sequence of repetitive music or a mixtape. Each piece is so dreadful that the change comes as an excitement?! In other words the main benefit of a 'cold shower' is that it stops, sort of like a retrospective thankgoodness. Let us swing to and fro and may the following branch not snap!
If you are drunk here is the submit post button. Submit post

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Cold Showers

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:27 pm

DharmaN00b wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:18 pm
I wonder if its like a sequence of repetitive music or a mixtape. Each piece is so dreadful that the change comes as an excitement?! In other words the main benefit of a 'cold shower' is that it stops, sort of like a retrospective thankgoodness. Let us swing to and fro and may the following branch not snap!
IDK, I'm starting to really like it.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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