Although it may sound like a simple, basic approach to healthcare in the midst of fancy, complicated, expensive technologies, we constantly find ourselves resorting to the important role water has as a treatment for optimizing our bodies functioning. It is a foundational and necessary piece of the puzzle for optimal health.
Just as the quantity & quality of water we ingest is paramount to properly influencing all the biochemical processes that go on inside our bodies, why not play around with the temperature of the water we subject ourselves to externally?
I am a sucker for a warm bath or a warm shower. The heat can do wonders for promoting relaxation and relaxing tight musculature. However, have you tried cold water therapies??
Influence of cold external temps on our body system:
- Decreased inflammation and pain regulation related to various chronic diseases
- Increased brain activity and alertness due to increased oxygen intake, & increased heart rate
- Regulation of autonomic nervous system
- Decreased uric acid and increased glutathione levels
- Supports the immune system & reduces oxidative stress
- Increases brown fat – metabolically favourable tissue that can generate heat by burning fat supportive for optimal body composition
- Improves circulation due to the constriction of distal blood vessels in the limbs increasing the circulation rate of the blood in the deeper tissues to maintain ideal body temperature.
- Improves skin complexion due to tightening and constricting blood flow which gives your skin a healthy glow
- Closes and strengthens your hair cuticles and doesn’t dry out the sebum layer
Something to try…
Daily Hot/cold contrast shower challenge:
Try 30 seconds cold, 1 minute warm water; alternate three times and end on cold.
Give it a try and enjoy the benefits!
Some of the other ways I like to incorporate water therapy into my patient’s protocols:
- Evaluation of quantity & quality of drinking water- bodily water quantity can be assessed by results recorded after a full body composition analysis which I offer complimentary in office
- Optimizing electrolyte intake
- Contrast water showers with or without breathing exercises
- Ice baths
- Warming socks for kids during illness
- Heating packs
- Foot baths
- Epsom salt baths
- Cold plunge outdoors
- Hot/cold plunges
I usually incorporate at least one of these techniques into my client’s protocol, but the reality is that all of these things CAN be used to optimize our health in general. It just may be a bit overwhelming to do them all at once each and every day so we may try to prioritize the tool with the biggest effect depending on our specific health goals. The health benefits of water therapy are endless and crucial to our wellbeing.
Just like the great Bruce Lee once said… “Be like water, my friend.”