Hot and Cold Shower
There is one of the best and cheapest ways to massage our body readily available to us and it is also part of our daily routine. Surprisingly we rarely think about it. It is a hydrotherapy massage.
Body Regulates Temperature
We know very well that that the body maintains a constant temperature. It regulates the body temperature by contracting and expanding the pores on the skin as need be. It expands the outside body skin when the surrounding temperature is high. The pores in skin become larger. In higher atmospheric temperature body gives out moisture through these pores and covers the skin with moisture, called the perspiration. During evaporation the perspiration takes away the additional heat from the body and gives it cooling effect. Blowing of air over the body, by a fan or a natural wind, increases the rate of evaporation and we feel more comfortable.
Body Heat and Heart
The heat in the body is generated by the friction of the flow of the blood in the vessels. So in some cases the rate of heart beats is also slowed down to reduce the generation of the heat. This is why during hot days we find it harder to perform tasks requiring higher energy consumption which then needs the heart to pump the blood at faster rate which in turn generates more body heat.
In colder surrounding atmosphere this process is reversed. To conserve the body heat the skin contracts making the pores smaller and thus reducing the dissipation of the heat from the body. Additionally we cover the body with warm cloth to conserve the body heat. Engaging in strenuous task or doing exercises is easier in colder surrounding as the heart rate increases and the body generates additional heat.
Sudden Change of Temperature
If you have noticed any time, when you step outside from a warm room straight into the cold weather, you feel as if the body is shocked. Same thing happens when you come outside in hot weather from an air-conditioned room.
When you take hot or cold shower your body is subjected to the same phenomena. The process of expanding and contracting of the body’s skin at short intervals has the effect of a massage on the whole body. So if you subject the body to hot and cold showers alternatively at short intervals, say a minute apart, then the whole body is massaged and every muscle of the body is relaxed and refreshed.
Hot and cold Shower
What you need to do is that after adjusting the temperature of the shower water to your usual comfortable level, slowly increase the content of the hot water, or reduce the content of the cold water, to your bearable extant. Continue to take hot shower for a minute. Then slowly reduce the content of hot water and increase the content of the cold water to the extant that you feel that you are taking a cold shower, but only within your comfort zone.
If you are limiting your shower to a four minute limit to conserve water, in that time you can subject your body four times to this hot and cold shower massage. Or you may gradually keep changing several times in those four minutes. I tried that way and changed hot and cold about a dozen times in just three minutes targeting the sprinkle of water on the skull, front of the body and the back of the body. It was wonderfully refreshing and revitalising. If you have knee joint problem you can target this massage directly on your knees. In a normal flow of the water on an average 10 litres of water flows every minute. So you may use 30 to 40 litres of water in a 3 to 4 minute shower.
Of course you may take shower as long as like – five, ten or fifteen minutes. In winter you may find it difficult to get away from a hot shower. And then again during hot summer, one likes to stay under cold water for an unlimited time.
But remember one thing, shower washes away body oil from the surface of the body and makes it dry. May be once a week, you may like to massage your body with good quality massage oil before taking shower. Women in India, usually wash their hair once week. They rub oil on the skull and hair before washing them.
You will feel that your whole body is marvelously refreshed and revitalised. This is a free massage at no extra cost and you can have it daily. You need not go out spend money in expensive joints to get your hydrotherapy.
Hot and Cold Patches
I was once told that in a certain natural therapy clinic hot and cold patches are applied to the stomach and the back. In this type of treatment a person lies down flat on the back and a bag of ice is first put on the stomach for a couple minutes. Then it is removed and a hot water bottle is placed in its place. This is repeated a few times. Then the person rolls over and lies down on the stomach. The same process is then repeated on the back. This supposed to remove constipation and provide relief to the backache.
Body Pains and Aches ?
If after a days hard work or sport or any other activity, the whole body is suffering with pains and aches of all sorts, then this hot and cold shower treatment will be a great relief. If you take this shower at night before going to bed you will have a very pleasing sound sleep.
Apart from revitalising and refreshing your whole body, the regular practice of taking hot and cold showers daily will have additional benefits also.
Its first and best benefit is to reduce the headache or pain of migraine. This is because the changing hot and cold water uniquely and very gently massages the head.
The stomach is also massaged which will help in digestion and you may feel hungry.
It may also remove the constipation.
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