❄️it's cold shower season... how cold can you go? (cryotherapy is the jam)❄️[s-lb #022]
i am perched at the far end of my shower, staring down the water.
the water stares back, unrelenting.
the hot water knob is off. only cold water is allowed to flow thru these pipes. that's because the date is june 25 and i have to be honest with myself: it is cold shower season.
stepping into the first cold shower of summer is never easy. cold is bad, warm is good. i always want the warm weather, the warm experience.
the surprising benefits of cryotherapy
immersion in very cold temperatures aka cryotherapy (not to be confused with crypto-therapy lol) is now understood to be extremely healthy. hot temps are good too -- in fact, one study showed that middle-aged men who used the sauna 4 times per week were 40% less likely to die for any reason. In other words, "all cause mortality" dropped sharply from sauna use.
I don't have a good sauna in my house (unless you count our air conditioner being broken), but mild cryotherapy is possible in any shower. just turn the cold water knob on by itself and step on in.
today, facing the cold water, i feel the hesitation. the fear. the unwillingness to feel what comes next.
fuck that. i step in.
in the cold water
my brain: it burns with cold 🌨️🌨️🌨️ please help 🌨️🌨️🌨️ oof
i am holding my chest up against the water spout, trying to immerse myself fully in the cold. the more you can immerse yourself, the quicker the shock wears off.
while twirling beneath the spout and trying to adapt to the cold, i am breathing deeply. this is a big part of what cryotherapy does (heads up: i haven't researched this) -- it makes me breath deep, relax my body, and stop thinking about dumb stuff.
you don't worry about social anxiety when you're being shocked by cold water in the middle of a hot day.
adaptation takes time
after a few minutes i still don't feel fully adapted. the cold still feels harsh. nonetheless, i feel refreshed, awake, happy and calm. that's the magic of the cold.
it will take a few more days before my body remembers the habit of the cold showers. after enough days in a row, you stop feeling cold in the same way. what once seemed brutal and freezing starts to seem more like lukewarm water. eventually you jump into an entire cold shower the same way you might put your hands in cold water to wash them.
and in the summer, let's face it: it is easy. it's not a polar plunge. it's about as harsh as jumping into any swimming pool.
the shower just seems more intense because many people think of the shower as a warm, luxurious space.
but i know better. in the summer, cold showers 1-2 times per day are the best for mood enhancement and feeling refreshed.