A Cold Splash–Hydrotherapy for Depression and Anxiety

Can hot and cold water make a difference in your mood?

Since the time my book on depression came out last year, I have been pleasantly surprised about the positive reader feedback regarding a small part of the book that discusses a little-known naturalistic therapy called ‘hydrotherapy.’

Hydrotherapy is a simple at home remedy which can  provide substantial benefit with minimal effort. Hydrotherapy is the application of water to the body surface to help it heal and feel better.  I thought I’d share some of basics of this old time therapy with you to see if you would like to give it a try.

Old Time Nature Cure Theory

Humans used to spend a lot more time outside–and we were continually exposed to great variations in climate, humidity and weather. And, there were occasions we would be  submerged in different waters of various temperatures too.  Old-time nephropathy finds some of its healing roots here. Hydrotherapy has actually been in use since ancient times as a way to balance the body and mind.  According to Hippocrates, water therapy ‘allays lassitude’ (physical or mental weakness). Later one, German water cure from the 1800’s often used various applications to help treat disease (Barry and Lewis, 2006).”

How Does Hydrotherapy Work?

Applying water of different temperatures to our skin can change our physiology and mood.  When humans take a cold swim, once over the initial shock of the cold, it is usually very invigorating. This is because wet and cold causes our surface vessels to vasoconstriction (tighten up) making blood move from the surface of your body to the core, as a means to conserve heat. Not only does it conserve heat,  it also reflexively bathes the brain and vital organs in fresh blood. This movement will bring nutrition, oxygen and also help gently detoxify the area.  Warm water will make the vessels vacillate (relax) which will bring blood up to the surface. This helps blood move back, away from the core, cleaning out the core.

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