“Due to a life of training and playing, I seem to spend half my time in the shower”
– Jonny Wilkinson
[Warning: contrast hydrotherapy can be dangerous. Consult the proper medical authorities before you try it.]
When the cold water hits, I start gasping for breath. For a brief moment it feels like I’m drowning. The sensation of death lasts only a minute, replaced with a new feeling; one of power and clarity. Hypothermia should never feel this good.
A few months back, I read about a branch of medicine known as hydrotherapy (the use of water to treat disorders). From what I read, the treatments had amazing benefits; from improving circulation to curing depression. I wanted to try find someplace that offered hydrotherapy, but figured that each session would cost a small fortune. Never the less, I dug deeper.
It turns out all of us already have access the greatest hydrotherapeutic device of all… a shower. That’s it. You don’t need to buy anything extra, or visit an expensive clinic.
The most basic form of hydrotherapy, and the one I recommend starting with, is the contrast shower.
To preform a contrast shower, you simply need to follow these steps:
- Start by taking a normal hot shower
- After a few minutes, gradually turn the heat down; until water is pleasantly cool
- Rinse in cool water for one minute, before turning the temperature back up
- Alternate between warm and cool water for the next five minutes, make sure to end your shower with cool water.
Once you get used to taking contrast showers, I recommend increasing the temperature change to drastic extremes (i.e. the hottest water your shower will produce, followed by the coldest). Doing so will greatly increase therapeutic benefits.
(Unfortunately this was the only in-depth contrast shower video I could find.)