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27Jan/12Off

Take a Cold Shower

I take a Scottish Shower every day. You're probably asking yourself, What the heck is a Scottish Shower? Well ... That is a very good question. Essentially it is the act of finishing a hot shower with a cold water shower. As you might guess the effect is IMMEDIATE and POWERFUL. Even in a tired state, I instantly wake and feel super energized. Many people believe that alternating between hot and cold improves blood circulation and that it can be beneficial with rheumatic disorders.

As a matter of fact, many people believe that cold showers help in most or all of these areas:

  • Better circulation
  • Better looking hair
  • Rejuvenated and Improved skin
  • Enhanced mental capabilities
  • Helps resist hay fever, allergies, colds, and coughs
  • Strengthens the nervous systems
  • Expels toxins and poisonous waste by contracting the muscles
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Improved mood
  • Dramatically increases sperm count and mobility
  • Relieves depression
  • Boosts testosterone

In addition to all of that, Japanese samurai warriors did a Shinto ritual called misogi harai. They would pour a bucket of cold water onto their heads. Samurais believed that “misogi” would purify them on a spiritual level. I dig Japanese history and I REALLY dig samurai warriors ... So, I initially attempted this years ago to see what all of the spiritual hoopla was about.

Before I enlighten you how I do this, and what you can do to mimic my insane actions, I must put in print ...Yet Another Longwinded Disclaimer... I am afraid that before I talk about this enlightening subject, I must first warn you of the inherent danger associated with it… Cold showers can be dangerous, especially to folks with heart disease, high blood pressure, or a fever. As with most anything in life, you can be seriously injured, crippled or killed. (That sounds a bit tense for a cold shower, but I’m covering my proverbial butt!) The opinions, stories and ideas presented here are my own and do not constitute a recommendation of or endorsement for any particular or general use. You should seek a professional medical evaluation before turning your temperature dial down. If you choose to take cold showers, you do so at your own risk.

Also, women should not take cold showers during the time of menstruation because it is recommended that they only experience gentleness during their menses. (I had to look this one up)

Now that we have that out of the way ... Let me tell you what I do, and you can formulate your own approach.

I hop into a standard temperature shower. As a matter of fact, I probably take it a hair hotter than most folks. I get the soaping, scrubbing, and washing done. As I'm rinsing off the soap residue, I gradually turn the temperature down a little bit. I usually do this to prepare my body for the coming torture (note: it's a good torture). Then ... Without warning, I crank the knob all the way to cold. It takes a second or two for your creaky pipes to respond, so use that time to tighten your sphincter and prepare for the wonderful onslaught that is heading your direction. When the cold hits, sometimes I feel like screaming (depending on the day, and temperature), but I keep that feeling inside. Often, I will find myself making anguished faces and once or twice my eyes have even rolled up into my head. But, don't let that scare you off. In all honesty, the Scottish Shower is pure bliss. After a minute or two of rinsing my whole body, I turn the water off. Immediately I get a towel and hug it like I haven't seen it in years!

If you struggle once the cold hits you, try my mental focus tip ... Think about the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits that are a direct result of what you are putting yourself through!

One more note ... When you are away from home (staying at someone else's house, a hotel, campground, or something else) be careful with the fast twist to cold. You never know when you'll run into someone who has considerably colder water running through their pipes.

Additional Notes and Thoughts
Men: Don't forget that you can use the "shrinkage" excuse immediately after getting out.

Women: Don't giggle at your scrawny man when he first pops out of a cold shower!

Little known fact: Did you know that James Bond takes Scottish Showers? Well ... He does. If that ain't proof enough of the benefits, I dunno what is!!!

Does anyone else out there perform misogi?

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Posted by Vaughn Ripley

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  1. I’ve done the opposite. I turn on the water and immediately get in, getting full on blast of cold at the start of the shower. This continues for 1-2 minutes until hot water makes it through the pipes from the tank in the basement. Those 2 minutes are intense, much like how it is described above.

    The best use I’ve found for this is during summer months after exercise, the cold start immediately drops my core temp so I can stop sweating. Otherwise, a normal warm shower does nothing to help (probably hurts) and I end up right back perspiring as soon as I get out.


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