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  • Writer's pictureDoç. Dr. Hasan Ersöz

What are The Benefits of Cold Showers For Pectus Excavatum 2023-2024

Updated: Jan 20


Hello, today I wanted to talk to you about the details of cold shower application. It is a practice that I use myself and still benefit from.

Cold Water for Pectus Excavatum

Cold shower therapy is abundant in the literature and is known as cold hydrotherapy. The benefits are endless.

If we look at its history, it is a practice that has been done since ancient times. Hippocrates, the ancient Greek medical scientist known as the father of medicine, stated in his works that he was addicted to cold water therapy and recommended it to everyone.

The Romans practiced leaving hot rooms, which we know today as saunas, and jumping into cold water pools. During the Renaissance, people used cold water to solve various mental and physical problems.

It is actually a method that is well known and remains valid today as it was in the past. You can see that many people, from the most famous athletes to celebrities, do this practice regularly. Madonna, lady gaga, Miranda Kerr, Nicole Kidman are just a few of those who announced that they practice this...

cold shower benefits

The most common users today are athletes. They are mostly preferred to relax inflamed and overly contracted muscles. It is widely preferred among athletes for regeneration after challenging exercises or competitions.

Cold shower regulars know that it is a source of daily energy, like exercising and coffee to start the day. With the right application, you too can experience this situation.

So what are the medical benefits?

I would like to list the 6 most important benefits for you:

1- Relief of muscle pain and cramps

This question may come to your mind: Doesn't cold make muscles contract more and increase cramps? Of course, yes for an individual who does not do this practice regularly and is suddenly exposed to cold. However, what we are talking about is for individuals who practice this practice as their daily routine.

muscle pain and cramps

On the contrary, numerous scientific studies have shown that a cold shower applied regularly daily is good for the pain caused by conditions such as rheumatism and fibromyalgia, and that it achieves this by reducing the body's reaction called inflammation.

2- Weight Loss

What I mean by losing weight is not an immediately reversible situation like edema relief. The weight loss provided by cold showers is related to the body burning fat by increasing metabolic activity.

cold shower for health

It increases metabolic activity in order to raise body temperature again through the phenomenon called thermoregulation, and cold showers help burn fat.

3- Strengthening the immune system

Researchers have shown that regular cold exposure combined with breathing exercise strengthens the immune system and reduces flu-like symptoms.

Strengthening the immune system

Cold water enables the immune cells we call leukocytes, that is, the body's police against microbes and various microorganisms, to leave the police stations we call lymph nodes and travel through the blood vessels, that is, to go out into the field.

Here, it enables the body to more easily capture the microorganisms it needs to fight. This creates detoxification of the body.

4- Mental Benefits

Inflammation is not only a body response that affects body functions. Inflammation has also been shown to be associated with anxiety and depression. Cold water has an anti-inflammatory effect and is therefore good for psychological health.

cold shower for metal benefits

I recommend a cold shower, especially for pectus patients, as it is beneficial for the psychological effects of the deformity.

Cold shower not only acts as an anti-inflammatory, but also helps individuals become more successful and energetic by providing them with a routine and daily discipline. This has anindirect effect on psychology.

In addition, cold water therapy stimulates the vagus nerve, allowing you to stay calm and avoid stress. In other words, it stimulates parasympathetic nerve activity that protects us from stress. In this way, it leads to the secretion of various hormones and neurotransmitters that make us feel better.

Apart from calming and relaxing, cold water also increases our mood by increasing the release of dopamine. Dopamine is an addiction hormone and is secreted in those who do sports, eat chocolate, and smoke, creating the desire to do it again.

If you get used to showering with cold water, you will never be able to give it up again. Try it and see!

5- Better Sleep

Sleep, especially a good sleep, is everything for us. Its benefits such as being our source of energy, protector of immunity, psychological and mental rest are endless...

benefits of good sleep

Regular cold shower activates the parasympathetic system, allowing relaxation and better sleep. I guess I don't need to list the benefits of good sleep one by one...

6- Increased courage

Not so long ago, until 2 years ago, I was initially very hesitant to get into cold water, especially on winter days. After overcoming this feeling, I became more confident in dealing with my fears in general.

cold shower for pectus excavatum

You all know how beneficial it is to step out of your comfort zone in every sense. Cold shower is one of the most practical ways to get out of your comfort zone and therefore it contributes a lot.

How to Apply a Cold Shower?

First of all, let us point out that people with heart disease, high blood pressure and various other diseases should discuss this issue with their doctor before taking a cold shower.

This practice should be done every day.

During the day, it is recommended in the literature to do it in the morning at most. This is recommended not only for a good start to the day, but also for a good sleep at night.

You can start by staying in cold water for a few seconds. Do not rush, remember that the first cold shower experience will be the most difficult!

However, this will be the step that will motivate you to get started. Therefore, there is no need to start ambitiously and quickly and then give up. Move slowly but confidently.

Weekly challenges are recommended for beginners. You can set weekly time targets, gradually increase your stay in cold water in line with these targets, and focus on achieving your goals.

The ideal cold water exposure time is 2 to 5 minutes. However, these periods are personal and can be increased over time.

The ideal water temperature should be between 10-15 degrees. Lower temperatures can be a problem. Methods such as ice baths are not recommended for beginners. As a result, it may not be easy for everyone to reach low temperatures like Win Hof, which is extremist in daily practice.

We should focus on regular breathing while under cold water. A cold shower will be more beneficial if you breathe regularly, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. You can also control your panic under cold water by breathing.

Because regular breathing allows you to control your cortisol level, which is the stress hormone, and calms you down mentally. It also increases the benefit you get from cold showers by maintaining your hormonal balance.

We can benefit not only from cold showers but also from the natural effects of cold during winter periods. For example, taking a nature walk or exercising in a cold morning weather and dressing lightly during this time will also provide similar benefits.

If there is sun, wearing short sleeves also contributes to vitamin D production. The proven corrective effect of increasing the amount of vitamin D on pectus excavatum should not be forgotten.

I do not recommend staying in a bathtub full of cold water for 3-4 minutes at home. Because there is a danger of water scarcity awaiting our world in the coming years. Methods that cause this type of water waste can pose a big problem for us and future generations.

Medically, we see cold application in reducing surgical pain, especially in cryotherapy applications that provide less pain after pectus surgeries. We freeze the nerve for 3-4 minutes by touching the -100 degree probe to the nerve where you feel the pain.

It becomes impossible for the nerve to transmit pain for a few months while it repairs itself. Thus, the patient can go through the post-operative recovery process, especially after the Nuss surgery, painlessly.

I hope I could be useful to you with what I told you.

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