Hydrotherapy has been used for centuries to support immune health. Using hot and cold water in succession can enhance the movement of blood and lymph, helping your body deliver nutrients and carry wastes more effectively — keeping you healthier and more resistant to colds and flus. This technique, called contrast hydrotherapy, can be especially helpful if you are feeling run down or chronically fatigued, though it’s also great for general enhancement of immune health.
Here’s a simple technique that can be used in the shower:
- Start your shower with hot water, for 3-5 minutes. (Since there’s a drought in California, consider making it 3 min.)
- Switch to cold water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. The water should be cold enough that your breathing changes and you feel like giving a little yelp!
- Alternate back to the hot and then to cold, for a cycle of 1-5 times.
- Remember, always start hot and end with cold water.
- To enhance the effects (and make the cold more bearable), rub your inner arms, inner legs, neck, abdomen and pelvis with your hands vigorously to increase lymph flow.
- For those that tend to get cold easily, fear not —this technique will increase blood flow and you will likely feel warmer after your shower than if you only used hot water.