Cold showers are not a magical cure-all for any condition. They should be used as a supplement to traditional treatments, but not as a replacement.
Depression affects at least 10 percent of American adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many drugs treat depression, depending on the severity or duration of symptoms. One holistic method of treatment that’s gaining popularity is hydrotherapy. Taking a cold shower for up to 5 minutes, 2 to 3 times per week, was shown to help relieve symptoms of depression in a clinical trial.
For people with depression, cold showers can work as a kind of gentle electroshock therapy. The cold water sends many electrical impulses to your brain. They jolt your system to increase alertness, clarity, and energy levels. Endorphins, which are sometimes called happiness hormones, are also released. This effect leads to feelings of well-being and optimism.
White fat is the fat we associate with conditions such as obesity and heart disease, but we are all born with brown fat. Researchers have found that brown fat plays an important role in adult health. Healthy levels of brown fat also indicate that white fat will be at a healthy level. And brown fat is activated by exposure to cold temperature.
People that are obese can’t simply start taking cold showers to lose weight without changing other lifestyle habits. But taking a cold shower 2 or 3 times per week may contribute to increased metabolism. It may help fight obesity over time. The research about how exactly cold showers help people lose weight is unclear. Still, it does show that cold water can even out certain hormone levels and heal the gastrointestinal system. These effects may add to the cold shower’s ability to lead to weight loss.
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