I practice cold showers almost daily, and I recommend it to everyone with pectus excavatum.
I’m writing this article based on the benefits I’ve experienced personally as a guy with a sunken chest. I also use scientific evidence to prove the benefits of cold therapy.
It’s as if some magical elixir works on me, making me feel instantly better, more energetic, happier, and stronger.
Before I started with this, I had previously heard a lot about this therapy from friends and people on the internet that I admire, like Paul Chek and Wim Hof. But, before settling on it, I’ve researched and found the best way to begin this journey.
I’ll now tell you what worked best for me in that regard.
This article will discuss the advantages and everything you need to know about the cold shower benefits for people with pectus excavatum deformity.
Importance of Water
Water as a source of energy, life, and health, aside from the necessity to drink in large quantities, has many other benefits that it can provide.
One of those benefits is, of course, the practice of showering with cold water. I encourage you to take such a step because it provides incredible health benefits.
It is sometimes astonishing when you figure that everything we need to be healthy comes from nature.
We often get lost and think that health requires wealth, but on the contrary, it only takes a little more education and courage!
When we learn how to use the sources of nature, everything will be better for us.
What is Cold Shower Therapy?
Cold shower treatment, also known as cold hydrotherapy, is the health-beneficial technique of dipping in cold water.
That therapy helps reduce chronic sickness by activating the body’s inherent healing abilities and encouraging better health and general well-being.
This method may sound brutal to many, but there are people for whom it is a way of life and a cure for all their problems.
Different types of cold water therapy
This specific form of therapy you can do in a variety of ways. But, firstly, you must select the most suitable option for you.
Taking a cold shower is a quick and easy method to expose yourself to cold water, and it is the primary kind of experimenting with this type of treatment for starters.
We can’t achieve the same low temperatures as some extremists like the Iceman Wim Hof with cold showers, but they’re a great way to discover how it works for you and your body.
Cold showers are the most effortless and practical method depending on the possibilities.
The ice bath is another form of cold water therapy. But when we mention cold water, we do not mean ordinary cold water through our domestic taps.
Here we are talking about icy cold water. Approaching this therapy requires more preparation, and it takes a long time to get used to that temperature.
Other methods that allow exposure to cold
In today’s way of exposure to cold temperatures, this new approach exposes you to temperatures as low as -100 ºC / -148 ºF. Single therapy lasts a few minutes, usually 3-4 minutes.
People use this treatment for different purposes. Some use it for relaxation after challenging work periods or hard training, and others for the weight loss process.
Using Winter and Cold Weather
Winter, cold weather, and cold air provide us with free and the most natural exposure to frigid temperatures, and we can use it as a form of treatment.
During the winter months in your zone, you can find a simple routine you will practice daily.
It can be a long walk in the morning or just exercising outside. In winter, I love an early morning hike to the Vodno Mountain in Skopje, the city I live in now.
I wear less clothing than ordinary to experience the benefits of the cold and fresh air in the woody mountain.
I even take off my shirt when it is sunny, so I get an extra amount of vitamin D, which is helpful for pectus excavatum sufferers psychologically.
Homemade Cold Tub
You can easily make your cold therapy at home by filling your bathtub with frigid water. Enter the bathtub and sit as long as you can. The goal is to be able to stay 3-4 minutes overtime.
It can even perform the function of an ice barrel treatment, in which you can often put ice in addition to cold water. You can also achieve this method in such special barrels by standing up.
But you can also do it simply with the help of your bathtub.
However, please be careful. If you have any pre-existing health problems, still consult a doctor before taking such a step.
6 scientific Benefits
The list of gifts is long. I will share the most important benefits we, as pectus excavatum sufferers, can get from this therapy.
The benefits of this technique were proven long ago. Hippocrates, the Greek physician of the classical period, is one of the fans of cold water therapy, and he is someone who noted its results first.
Today, due to the excellent results, this technique is practiced by the most famous athletes and world-famous people whose influence we can use to promote this lifestyle method for a better self.
Cold water fans include Madonna, Lady Gaga, Miranda Kerr, and Nicole Kidman. They can be such a representative of women when it comes to this exemplary health-related topic.
Whether you try this therapy to improve your health or relax, you should know what this therapy can offer as a result.
Reduction of Body and Muscle Pain, Inflammation, Stiffness
Muscle relaxation and reduced pain are claimed by many to be over in just 24 hours if you take a cold shower. But it is usually connected to hard training and hard physical work.
But the real question is, can a cold shower help with chronic muscle soreness?
Several studies confirm that it can help with many types of pain caused by rheumatism, fibromyalgia, and other similar conditions.
The function of cold water immersion therapy is to maintain inflammation at a decent amount.
Metabolic Benefits and Fat Loss
There is evidence that cold exposure can boost metabolic work.
A study found that regular exposure to intense cold generated a condition known as cold-induced thermogenesis in people. That means that being exposed to a severe cold can jump-start your metabolism.
You are more likely to lose weight if you improve your metabolism.
As a result, many people use this therapy in their weight loss journey.
If you use cold water treatment as a regular part of your daily routine, your health will improve. Researchers discovered that combining cold exposure with proper breathing exercises improves immune response.
Taking a cold shower helps the immune system in reducing all flu-like symptoms.
Immersion in cold water activates leukocytes, which are white blood cells that aid in the fight against diseases, and the lymphatic system contracts, as a result, moving fluid through the lymph nodes.
This procedure helps detoxify the body while also boosting immunity. Considering the current situation that we live in of infection and viruses, this solution can easily save our lives by boosting our immune systems.
Mental Health Benefits and Mindfulness
At the same time, inflammation links with anxiety and depression, and many studies have shown that cold treatment can help with different mental health issues and overall mental states.
Coldwater treatment can assist you in developing the mental toughness required to face the obstacles of suffering from pectus excavatum in daily life.
That state of mind is crucial in battling a psychological problem that affects most people with sunken chests.
It takes a lot of courage and will to put yourself in cold water daily, and I know that it can be difficult, especially if you fight depression or any other form of mental health illness. But give it a try for your best self!
Knowing that you have built such a discipline and routine in your life, everything that life throws at you will be easier after that.
Triggers “Feel Good” Chemicals
Coldwater therapy stimulates the Vagus nerve, representing the most crucial factor when we need to feel calm and at peace. Coldwater starts the Vagus nerve indirectly via the parasympathetic nervous system.
When the parasympathetic nervous system activates, it triggers the Vagus nerve, producing feel-good chemicals is possible.
Of course, if you are in a more severe stage of depression, anxiety, or any other mental state, a cold shower will not fix it on its own!
It is more effective for prevention, but if your depression is more serious, please seek professional help and use the cold shower only as a stimulant in your recovery process.
And know that there is a solution for everything! Don’t lose hope!
Instant Mood Booster
In addition to relaxing and calming, cold water can instantly improve our mood because of the dopamine released in our bodies. I have noticed this in myself, and I always feel better after the shower. Try it!
I’ve wondered how it works and how it affects me and what it is that instantly makes me feel better. I realized that this is due to the desire and courage I need to have in myself to do something good for myself and my health.
When we do something good for ourselves, the reward usually arrives after, leaving us more fulfilled in a better mood.
Skin Problems/ Itching
If you have a skin condition that causes itching or discomfort, a cold shower can reduce that feeling, at least for a moment.
I often experience skin itching and discomfort caused by an allergic reaction to the sun and salty seawater during the summer.
In those moments, I have redness of the skin and itching, which eventually can only be soothed with cold compresses or cold water showers, of course, with the help of some gels for allergic reactions.
Sleep is our body’s primary source of energy, and we need to regulate it for its benefits to be even better. A good night’s sleep is crucial for our energy levels the next day and delivers many other health benefits.
Daily cold showers trick our parasympathetic system and allow our bodies to learn ways to relax, unwind, and also fall asleep easier.
That is all about training our body and mind. When we prepare to stand tall under the cold water, we have to turn off our minds and relax.
We can use this relaxing exercise, learned from cold showers, in many forms and different circumstances.
Builds Courage Muscle
Not too long ago, I was afraid of hopping into the cold shower at the start. After conquering this fear, I became more confident in tackling my worries. One of these fears was showing my chest and skinny frame to others.
After taking cold showers as a daily habit, my courage increased. I became very comfortable in uncomfortable situations, especially when taking off my shirt and being comfortable for the first time in my life.
Unlock Your Power
As I mentioned, the list of benefits is long. Choosing only one motive that will make you try this treatment is enough to start. As someone with a deformity, I know what it means not to have the willpower to take things into our own hands.
Our visual appearance can often lead to depressive episodes and make us think we can’t do anything good for ourselves even if it doesn’t seem like that when we start, know that we hold our healing powers deep inside us!
A simple cold shower may not instantly change everything, but be sure that step by step, all the benefits and all you’ve done for yourself will come to light!
Be careful with Cold exposure
If you already have some heart disease, please be careful if you decide to take this step. The abrupt exposure to cold can cause a shock to the body.
Because of this, if you have some health issue, please consult your doctor. Ask for an opinion on your condition and the use of cold water as therapy.
Coldwater can additionally freeze you, and you may need much longer to warm up and return to your healthy body temperature. Of course, that’s not a bad thing at all, but it’s still something you should pay attention to before starting.
If you have a cold, are sick, or do not feel well, try to skip cold water
until you get better. In the meantime, you can take a warm shower.
How long should Cold Shower last
One of the biggest dilemmas of beginners with cold therapy is how long it should last. The answer is to always listen to yourself and what suits you the most.
Our bodies are the best timer, but this can often sound unclear. The answer is to start slowly. If you’ve never practiced this before, start slowly with a few seconds first.
Another option for beginners is to do so after a regular hot shower. When you finish your bath, in the end, turn on the cold water and hold for a few seconds.
The ideal duration of cold showers for people with pectus excavatum ranges from 2 to 5 minutes. That endurance is possible over time with regular daily practice.
- The main thing you need to remember is to begin slowly.
- Getting used to being uncomfortable is the second most important thing!
The enjoyment and availability of hot water often make us forget our human beginnings. The comfort zone is where it is easiest for us to function. If we want to see progress and improve ourselves, we must get out of it.
Ideal water temperature?
The ideal temperature is around 10 to 15 degrees. When you already feel that cold water becomes unbearable on your skin, it’s a sign that it is enough.
However, after each shower, you must be warm and comfortable on your body. Do not let yourself feel very cold.
Morning or night cold showers?
Morning is my personal preferred choice. A new beginning of the day, new energy, and strength is what I think about in the morning. I understand it as a refreshing and instant awakening.
Cold showers are best in the mornings, not only for a better day but also for sleep quality. Starting the day with a cold shower provides long-term benefits for our overall well-being.
But, again, it depends on you. The freedom to choose what’s best for you and your body is a blessing, so please use it!
Proper breathing is key
When our bodies are under cold water, we must be extremely alert and focus on breathing.
If you breathe correctly, you will feel the advantages. Remember that cold water constricts blood vessels, causing muscles and skin to contract.
In a panic, it can be dangerous to expose the body to chilly water. That is why we have to prepare before the shower.
Breathing is crucial in decreasing cortisol levels and relaxing the mind. And the relaxed state of mind on these occasions is the key!
With proper breathing, you’ll notice an improvement in all aspects of our living and being. Long-term benefits are balanced hormones.
Wim Hof Method
The Wim Hof Method is all about the proper combination of breathing, cold water, and dedication that you must have to improve your pectus excavatum deformity both physically and mentally.
The first step is the desire you need to help yourself to connect deeply with your body. Hof’s technique combines a strong inhale, a calm expiration, and extended breath holds.
The Wim Hof Method breathing technique is here to teach you how to master your nervous and cardiovascular systems. With that, you will allow yourself to be happier, stronger, and healthier.
Many people inhale at the top of their lungs, which results in improper breaths. The diaphragm and lower lungs are crucial to Wim Hof’s breathing method. On inhalation, the belly should expand and flatten on exhale.
This deep and proper breathing is good for us with these chest deformities. Practicing yoga and breathing exercises can also contribute to this process. Proper breathing also relaxes the body.
That is undoubtedly the challenge we must set for ourselves!
Not everyone can decide on this step, so you must be determined and brave. I recommend you first to research well and take into account more experiences.
There is currently enough information on this topic on the internet that can help you.
Start by staying in the cold shower for just a few seconds first.
Don’t rush and immerse yourself in cold water for an extended time. Start with 5 to 10 seconds in the beginning.
It will go smoother for you after the first cold shower since the most challenging step you’ve survived, and that for sure is to convince yourself to start.
Let the duration of the cold shower increase from time to time.
Starting from 10 to 15 seconds until you reach your goal.
There are weekly challenges with cold water therapy for beginners. Those challenges also talk about the importance of a gradual increase in the duration of cold showers. The gradual start will make sure that you don’t cause any health issues that will be unexpected or unwanted.
Continually practicing this type of therapy will slowly build your beast character, and slowly but surely, you will go towards your goal and the results you will feel right after your first bath.
Fanatics use cold therapy to replace regular daily energy boosters, such as coffee, sugar, or energy drinks.
But anyone who starts to practice this sees those results in energy level improvement.
I do not drink coffee and always try to control my sugar intake. And I can confidently share with you that I kept good energy levels during the day after I started showering with cold water as a daily routine.
Usage of Cold Water Throughout History
Even centuries ago, people experimented with water, realizing the power it provides and its benefits for the human body.
But they also experimented with heat and how it makes you feel or how your body will react to different water temperatures.
In Roman culture, there were heated rooms, now known as saunas, that people had to move through to reach the large cold pools at the end.
Throughout the ages, civilizations used cold water to treat health issues. Even in the Renaissance, people used cold water to treat different physical and mental problems.
Today that method may not be as well known and widespread as it was in the past, but it is certainly well on its way to becoming a topical tool for dealing with various complications again.
Its most common use today is for the recovery of inflamed muscles and complete relaxation of the muscles. Athletes frequently utilize cold water treatment to recuperate from contests and strenuous exercises.
When you try to make pectus excavatum less noticeable by adding muscle mass throughout the body, recovering faster will significantly benefit you.
Although, at first, it seems that this cold water therapy will not be everyone’s choice for better health and recovery, I recommend you try it at least once!
The Bottom Line
Several methods to incorporate cold therapy into your life will help you better deal with sunken chest deformity.
First, you must desire to improve yourself before accepting such a challenge. Just like correcting pectus excavatum and flared ribs non-surgically, this also requires willingness.
The benefits are mostly scientifically proven, and there is still room for more scientific research to conclude the benefits of cold shower therapy fully. There is much information on the internet about the benefits, but not all are scientifically backed.
That’s why I decided to share my story, as an individual with pectus excavatum, about how cold showers helped me become a better person.
I practice this therapy and have a significant improvement in my daily life. Therefore, I will leave this article as an open field to share even more experiences over time.
That’s why I ask you to share yours if you have any. Write them to me by email or in a comment below.
After this article, you decided to try a cold shower; please let me know. More different experiences are always welcome.
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