Saturday, January 07, 2012

Cold Water Dousing - An Experiment!

On the heels of my hormesis post, inspired by KT's polar bear swim and a natural extension of my fasting regimen I have decided to tackle a cold water dousing experiment this Saturday on my favorite guinea!(wink)

"Reporting benefits of improved circulation, healthier skin, overall vitality, and faster recovery from injuries, people from many cultures still swear by the age-old practice(cold water therapy) and it is recommended by Russian Systema teachers and some of the Asian (including Akido) Martial Arts practitioners."
                                G. Carver

According to Russian Systema the practice of cold water dousing involves....."taking a large bucket, filling it with water as cold as you are able to get it from Nature (in our case, the tap) and then pouring the contents over your standing body, from the head down and repeating this immediately a second time."

There is a methodology to the practice - at least in Systema.....

"The work of dousing begins with awareness. Make a conscious effort every time you douse, to maintain a strong and correct standing posture. Your body should feel balanced and in alignment, relaxed and natural, with every component of your column stacked above the one beneath it. Your joints should be loose and elastic, not rigid and locked. It is essential that you do not stop breathing..."

and benefits for health....

"offers this same feeling of overall refreshment and awareness on a bodily scale and to a much greater degree. The reason this is so refreshing is that when the body is exposed to hot water, it draws blood to the surface of the skin and away from the internal core, causing blood vessels to expand. By comparison, exposure to cold water causes blood vessels to temporarily tighten, draining blood out of the extremities and carrying the lactic acid and toxins that have gathered there away. A moment later, the body surges with a wash of “new” blood that invigorates the muscles with fresh oxygen and improves cellular function."

No time like the present! It actually felt quite amazing albeit the temperature was moderate at about -1C. I was standing barefoot in my unlevel rhubarb patch so will seek out a more balanced position next douse, preferably snow covered grass as opposed to snow covered dirt.Kinda cool way to start your day....pardon the pun.

CWD part two....

CWD part three

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Patrick Legge ( here in Truro indicated to me back when I was riding a lot that a many Olympic athletes take frequent contrast showers after hard workouts. The reasoning was as you mentioned above, increasing bloodflow to remove lactic acid and revitalize the cells with fresh blood.

Now that my little one is growing up and becoming a little more independent I hope to have more time to ride. I always enjoyed the rides with the BPCC crew and look forward to them again in the near future.

Dave M.