Boost Your Mood with Contrast Showers

Ice baths are trendy, but using water as a therapy for health, known as hydrotherapy, has been around for ages. Studies show that cold-water exposure can:

  • Reduce muscle soreness after exercising
  • Lower cortisol levels (our stress hormone)
  • Increase dopamine, one of our feel-good, mood-lifting hormones
  • Strengthen our immune system
  • Improve blood circulation

Instead of filling your tub with ice and suffering through the discomfort, you can get similar benefits of cold water more easily through contrast showers.

Here's how to get started:

  • Start with a warm shower, then gradually switch to cold water for up to 3 minutes. Begin with short bursts, like 10 seconds, and add 10 seconds each day.

For a more traditional contrast shower, try this routine:

  • 2-3 times a week, alternate between 3 minutes of hot water and 1 minute of cold water during your shower. Repeat this cycle 2-3 times, always ending with cold.

Contrast showers may seem intimidating at first but take it slow. The water should be as cold as is comfortable and you will find over time you can tolerate colder temps. Notice how your mood and energy change; you might find yourself coming back for more, enjoying the mood-boosting benefits of this simple shower technique.
Author: Hailey McAuley, CCNM Integrative Cancer Clinic intern

Please note that the information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. It’s essential to consult with your healthcare provider or a qualified professional before making any healthcare decisions or taking any actions based on the information presented here.