What your morning shower is missing…

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A contrast shower is the same as a regular shower with alternating intervals of hot and cold temperatures. Contrast showers are an optimal way to stimulate circulation and metabolism.

When someone first explains what a contrast shower is, it can seem very undesirable due to the cold interval. I’ve always had very warm showers so the first thought of including a cold interval was not something I was fond of. However, many of my friends including myself have found many benefits of incorporating contrast showers into our daily routine. I know for myself, I have a lot of energy afterwards. I have now used contrast showers for almost a year and I actually look forward to the cold water down my body!
IMPORTANT: Do not get discouraged after your first shower, it took me 3-4 days consecutively to get used to the routine. 

Below is everything you need to know about contrast showers including the procedure, benefits, contraindications, etc.

What is a Contrast Shower? 

A contrast shower is alternating intervals of hot and cold temperatures.

How do I perform a contrast shower?

  1. Start off your shower with the hottest temperature that you can tolerate for about 1-3 minutes.
  2. Next change the temperature down to the coolesttemperature you can tolerate for about 30 seconds.
  3. Ensure that your whole body is covered in the cold water.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 about 3-4 times.

NOTE: Always ensure that you end with cold temperature. This will stimulate blood flow and metabolism, by first constricting followed by dilation of the blood vessels.

What conditions can benefit from a Contrast Shower?

–       Tiredness/fatigue

–       Decreased immune function

–       Digestive complains/detox

–       Cold hands or feet

–       Sensitivities to temperature

–       Tired or sore muscles

–       Acute & chronic pain

–       Injuries related to sports

–       Post-exercise soreness

How does a contrast shower work?

–       Hot water will allow the blood vessels to open up and supply the body with new oxygenated blood and immune cells

–       Cold water will close the blood vessels sending blood back to the heart along with toxins in the skin and extremities allowing new blood to fill the body

Benefits of Contrast Showers 

–       Boosts immune system

–       Improves circulation

–       Detox by eliminating toxins

–       Boost energy

–       Regulating temperature

–       Decrease inflammation

Useful Tips?

–       Start with the cold water on your back

–       Rub your skin while getting into the cold interval

–       Gradually increase the contrast between hot and cold for added benefits

CAUTION: Avoid treatment if you have any of the following conditions

–       Vascular insufficiency or stasis (extremely poor circulation)

–       Cardiac insufficiency (i.e. heart disease)

–       Pregnancy

–       Menstruation

–       Malnutrition

–       Diabetes

–       Asthma

–       Acute inflammatory conditions

–       Shivering or extreme cold

References:

1. Take Contrast Showers To Feel Energized Every Morning – Dr. Marilyn Tran, ND [Internet]. Dr. Marilyn Tran, ND. 2016 [cited 4 June 2016]. Available from: http://drmarilyntran.com/lifestyle/contrast-showers/

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