Ayurveda has mentioned the benefits of 'ishnaan' - cold showers for everything from immunity to circulation. Find out how this effective therapy can benefit you greatly.
Ishnaan is the therapy if you want robust energy, look good, feel good, be pain-free and have optimum circulation in the body. The great part about this therapy is that it does not cost a thing! and that you already have the 'items' needed to do this healing work....right in your shower.
Ishnaan is a form of hydrotherapy which taps into the power of cold water and gets your lymphatic system to 'wake-up' and start detoxifying. It has been used since ages in India for its benefits and even without knowing, all over the world!
And this therapy has been taking place since the beginning of time - since man walked on Earth. When cave men had to clean, they didn't turn on some warm tap water! They took bath in cold rain or valley or cold rivers...
Still, the whole world enjoys cold showers and its benefits, and many times without even knowing about it. Think about it - when people travel on camping trips and take shower in the cold lakes and rivers or even swim in the sea, then this is cold water therapy taking place! Yes, this is not in the 'shower' but the cold water has the same benefits whether you jump in the bath or cold lake.
So, hopefully, this article will inspire you to start this new habit daily or at least few times a week - instead of just when you travel on camping or hiking trips.
What Is Ishnaan?
Ishnaan is a cold water therapy - also called as yogic cold shower. Basically, you get into cold water and let the body detox. It activates the body's cleansing power by opening the capillaries and allowing the toxins to come out.
What Is Cold Shower?
Cold shower is shower with water temperature below 70°F (21°C).
What Are The Benefits of Ishnaan?
The benefits of ishnaan/cold showers are:-
How Should I Do It?
Basically, you want to start by dry brushing so you can increase the benefits of this therapy. When dry brushing, remember to move the brush towards the heart from all directions. Then, take some oil like pure sesame or almond oil and massage few drops all over your body, including face and hair. Keep massaging till the oil absorbs into the pores. This helps protect the initial shock as the oil creates a layer between the skin and the cold water. This also helps beautify the skin and hair immensely. You can also add bit of castor oil for its high Vitamin E content and its healing ability to help lubricate joints as well as clean the body.
When you are done massaging, then make sure you are wearing some light cotton shorts as this protects the calcium and magnesium in the thigh bones and also, protect your reproductive organs, add cold water slowly. As you turn on the cold shower, DON'T just jump in - instead you are to massage the cold water slowly and rub your arms and feet till they feel warm. Do this for few seconds or few minutes, that is up to you and then step out of the cold water. Repeat again for 2-3 times more and then you are done! Rub with clean towel vigorously till you feel warm.
Women: Women are really encouraged to massage their breasts as this helps release the toxins from the breast tissue and can be a great preventive tool towards breast cancer.
Who Should NOT Do It?
Women who are pregnant or menstruating should not do it. People with rheumatoid arthritis or those with fever or heart disease should avoid too.
Anything Else To Maximize The Benefits?
Make sure to massage the lymph nodes under the armpits to stimulate detoxification. As I wrote, you can add castor oil which is one of the best healing oils in the world. Castor oil was used by Egyptians for everything - from beauty needs to using it as a laxative (circa 1550 BC, Ebers Papyrus). Adding it to sesame or almond oil for massage will greatly soften your skin, create a medium for toxins to come out from skin pores and prevent cold 'shock' as you step into the shower.
Another tip is if you need to wash with soap afterwards, then I really recommend a natural, organic, ethically crafted, high quality soap made with herbs and oils. You are doing this to reduce the toxins in your body - by using the wrong soap, you don't want to add on more chemicals again! to your skin (and then to your body as everything gets absorbed) and also, after oil massage, you don't want to create dryness for your skin. Just any good soap bar or even few drops of pure castile soap will do!
Good To Know...
According to Yogi Bhajan (the famous spiritual teacher who was a big proponent of cold showers) -
“When the marrow in the blood does not have the faculty to change itself, then it cannot be changed. The only last chance is that you can transplant it. That’s why people who do not take cold showers have arthritis, bone problems, marrow problems and artery problems. Every problem in the body is a result of your capillaries not opening and not getting flushed every day. Your glandular system is the guardian of your whole system.” -Yogi Bhajan
So, this is cold shower or hydrotherapy or ishnaan. It's free and available to use right now - what's the wait? Gather up your guts and give it a shot - it might just make you feel so good that you will become a regular 'visitor' of this therapy!
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