First came the ‘No makeup Selfie’ in aid of Cancer research, now the ‘Cold water’ challenge is spreading like wildfire on Facebook. This new craze involves pouring a bucket of Ice cold water over yourself, videoing it, nominating your friends to do the same and of course making your donation to the ASL Association. ASL also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
While most people are probably keeping an eye on their Facebook pages waiting for the dreaded day they get nominated to throw freezing water over themselves I for one am not worried about it in the slightest as for quite some time now I have been taking Cold showers on a regular basis and relaxing in Ice baths. Madness I hear some of you say, not really, Cold therapy is the hottest new beauty treatment out there!
Remember Botox? Well it is now being replaced with ‘Frotox’ an alternative treatment to reduce wrinkles. ‘Frotox’ or Lovera is a toxin free alternative to Botox where liquid nitrogen is put in a device and held next to the skin, this freezes the nerves that cause wrinkles. Nitrogen naturally occurs in the human body so no foreign subjects have to be injected into you. This new treatment will set you back around £400 so for everyone out there who doesn’t have this kind of money to throw about I suggest holding a wrapped Ice cube to your face!
Another craze to emerge is ‘Ice Houses’. No this is nothing to do with breaking bad but the name of places you can now go to get frozen to help you lose weight! Cryotherapy is a treatment where you are enclosed in a special chamber where temperatures are lowered to 260F and below and you are flash frozen for 3minutes before having to carry out a moderate cardio session to warm up again. Cold showers and baths I can deal with but being flash frozen is a bit too far for me! Apparently cryotherapy works faster than the average cold shower as it cools the body more rapidly triggering a release of anti-inflammatory compounds.
Cold therapy or hydrotherapy (water therapy) is no new concept, various cultures around the world have used cold water to shock the system and bring about beneficial health effects. The Spartans renowned for being Hardened warriors felt that hot water was for the weak and unmanly so when they bathed they used only cold water. Then there are some Native American tribes who would sit in sweat lodges before jumping into an icy river or a snow bank and of course we have all heard or stayed somewhere which has an ice cold plunge pool!
Realistically most of us can’t afford to be getting flash frozen or Frotoxed regularly but should we be icing ourselves? Studies have been carried out and the health benefits are numerous. Partaking in cold showers and baths can Increase your blood circulation and lymphatic flow which helps eliminate toxins from the body quicker, helps to boost the immune system, Increases the metabolism, increases hormone production, keeps your skin and hair healthy and helps alleviate depression! Sounds good to me!