PrologueThis started as a week challenge but has become a way of life. I've formed the experience into a 30 day challenge so it can be reproducible by others.
I've logged 30+ days of the cold shower experience. I admit it can be interpreted as both good and/or bad. I created it for myself just to log the experience with no intention of sharing but feeling that I'm a better person because at the end of it so I figured I'd share. I recommend the cold shower experience to everyone for at least 7 days. By the seventh day, the cold water anxiety should be manageable.
tl;dr VersionAfter 30 days of cold showers, I got sick for 2-3 days, killing my 2 year sick free streak. This could be attributable to many things (I live in Chicago and this January has seen the most sub zero days in my lifetime for January) so I will continue experimenting with cold showers though I did postpone them while sick. There was no improvement to the white mark on my face but there was also no worsening. My skin continues to feel rough so I’ll begin a 30 day log of natural moisturizer and lotion use which I'll post in mid March if I follow through with it.
(This list grew as I continued the experiment)
Reasons: Time savings (average 7m showers), water savings (7m showers but the water only runs for 2-3m, rest is used lathering), increased tolerance for cold weather and water (I shiver when most people don't; I'm also under weight) and lowered exposure to minerals and metals make cold showers worth it (I'm at the beginning stages of ridding my life of all harsh chemicals, especially any petro based items).
Build up of pressure in the head is normal during a cold shower, increased perspiration after the shower also is. I experienced increased odor the first week so I purchased Sam's Natural deodorant which I use on and off. Body odor has been a new thing for me and the more I think about it, the more of a problem is seems to become. Body odor stopped after I used the deodorant a few times though during weekends I remained odor free even without use of deodorant.
Things I learned:
- Hot showers are bad for your scalp and skin;
- Excessively cold water produces pressure in your head--shower cap recommended after hair is cleaned;
- Cold or warm showers have similar affects on skin;
- Cold shower seemed as affective as a hot shower (read more effective than warm shower) though was not willing to continue for fears of prolonging cold;
- Cold showers teach you how to take deep breaths--outside of cold water exposure, I've never been able to practice deep breathing with any sense of accomplishment. With that said, cold showers forces your body to react with a natural deep breath which leads me to believe cold showers would improve your overall breathing habits if taken daily which apparently can lead to numerous quality of life improvements.
Log140109 - felt extremely cold for a few moments; bearable; dry back was not noticeable afterward; hands are a bit dry; no body odor
140115 - felt fine; no dry back; no body odor; later odor-strong; dressed warm 140116 - luke warm water; felt good; mild dryness on shoulder blades; morning odor-strong; warm night, sweat (75F+ degrees)
140119 - cold to very cold warer; felt lots of discomfort at initial rinse and scrub but second rinse felt great; odor returned upon warming up; skin feels dry but appears healthier than usual
—cold showers continued; no notes—
140130 - didn’t use completely cold water though still very cold. cold water is starting to become tolerable. able to shower continuously though shaky afterward. skin is still dry but not irritated. no change in face discoloration. get same refreshed feeling as warm/hot shower when congested (typical morning congestion at this point, not cold). supplemented body with natural brand deodorant; working though may be partly mental.
140203 - cold seems to be causing temporary pressure in my head when doused and soaking in cold water. not sure if it is a good or bad thing. cold water doesn’t have the same affect on body when soaking. tolerance for cold seems to be increasing. an aside, had a major hangover that lasted about 16 hours. my temple artery is pulsing a bit and I’m a little worried it is not reversible and signs of the onset of a disease (bit paranoid, i know, but it still persists though not sure if it was always there).
140210 - took a cold shower and hot bath. was a bit worried that I had hot water at my feet. doesn’t seem to have an adverse affect on health. one thing is clear though, the hot bath dried out my skin so I definitely need to follow it up with a cold shower and lotion. the hot bath felt good though. mark on face is stayed the same. starting to think I’ll have it forever like brooke burke.
140213 - i am sick and i believe it was due to the cold shower while ankle deep in warm water. this must have had some ill affect though my house is all sick (wife and daughter, who is in daycare with 5+ kids). my wife believes the cold showers are the cause. it is hard to say. the cold does increase pressure in my head which i’ve read might be do to coagulation. i may buy myself a shower cap so that my head is only wetted when intended. overall, i feel it has done more good than harm though it is difficult to say with certainty. i do wonder if i am playing with fire. it is known that hot showers are bad but the same cannot be said for warm showers. and as for cold showers, many ills can be said and even those that have had to bear them cannot attest positively to them. i believe i’ll err on the side of caution and take warm showers for the remainder of my sickness. i’ll continue my cold showers afterward when i’ve regained my vigor.
140216 - cut cold showering until i get better. luckily, it seems it’ll be better by tomorrow. the key is lots of water, some steam and warm compress on the sinuses. completely skipped the whole cough and sore throat aspect of my cold. during this time, i’ve been taking warm showers, as opposed to hot. years of habitual hot showers has me fighting the urge to the dial up on the heat. warm showers seem to be as conducive to skin health as cold showers. I also believe that it does a better job at cleansing the body but that could be due to the extended time of the shower (10-15m w/ continuous water flow). i’ll more than likely incorporate a warm shower day into my week as a thorough cleaning exercise. in the end, my skin, though more resilient to breakage or itchiness, feels rough to the touch regardless of cold or warm showers. as a result, I purchased both moisturizer and lotion from an online natural product vender, tropicaltraditions.com, hoping to finally rid myself of dryness and possible the white spot on my face. from this point forward, I’ll be recording less frequently though I’ll be starting a log of continued moisturizer and lotion use.