You know that if you want your skin to look its best, you should drink clean water throughout the day. When you take in plenty of fluids, you cleanse your skin from the inside out, keeping it well-hydrated and helping your skin appear plumper. But did you know that there's another way water can make a big difference for your facial and body skin — while also improving your circulation, reducing pain, and improving your overall energy levels and health?
You don't have to add something fancy to the water you're drinking. You just have to take a shower.
I know that sounds a little too good to be true, so let me explain. This isn't just any shower. But you don't need any special equipment or products to get these benefits. You just need hot and cold water. For centuries, practitioners of natural medicine have used hydrotherapy, or water therapy, to treat various ailments. And there's a lot of scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of using water at various temperatures and different lengths of time to affect the body's systems.
In fact, a recent review study published in the North American Journal of Medical Sciences found that hydrotherapy can affect everything from immunity and pain management to asthma and anxiety to obesity and cardiovascular disease. While the mechanisms behind hydrotherapy's powerful effects are still somewhat unclear, they are likely related to the water's effects on circulation.
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When you get cold, your body directs the flow of your circulation inward to protect your vital organs. You've probably noticed that your hands and feet get cold much faster than your core. This is because your body knows that it's better for you to lose a hand to frostbite than it is for your heart to stop pumping. When you get hot, the opposite happens. The body directs the flow of circulation outward to the skin, where heat can escape. So if you alternate exposure to hot and cold, your circulation is constantly switching directions. This gets your blood flowing, helping you to get nutrients where they need to go and increasing detoxification.
If you'd like to take a hydrotherapy shower, the only piece of special equipment you might need is a showerhead, preferably filtered. If your tap water contains chlorine, fluoride, or other toxic chemicals, you don't want to expose yourself to those while you're trying to detox. Fortunately, you can get a good filter at a hardware store for about $30. Or go to Amazon, which has a variety to choose from.
Once your shower is ready, turn it on and get completely wet. Then turn the temperature up high and still be safe. Make sure you expose your entire body to the hot water. Then turn the water down as cold as you can manage. Again, expose every part of your body to the cold. Repeat this cycle seven times, being sure to begin with hot and end with cold. The cold portion of this is actually considered to be the more important step so if you can't stand excess heat, don't worry.
This isn't a competition, so listen to your body and make sure you don't overdo it. However, as long as you don't have severe heart problems, this process is safe. If you have heart problems, talk to your doctor to make sure this is safe for you. You'll likely find that this practice, though perhaps a bit uncomfortable initially and at the time, helps you feel relaxed, rejuvenated, and energetic all day long. Not bad for something you can do every day in just a few minutes!
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