The healing effects of Showers
I love water in all its forms and all the ways I can enjoy it ~ ice, sparkling water, lakes, oceans, water skiing, snowboarding and more. The earth is mostly made up of water and so are we! We develop in our mothers belly in watery fluid and most people feel good about water ~ even if they don’t know how to swim or are from a dry, landlocked homeland.
Water can help us to heal and transform and you are likely already using it to heal. I am referring to Showering. This is my Healthy Lifestyle Tip for you today, and I hope you change the way you shower after you read all the benefits that are available for you. You can take a shower today that will help you to release stress, decrease blood pressure, energize your body and more (full info on benefits below).
Taking a shower after a long day of work, or first thing in the morning helps you to feel fresh, more courageous and gives a more positive outlook on life. I recall that my father wore a suit and tie everyday to work. At the end of his day, he would immediately change his clothes but first shower or take a swim. Water is a great way to transition easily from one thing to the next. I love to shower, put on fresh clothes and then cook and eat dinner. This makes my evening feel special and I feel happy.
Below are two very different practices that you can do to experience the healing effects of showering. I explained each one with 3 easy steps. Try these and experience your alive, energized, awakened and healthy self!
Shower: To Release and Let Go ~ use this technique to release negative emotions and let go of anything you have “taken on” unnecessarily.
Take note of how you feel as you prepare to take a shower. Just notice your thoughts and acknowledge how you feel without trying to feel differently. At the end of your shower, do the same type of check in with your body ~ you may do this automatically anyway as you will feel different!
When in the water, take a moment of gratitude and thank the Creation for the water element. You may choose to say something like, “Thank you Mother Nature (Creation, Universe) for this water element in the form of this shower (or bath).”
Say a prayer or intentional wish to release whatever you may have “taken on” that you do not need or any negative emotions you are experiencing. You may choose to say something like, “Right now, I am releasing whatever I have experienced and taken on, with or without my notice.”
How and why Showering to Release and Let Go will work for you ~
Water relates to emotions and when we are both emotionally real and balanced, we have a fluidity within us. We experience ourselves as smoothly moving through life, much like the soft flow of a river over rocks or moss. Life is going on and we are able to flow along with it even over the “rocky” parts.
You may find there is a lot you are having to deal with every day. The demands of family life, work, or what is happening in the world all may feel overwhelming. Perhaps memories are surfacing in your dreams that awaken you and cause you to feel out of sorts. Maybe you are in emotional or physical pain and need more self care.
Showers as self care can be easy to do as you are probably showing daily anyway. You may or may not realize how much you are truly dealing with each day, and how much you “take on” from the people you are with or take care of each day. This gentle practice will help you to release what you do not need so that more of You is there to flourish and thrive. Allow yourself to release and let go and feel the benefits immediately.
Cold Showering ~ use this technique to feel invigorated and grounded in your body.
Before getting into the shower give yourself a rub down all over your body with Almond Oil. Almond oil is excellent for your skin, helps to insulate you from the cold and its texture won’t leave you feeling greasy. Other oils can be used, each oil has different aspects and benefits ~ you may want to do your own research and find out what oil you may prefer.
After the Oil massage, step into the shower and turn on the cold water faucet to the desired pressure. Let the cold water strike your body while you briskly massage the water into your skin. Keep moving to get warm. Then, step out of the spray of the shower water and continue to massage the skin. Then, step back in, massage yourself while you are under the spray of the cold water. Step out again and continue this process at least four times. By the fourth time, you will feel warm under the shower, even though the water is still cold. This is because the capillaries have opened up and brought blood to the surface of the skin.
Specific techniques to do in the shower:
- With your index fingers vigorously massage the bridge of your nose (both sides)- this will keep you from catching colds.
- While standing under the water, massage the bottom of each foot by rubbing one foot on the top of the other foot- this gives a massage to the whole body.
- When washing under the arms use your knuckles and rub very vigorously – this will break up deposits in the glands under the arms and help to keep you from getting sick.
- WOMEN- thoroughly massage the breasts while standing under the cold water. This is an excellent and very important cancer preventative.
Once out of the shower, dry thoroughly and dress warmly. One special towel technique: vigorously “buff your bottom” back and forth with the towel, the same way you might dry your back. This is an added benefit that will give you energy all day.
Special note for women: During menstruation, do not take a cold shower. Use lukewarm water during days of flow.
The benefits of Cold Showers for You~
- Strengthens the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems which deeply strengthens the Immune system and brings the power of resistance to the body. Releases norepinephrine, an adrenal hormone that elevates your mood, helping to prevent or eliminate depression and anxiety
- Cleanses the lymphatic system by contracting the muscles and causing them to eliminate toxins and poisons quickly—very detoxifying!
- Promotes subtle weight loss.
- Keeps the skin young and shining and reduces inflammation, tightens pores, and seals hair follicles for shiny locks.
- Cleans the circulatory system.
- Reduces blood pressure on the internal organs, thereby flushing internal organs, giving them a new supply of blood
- Strengthens the mucus membranes.
- This practice is good for the liver.
- Balances the glands AND MORE!!
I am doing these self care practices too. I sometimes forget but it gets easy not to over time. Bringing healthy lifestyle practices into your life does not have to be hard, just making slight changes (okay, I know that the Cold Shower is not exactly a slight change) can be easy and transforming! Try it for a week and let me know what you think and how you feel.
Special thanks to my mentor and teacher, Nina Ketscher who taught me about Showering to Relax and Let Go. And also, Yogi Bhajan, who taught Cold Showers and their benefits.