A hot water bath helps open the pores of your skin and flushes out toxins. It also activates the parasympathetic nervous system making you feel relaxed.
It is considered a natural remedy to relieve cold and cough symptoms. It is also known to stimulate the release of depression-beating chemicals and improve lung function.
A hot water bath helps relax the muscles and calms the mind, thus relieving stress. This is because the hot water bath stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system of the body, which reduces heart rate and blood pressure, which in turn, helps to soothe sore muscles. This is why people who are under a lot of stress tend to take hot water baths regularly, because it quietens the mind and the body.
Cold water baths, on the other hand, can be beneficial for those suffering from Pitta-related diseases, such as indigestion and liver disease, since it rejuvenates them. They also help boost the immune system because they increase the release of depression-beating chemicals called beta-endorphinsi.
Some physical therapists and trainers swear by a method of showering known as contrast water therapy, in which you alternate between hot and cold waters for short intervals. This can be done in the form of a bath or a shower, and according to research, it has helped reduce muscle soreness after workout sessions.
In addition to the benefits of relaxation and anti-ageing, cold water baths also promote the body’s natural detoxification process. This is because cold water stimulates the lymphatic system, boosting circulation and encouraging the flow of blood throughout the body. Hot water, on the other hand, causes the body to lose moisture and dehydrates it, which can cause a build-up of toxins. In fact, some people go as far as taking cold showers for long periods of time. Whether or not this is a good idea depends on several factors, including age, habits, history of disease and current season.
Warmer temperatures tend to kill more germs, making hot water a better choice for cleansing and preventing infections. Moreover, cold water baths increase the release of depression-beating chemicals (beta endorphins) (1).
Taking a cold shower is highly beneficial for the skin. It hydrates the skin and gives it natural glow and elasticity. It also helps in reducing itchy skin and increases circulation of blood. It also helps in burning calories and thereby helping in weight loss.
Cold water also tightens pores, restricting dirt, oil and hair from entering the skin. It also reduces skin sensitivity and irritation and prevents inflammation of muscles and joints. It also reduces the effects of UV radiation by blocking a significant amount of harmful rays.
However, taking too many cold showers can cause skin damage. It is important to strike a balance between hot and cold water. Lukewarm water is recommended as it provides the right level of steam and lather to work with your face wash to remove excess dirt from the skin while balancing your natural oils. It’s also gentle enough to use for washing your face daily. This is especially beneficial if you suffer from itchy skin or are using prescription acne medications.
Bathing with cold water can be highly beneficial for people who have a lot of itchiness as it helps in eliminating the itchy feeling by reducing the inflammation caused. Also, it increases the release of depression-beating chemicals like beta-endorphins and helps in relieving pain.
The combination of hot and cold water called contrast therapy is a great way to aid your exercise recovery. Alternating between hot and cold water speeds up circulation, allowing the body to absorb oxygen and reduce muscle soreness.
However, this method of bathing is not suitable for people who are suffering from a disease like liver diseases, indigestion, etc as it will make the symptoms worse and may even make you colder. It is also not good for pregnant women and children as it makes their skin dry and sensitive. The ideal time to take a cold shower is in the morning, it stimulates your nerve endings and gives you a kick start for your day.