THE HORMONE BLOG

What is contrast hydrotherapy and why adding it to your routine can help with your hormonal issues

May 15, 2022

Hydrotherapy is exactly what it sounds like- using water as a form of therapy. Don't underestimate the power of water for your health! Whether it's internal (drinking water) or external. Hydrotherapy can be a cold water immersion, steam sauna, alternating a cold plunge with a hot bath, or anything that involves using water!

 

This can be done in a bucket, a giant tub, or even in the shower. You can use it on one specific part of the body, or your whole body.

What is contrast hydrotherapy? It's the switching back and forth (the contrast) between hot and cold water.

Hydrotherapy has been used for centuries and is an easy and effective tool for improving:

 
  • Circulation

  • Pain

  • Immune function

  • Liver metabolism

  • Gut health

  • Healing and recovery of muscle tissue and wounds

  • Stress

  • Blood pressure

  • Metabolic concerns

  • Cardiovascular health

  • And sooo much more!

Remember, contrast hydrotherapy is the going back and forth between hot and cold. When you switch between hot and cold, this help with circulation, lymphatic drainage, and so much more (PMID: 24926444).

 

Think of it as an exercise of your blood vessels. Your veins and arteries are actually made of muscles (smooth muscles)!

When you're exposed to hot, your vessels dilate, they widen and let in more blood flow. When you're exposed to cold, your vessels constrict. When you go back and forth between hot and cold, it's like a workout for your vessels and they're able to move that blood and fluid even better.

 

 

HOW DO YOU DO CONTRAST HYDROTHERAPY?

You can do this by filling a tub of hot water and cold water, you can do it with washcloths (for specific areas like joints, or even acne!), you can do it with buckets (for areas like your hands or feet), or, as I mentioned before, you can do it in the shower.

The easiest way to incorporate this into your daily routine would be to do it in the shower. You do get a better reaction when you're fully submerged (like in a tub), but most of us don't have access to two giant tubs like that, so the next best thing is the shower!

 
  1. The general "rule" of contrast hydrotherapy is the rule of 3's. 3 minutes of hot, 30 seconds of cold, for 3 rounds. So a total of 10 minutes. You don't HAVE to do a full 3 minutes, if you warm up and feel sufficiently warm within 2 minutes, that's fine too.

  2. Always start with warm. You want to make sure you've fully warmed up the area you're treating (if it's your entire body, you should feel sufficiently warm) before switching to cold.

  3. Always end with cold. Once you've done 3 rounds, make sure to end with cold. When you end with cold, this causes your body to warm itself back up.

  4. Go to the extremes you can handle. Go as hot as you can handle, and as cold as you can handle. When you're first starting out, this may not be much. But as you continue your practice, you'll notice you're able to handle hotter and colder temperatures.

 

What changes will I see? 

Many patients have reported their hands and feet aren't as cold anymore, they aren't getting sick as often, their gut health has improved, or their periods improved!

 

It helps significantly with circulation and getting more blood to your organs (including your gut and liver which are two VERY important pieces for hormone metabolism).

You can also do "spot" treatments with a washcloth for acne or rashes on your skin.
 

The uses for contrast hydrotherapy are ENDLESS. It's safe enough to do at any age, it's easy enough to do anywhere, anytime, and simple enough that you can start today! All you really need is a shower.

 
 

So... what are you waiting for?!  

P.S. If you enjoyed this, share with your friends and get them in on the fun, too!

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