Dear fellow MSers. I am sure that many of you, like me, are relieved that the recent spell fo hot weather has passed and we are now back to normal British weather.
Has anyone else found that a cold shower is a very good emergency measure when the body’s core temperature has just too high for our tattered wiring to cope?
Cold showers have become part of my hot weather coping mechanism. I started with a little bit of cold exposure at the start of the year, just turning the shower to cold for a few seconds at the end of my shower. Over the months, I gradually built up tolerance ot several minutes, and that is enough to have a real impact on core temperature, one that lasts for a reasonable time afterwards. It has been a lifesaver during the hot weather. Full disclosure it’s not exactly fun, and I think it is important to build up cold tolerance slowly. But it is free, and can bring relief from overheating that can be a blessing on one of those boiling hot days when you don’t know what to do with yourself. Cheaper than an air-conditioner certainly, and a whole lot more environmentally-friendly (although I have just invested in an air con unit too - why did it take me twenty years to do that?) I’ll be keeping up with the cold showers, though. They are remarkably invigorating, and, with practice, almost enjoyable (well, after the first 45 seconds or so, anyway.)
Someone please tell me I’m not the only cold-shower weirdo.
Alison do not think you are a weirdo, you are very brave.
If I got under a cold shower I would jump and fall over.
Bertie, a very un brave chap who loves a warm shower.
Alison, you’re not alone, I’ve been doing this for years! Back when I could get in and out of the bath I used to sit in a cold (tepid) one up to 5 times a day (just until the water started to feel warmer) but now if I’m feeling to hot a tepid shower does the job for a while.
Hi I’ve been cold showering for about 2 years and used to put ice in the bath,I also do the Wim Hof breathing exercise which I find really good,both work together really well.cold showers help with hot weather and the breathing exercise really helps with my balance ,like you after about 30 seconds I find the cold water very soothing,if your interested in Wim Hof just google him there’s loads of info on his breathing exercises,I find it really helps.
I love the sea, love the cold water. I mean my nipples literally fall off but it’s invigorating!
I don’t deal with heat well at all so have various methods of trying to keep cool. If cold showers work for you that’s great but can I just offer a word of caution for people who might try this. I suffer from Tonic spasms, sudden ice cold water has triggered spasms which are painful and frightening. So please be careful and do this very slowly. I have sat with my feet in cold water which helps.
I quite agree that caution is in order, and thank you for reinforcing that point. As you say, there will be medical reasons for it just not being either safe or useful at all in some cases, as you have found.
Even for those with no contra-indications, it is still very important to start gradually and build up tolerance gently and slowly - just like any new physical exercise.
used to love the cold weather - cold showers etc but of late find that the cold whilst it doesn’t exasperate (sp?) physical symptoms it does make me feel unwell.
Nature’s little way of saying the water is cold!
You would be amazed how long my nice warm showers can be before I take a deep breath and turn the temperature to cold!
Nice to know I’m not the only one! It is a nice low-tech solution, isn’t it? Short-term, but hey, that’s still OK.
I’m definitely not tough enough for sea swimming, but can completely see the point. Good for you.
I do the Wim Hof breathing too, Silversurfer - started that at the same time as the cold showers. I have missed only one day since lockdown. I have a history of pleurisy, so particularly like the way the deep breathing uses every little bit of the lung, leaving no underused corners where air and fluids aren’t circulating as they ought and there is the potential for bugs to find a foot-hold. I remember the physio telling me when I was ill that keeping the whole lung working regularly is super-important. TBH I take the more esoteric claims of the Wim Hof method with a big pinch of salt, but I think there’s some sensible advice in here among the woo and pseudoscience. And, in a time of Covid, anything that keeps the respiratory system working well and healthily is good. As someone who cannot exercise so easily these days, I also find it a boost to morale to have things to do - deep breathing and (modest, in my case!) cold exposure, that do not involve the sort of physical jerks that I’m no longer able for. The reason I didn’t mention Hof and breathing in the original post is that I feel a bit queasy about the rather fringe aspects of it, so preferred to stick to surer ground - the benefits of cold showers when you have MS. But I do like the breathing exercises, and the app and breathing exercise support is free, which is very nice of him and very helpful to me.
How have you been getting on with it?
I do pretty much the same as you – Turn the hot water down slowly until it’s off at the end of my shower. It does make a big difference when you stand under the chilliness for a bit. i don’t do it very long, but it helps a lot.
Hi Alison nice to hear you do wim Hof breathing exercise,i agree to take the claims made to never get ill again with a pinch of salt,as mentioned I have been doing the exercises for two years and have had flue once,continued with wim Hof breathing every day ,I seemed to be back to full strength and recover from the flue very quickly .Most importantly If I do get ill or don’t feel good I do not have a cold shower,just tepid or warm.After two years i am still improving with Wim Hof breathing but don’t get disheartened some months I go backwards.I also have learned to do the yoga crow pose and head stand which help .Before lock down and social distancing I contracted the dreaded covid from some one returning from London,I had a very mild case and most of the symptoms I am sure because of the breathing exercise my lungs were very strong and it did not get onto my chest,I don’t normally sleep to deep but afterwards I slept so deep for a week,also take high dose of vitamin D and drink hot water with grated root ginger. I was not tested for covid ,because at the time only NHS staff were being tested.Good luck with the breathing exercise nice to hear it also helps you .best wishes
Silversurfer, I am very glad that your system dealt with the virus so well. You must be very happy about that! It sounds as though your regime is really suiting you. And that’s what it’s all about - isn’t it? - finding something that suits the individual person.
I have just come inside after doing a few rounds of breathing exercises in the garden, and feel great - the combination of fresh air and plenty of oxygen is a great start to the day. Let’s see if I can now summon up similar enthusiasm for turning the shower temp to cold!
Early on in my MS journey (about 12 years ago) I read that an Ice Bath was good for you.
No one at home, fill the bath with ice…it took me about twenty minutes to get out of the damn thing. I was starting to get concerned.
Now any time cold water (tap water cold) hits my legs and the spasm like mad. Yet my left leg is numb and does not feel the cold weather.
Hi do not have ice baths .When I used to have ice baths I spent six months building up to this and worked out side in the cold all winter so was acclimatised to the cold. gedthered68 sorry to hear about your bad experience.
Dear alison100 and Silversurfer,
Just wanted to thank you both for your extremely enlightening posts about cold showers/breathing techniques.
I researched all I could find about Wim Hof (thanks to you) and started with the breathing, not daring to do the cold showers yet, but then my husband (who had also read up on everything with me and agreed with it wholeheartedly) decided to do the cold shower - and I wasn’t going to let him show me up was I? So I did it!!! I swore like a trooper for 30 seconds, but I did it! I have now had a cold shower every day for the last 2 weeks (over a minute every time, it takes a while to do everywhere seated) and I’m so happy I have. It’s definitely the worst thing I have ever done to myself - but also the best!
I have had many small improvements so far, too many to give up on this idea anytime soon! Many thanks again.
I haven’t been on here for ages, but I started the breathing and cold shower routine in early June and wondered if there were any other people on the forum joining in.
I had never heard of Wim Hof until the recent television program, which by the way I dismissed as another celebrity tv program and didn’t watch. However, my wife recorded it and we started watching it an odd time later on.
There was nothing specific mentioned in the program about ms but I somehow discovered there was reported benefits with symptom improvement using his methods.
I am a natural born cynic and I have probably spent as much time trying to disprove the claims as I have following the routine.
So, I think I have only missed about 3 days of breathing and cold showers since June.
One symptom improvement I have noticed is my foot drop, my toes are clearing the ground almost normally now and I feel less like I am in imminent danger of falling over.
I’m quite surprised this is not a more discussed topic on here, I’m replying to a two year old post.
Anyway, I hope all is well.