Cold showers treat depression and stimulate the brain


A number of heath trends tout showering in cold water for a number benefits, from immune boosting effects to increased alertness and weight loss. A study published in Medical Hypotheses suggests cold showers may have an anti-depressive effect.

Depression is hypothesized to result from the convergence of 2 factors: lack of physiological stress and genetic predisposition. The reasoning is that primates have experienced relentless physiological stress such as sudden body temperature changes, and the lack of “thermal exercise” retards brain function.

Researchers from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine have consistent findings that suggest cold showers can provide the “thermal exercise” that stimulates the brain and counteracts depression:

Exposure to cold is known to activate the sympathetic nervous system and increase the blood level of beta-endorphin and noradrenaline and to increase synaptic release of noradrenaline in the brain as well. Additionally, due to the high density of cold receptors in the skin, a cold shower is expected to send an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain, which could result in an anti-depressive effect.

They also evaluated the effects of cold hydrotherapy on a number of patients and found cold hydrotherapy relieves symptoms of depression. They remarked that cold showers have an analgesic effect and no noticeable side effects.

To test the hypothesis, an approach to treating depression is proposed that consists of adapted cold showers (20 °C, 2–3 min, preceded by a 5-min gradual adaptation to make the procedure less shocking) performed once or twice daily. The proposed duration of treatment is several weeks to several months.





Pastry Chef (, software engineer (, and fitness enthusiast.

You may also like...

8 Responses

  1. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site. Studying this information So i am glad to express that I have a very excellent uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed. I so much indubitably will make certain to don?t fail to remember this site and provides it a look on a constant basis.

  2. I simply want to mention I’m new to blogging and site-building and actually liked your website. Very likely I’m planning to bookmark your site . You certainly have amazing well written articles. Cheers for sharing with us your web site.

  3. Deneen Bouvier says:

    Analgesic drugs act in various ways on the peripheral and central nervous system; they include paracetamol (acetaminophen), the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as the salicylates, narcotic drugs such as morphine, synthetic drugs with narcotic properties such as tramadol, and various others.`..’`

    My current internet site

  1. December 19, 2012

    […] primary psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant. Human consumption typically presents with analgesic effects and appetite enhancement. Despite its hydrophobicity (not miscible in water), THC can be […]

  2. December 23, 2012

    […] out, there’s good evidence the block is entirely in my head. In 1996 researchers from the University of Copenhagen published in the Journal of Physiology some […]

  3. December 24, 2012

    […] hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adderal and these other amphetamines are used to experience a euphoric effect and lasts anywhere from 10 to 13 hours. These drugs release the […]

  4. December 27, 2012

    […] contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid essential to brain, sperm, skin, testicle, and retina development and growth. Some studies have suggested DHA can […]

  5. December 31, 2012

    […] familiar?). After her procedure on May 2005, doctors in Surquillo, Peru noted that some unknown psychological or physiological condition left Milagros unable to form proper speech patterns, leaving her […]

Leave a Reply

Read more:
Willpower Is Fueled by SUGAR! So much for dieting.

New years start idealistically; everyone's trying to lose weight and hit the gym on a more frequent basis. Problem is,...

Top 200 Drugs Last Year

Graciously compiled by Njardarson Group (The University of Arizona): Edon Vitaku, Elizabeth A. Ilardi, Jón T. Njarðarson are the top 200...

Eat More Pizza?

  Despite the bad rep that pizza seems to have nowadays because of its relatively high caloric content (with macros...

Man vs Statistics! Survivor’s Guide to Hunting/Gathering

Note: this is not a guide to surviving. This is probability. Statistics is king. You find a gray mushroom and eat...