The Hot and Cold Bath technique stimulates the circulatory and lymphatic systems. It aims to promote inceased movement within the blood and lymph. This naturopathic technique creates a deeper level of movement and release of toxicity than the hot and cold showering technique.
How Does it Work?
By simply heating and then cooling the body the circulatory and lymphatic systems are stimulated. The heat from the hot bath warms the body up and helps to improve the release of toxicity from the cells. The extra heat brought into the body also helps to thin down congested lymphatic fluid making it easier for the body to move it to and from the elimination organs.
The heat from the bath stimulates a lot more blood to move to the surface and for the skin pores to open which aids toxin release.
After stimulating the body with heat, the bath temperature is then brought down by adding cold water, which has a cooling effect on the body. The cooling stimulates the body to warm itself to counteract the cold. This movement of heat from within the body to the outside creates a deeper level of toxicity movement resulting in increased energy for elimination.
When Should a Hot and Cold Bath Be Applied?
Hot and cold baths are good for promoting elimination but need to be done with care so that the body does not become overloaded with the release of toxicity from this technique. It would be wise to leave this technique until other steps have been taken to open up the routes of elimination.
This technique is useful to help clear toxicity from the cells when they have become imbalanced and are no longer able to offload toxicity into the surrounding lymphatic fluid.
Hot and cold baths are often used when there is low body temperature and when the body is showing signs of viral activity. In these situations there is usually a difficulty with adapting to hot and cold resulting in feeling cold on resting and becoming too hot with mild to moderate exertion.
The best time to take a hot and cold bath is at night so that the body can rest throughout the night.
If you have high or low blood pressure, have a heart condition or are pregnant it is extremely important not to shock the body with extreme temperature ranges. Work within ranges which are comfortable or avoid this technique altogether.
What Do I Need?
To use the hot and cold bathing technique a normal household bath is required and a thermometer.
How to Take a Hot and Cold Bath
- Lie in a warm bath which is at your normal bath water temperature
- Apply a cool wet towel to the head to ensure that the head does not get too hot
- Add hot water to the bath whilst monitoring your body temperature.
- Continue adding hot water until you are too hot or your body temperature has reached 102oF (38.8oC). It is not safe to raise body temperature any further.
- Lie in the hot bath water for 20 minutes or until you have reached your limit.
- Add cold water to the bath which will start to bring body temperature down.
- Continue to add cold water until the bath is cold but at a manageable level.
- Lie in the cold bath water until the body feels cold.
- Once the cold state has been reached, leave the bath and go to bed.
- Keep monitoring temperature to ensure it is returning to normal. If necessary use a hot water bottle.
What are the Effects?
Depending on the individual, this technique can produce differing effects. Often there is a feeling of relaxation and tiredness. Occasionally there may be a feeling of nausea due to bile release or light headiness due to a reduction of blood pressure.