Cold showers are the thing that catapulted my healing and restored hormonal balance. Yogi Bhajan could not emphasize enough the benefits of cold showers. He knew hydrotherapy and when he was feeling bad, he took longer cold showers, really massaging the body. Here is the protocol from Yogi Bhajan:
“I carry the lineage of those who now are very unknown, but who once were worshipped. They worked on the bones, adjusted the body, and did massage to recreate healthy organs.
Since ancient times, people have prayed for the blessing of ishnaan. What is ishnaan? It is the total sum of hydrotherapy. The word is ishnaan. We don’t say we’ll take a bath; we never say “bath.” Ishnaan is when the body, by its own virtue, creates the temperature that it can beat off the coldness of the water. Ishnaan is not just wetting your body. There is a whole respect to it. There is a whole grace to it.
The power of water is sixty percent of the power of the human. In hydrotherapy we believe that the sixty percent water in the body can be totally exchanged in sixty minutes with outside water. We do ice cold water massage which opens up the capillaries and flushes the blood from the organs to the surface to the skin, and when the capillaries close down again (that is, return to normal), that blood goes back to the organs. The heart, kidneys, lungs, liver — each organ has its own blood supply. In this way the organs get their flushing. When the organs get a flushing, then immediately the glands have to change their secretion. It is a law. And when the glands (which are the guardians of health and life) change, youth returns.
What is youth? Young glands. Young glands are called youth. If your glandular system secretes correctly, the blood chemistry is a young chemistry. This neurotic and angry behavior that you experience will be over.
This science of hydrotherapy is very precise and sophisticated, and very simple. It is important to focus the water directly on the area of the body corresponding to the area you want to affect.
Stand under a cold shower and massage your feet and your calves. Use your feet to massage, don’t use your hands. Then stand away from the water and using both hands, massage your entire body, and let the body get hot. Then take a cold shower again and massage your body again. Repeat this pattern for about twelve to fifteen minutes. You should have a friend handy to pull you out. You will be in a totally different space.
By doing any exercise for hours, you cannot stimulate your cell psyche to the extent that you can with cold water. And the procedure is very simple. Take your hands, let the cold water fall, and rub them to the extent that they become hot under the ice cold water. And so with every part of the body; let it go, let it be, and stimulate yourself. And this stimulation may look to you like a fanatic, painful attitude, but that’s what it is all about.
Some people do deep muscle massage, some people go to spas, and others do this or that. There are one million methods and nothing even comes close to this one. There’s nothing like standing under ice cold water and making your body become hot. The word is “hot.” Normally, in this therapy, we say to “heat yourself,” — heat your neck, heat your shoulders, heat your elbows. Can you believe a guy standing under a shower doing this for two hours? But that’s how they do it. And everywhere that the cold water hits, the blood will come. Everywhere you massage, rebuilding will occur and the psyche of each cell of the body will be reconstructed.
Following are instructions for the specific applications of hydrotherapy. Focus the stream of cold water: