Rates of depression and anxiety are on the up. We live our lives at an ever increasingly fast pace which rarely allows time to regulate and condition the mind through practices such as meditation and yoga, so instead many use prescription drugs, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
SSRIs work by increasingly the amount of free serotonin within the brain that binds to the post-synaptic receptor in the synaptic cleft, creating an enhanced state of psychological well-being. However like most drugs, the side effects of SSRIs can be fairly substantial and may include: drowsiness, nausea, insomnia and dizziness.
With this in mind – where possible – it’s obviously far better for health longevity to regulate mood and psychological well-being through natural methods, such as diet, exercise, mediation and as studies have eluded to: cold water therapy.
One such study conducted back in 2007 hypothesised that states of depression were the result of two factors:
1) A lack of physiological stressors which humans have evolved with in nature, such as heat stressors from exercise and bathing in waters at temperatures in alignment with nature. Lacking stressors such as these is believed to lead to brain inactivity.
2) Genetic predisposition that enhances the aforementioned condition.
Test subjects within the study were required to take 3 minute cold showers twice a day for several months, with researchers hypothesising that both the elevated release of noradrenaline combined with a considerable amount of electrical impulses sent from the peripheral region to the brain would have anti-depressant effects.
The results suggest that cold hydrotherapy may have a significant impact at relieving symptoms of depression. The test results from the study prove cold hydrotherapy to be an effective means of treatment of psychological well-being, with no side effects of dependencies noted. Although further follow up research into the therapy is still necessary to conclusively prove the study’s findings.