by Dr. Bohdanna “Billie” Zazulak: Spring is a time of renewal and awakening. As the snow is melting, Mother Earth is waking up with new life and radiance.
Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.”
The turn of the season is a great time for a refresh and spring cleaning of mind, body and soul to become fully alive and joyful. Awaken from your winter slumber with an invigorating plunge to feel strong, healthy, full of energy, and free from stress. Cold exposure prompts the vagus nerve to actually “chill” you out. The vagus nerve, the key player in regulating heart rate, is the longest nerve in your body that connects your brain to many other important organs.
Vagal stimulation lowers the sympathetic “fight or flight” response, increases parasympathetic activity (relaxation response), lowers your heart rate, and induces a serene state of peaceful awareness. If a plunge in the great outdoors is not an option, try finishing your next shower or bath with a chilly rinse to wash away life’s stressors and connect with your true self, forget worries, and wake up in the present moment.
Yet, before taking a polar plunge into frigid water, be sure to get a green light from your doctor to screen for underlying health issues such as a family history of stroke, aneurysms, high blood pressure, or any heart issues. When jumping into extreme cold, blood vessels in the outer part of your body constrict to retain heat, shifting blood demands to inner organs to keep you warm. If not regulated by a healthy cardiovascular system, this cold shock may strain your heart.
Cold water immersion boosts energy, elevates your mood, facilitates recovery by reducing inflammation and muscle soreness, and improves gut and metabolic health. Plunge into this exhilarating polar practice as part of your daily wellness regime to relieve pain while you boost immunity, vitality, virility, and performance. Cold immersion floods your body with a rush of the neurotransmitter epinephrine that improves attention, focus, cognition, and awareness. Be melting snow and cleanse your mind-body-soul to truly come alive!