Immune Function: Cold Water Therapy

I share some powerful immune supporting and boosting strategies in my book, Natural Tips for Staying Healthy, including ways to support your lymphatic system, which is key in immune function. One of the most effective ways to do this is by alternating between hot and cold showers.

According to a 2014 study, cold showers have been documented to increase natural killer cells, which is a marker of how resilient your immune system is. The study found that cold water caused a release of epinephrine, which in turn caused an increase in an anti-inflammatory cytokine known to regulate your body’s response to infection, IL-10. This 2016 trial found that those participants who alternated between hot and cold showers, reduced their sickness-related work absences by 29%.

Besides improved immune function, cold therapy has been found to have anti-aging benefits as well as improving sleep, reducing inflammation, easing pain and alleviating anxiety and depression.

There’s no need to take a long, cold shower. The benefits are increased when you alternate short bursts and you don’t need to be cold for long. You can simply end your hot shower with cold water for 30 seconds. As you feel able you can increase to a minute or two. If you are pregnant or have heart issues, you should avoid this practice. But for the rest of us, it’s a pretty fast and simple way to give your immune system some extra support.

How do you feel about ending your shower with a blast of cold water?

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About amusico

I am a holistic health coach and independent nutritional consultant. All my coaching plans are based on my 3-D Living program and a big part of that are the Youngevity Products and Supplements I proudly offer! Visit my website at and learn more about the products and my coaching plans!
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9 Responses to Immune Function: Cold Water Therapy

  1. I would have never guessed that practice used to be good for me; I just knew I liked how it made me feel invigorated. Nowadays, I tend to enjoy those long hot showers more. As you mention; my cardiologist advises against those sudden changes in temperature.

    • amusico says:

      I agree J.D. I only do 30 seconds to a minute at the end of a long, relaxing hot shower but it does really feel good. I also agree you should avoid at this point. There are plenty of other ways to support your immune system my friend.

  2. Ivey Rorie says:

    Hey Ann,
    This is an interesting article. I met a lady in the Y locker room in 2019 that talked about this. She spoke as if many people knew about it but I certainly did not. She remarked about all the people getting out of the pool taking hot, hot showers. She said, “They should all be ending with cold water.” I honestly had never heard this before. It is so interesting. Now, in your article here, I find the bit about epinephrine really fascinating.
    Cool! (pun intended).

    • amusico says:

      Haha thanks Ivey. I mention it in Today is Still the Day since the cold water on your neck and upper back activates brown fat and helps with weight loss as well.

  3. debwilson2 says:

    Ann, sometimes I cool it down but I don’t go to cold. I could see where it would be invigorating, but never would’ve guessed it would boost your immunity.

    • amusico says:

      It is counterintuitive Debber. But obviously only a brief time in cold will boost immunity. Too long and you risk getting sick. It’s all about moderation.

  4. Holly Scherer says:

    I have yet to work up the guts on this one. Minnesotans love to sauna and then jump in the snow or lakes when they’re not frozen. I’d do that if I had to opportunity. Maybe it would be easier if I did the cold first?🤔

    • amusico says:

      You amaze me!! You would go from a sauna into the snow or a frigid lake but don’t know if you can end your shower with 30 seconds of cold water!! It’s actually not that bad and honestly I feel so much more invigorated when I get done. Knowing you Holly, there isn’t much you couldn’t do!!

      • Holly Scherer says:

        Well, you’ve never saunaed with Jer. I think he thinks he needs to break his personal heat record every time. Which makes jumping into an almost frozen lake sound amazing. But you’re right, I’d probably survive 30 seconds.

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