Adapted cold showers may be beneficial in CFS? new old studies

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by irene0074, May 26, 2008.

  1. irene0074

    irene0074 New Member

    Shevchuk NA. Possible use of repeated cold stress for reducing fatigue in chronic fatigue syndrome: a hypothesis. Behavioral and Brain Functions. (2007) vol.3, p. 55

    Related publications:
    Vaile J, Halson S, Gill N, Dawson B. Effect of Hydrotherapy on Recovery from Fatigue. International Journal of Sports Medicine. (2007) DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-989267

    Huttunen P, Kokko L, Ylijukuri V. Winter swimming improves general well-being. International Journal of Circumpolar Health. (2004) vol.63, issue 2, pp. 140-144

    Flensner G, Lindencrona C. The cooling-suit: case studies of its influence on fatigue among eight individuals with multiple sclerosis. Journal of Advanced Nursing. (2002) vol.37, issue 6, pp. 541-550

    Verducci FM. Interval cryotherapy and fatigue in university baseball pitchers. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. (2001) vol.72, issue 3, pp. 280-287

    Verducci FM. Interval Cryotherapy Decreases Fatigue During Repeated Weight Lifting. Journal of Athletic Training. (2000) vol.35, issue 4, pp. 422-426

    Roundy ES, Cooney LD. Effectiveness of rest, abdominal cold packs, and cold showers in relievng fatigue. Research Quarterly. (1968) vol.39, issue 3, pp. 690-695

    Pratusevich IuM, Shustruiskaia LN. Change in the cortical and subcortical reactions in children during mental fatigue and its elimination by means of cold and muscular work. Gigiena i Sanitariia. (1962) vol.27, pp. 103-109
  2. TeaBisqit

    TeaBisqit Member

    If you have alot of NMH/POTS symptoms, you need cooler showers. The hot water lowers your blood pressure, which can bring on a bought of lightheadedness and weakness. In my case, if the shower is too hot or warm, that's exactly what happens. I end up worse. If I lower the hot water and make the shower much cooler, it really helps to avoid that.
  3. irene0074

    irene0074 New Member

    you are right. exposure to cold usually raises blood pressure due to vasoconstriction (and slows down the heart rate).
  4. kbak

    kbak Member


    I can understand the benefits, I just can't tolerate the cold! It's painful to me. More power to all of you that can do it.

    Take care,
  5. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic New Member

    I can't take the cold either. It's just such a shock to my body ...

    I didn't realize getting too hot affected our NMH.

    Thanks ... Marcia
  6. binxi

    binxi New Member

    i know that a couple of australian sports guys with cfs used ice baths and got an energy boost from it- but my hands go blue just thinking about it!
  7. irene0074

    irene0074 New Member

    adapted cold shower as described in the first paper seems to be neither shocking nor unpleasant. The temperature is moderately cold: 20 degrees Celsius (68F). For comparison, the temperature at which cold water starts to cause pain is around 15 degrees Celsius (59F). There is no shock because the whole-body cold shower is preceded by a 5-minute gradual adaptation phase (expansion of the area of contact with water from the feet up or alternatively, gradual lowering of water temperature). IMO, pretty easy to do, no special will power or heroism is necessary.

    While most people would prefer a hot shower or hot bath to a cold shower, exposure to heat typically increases fatigue and promotes sleep (while exposure to cold appears to have the opposite effects, see refs in the first post):

    McMorris T, Swain J, Smith M, Corbett J, Delves S, Sale C, Harris RC, Potter J. Heat stress, plasma concentrations of adrenaline, noradrenaline, 5-hydroxytryptamine and cortisol, mood state and cognitive performance. (2006) International Journal of Psychophysiology. Vol.61, issue 2, pp. 204-215

    Koltyn KF, Robins HI, Schmitt CL, Cohen JD, Morgan WP. Changes in mood state following whole-body hyperthermia. (1992) International Journal of Hyperthermia. Vol.8, issue 3, pp. 305-307

    Mishima Y, Hozumi S, Shimizu T, Hishikawa Y, Mishima K. Passive body heating ameliorates sleep disturbances in patients with vascular dementia without circadian phase-shifting. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. (2005) vol.13, issue 5, pp. 369-376

  8. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic New Member

    I always thought since I have Reynauds in my hands and can't hold a cold glass of anything and getting things out of the freezer is excrutiating, that's why I couldn't tolerate cold baths either.

    Cold air temps make all my muscles go into spasm too. No matter how much I bundle up in the winter, if I get cold, I stay cold and feel rigid until I thaw out in a hot bath ...

    I've noticed I can tolerate cold better sometimes than others, but I haven't figured out what's behind it yet.

    I thought all this was normal for CFS ... Marcia
  9. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Dr Anne MacIntyre wrote about how to do these years ago but many with ME found they could not tolerate them. They are not recommended for the severely affected especially when this involves a signficant degree of generalised debility.

    Treatments for chronic fatigue (CF) are not always good for ME and CFS.

    Luke warm works best for me; I am both heat and cold intolerant hence often do better in the Spring and Autumn.

    tc, Tansy
  10. sadie101

    sadie101 New Member

    It hurts me just thinking about a cold shower. but the hot water on my muscles feel great, but I do feel very tired and short of breath+dizzy when it is to warm. I also get very dizzy and tired when I blowdry my hair.
    it that weird?
    take care
  11. dragon06

    dragon06 New Member

    I always find that I am cooling myself off in some way. I have the AC on two months before everyone else, need a fan or open window in the winter, cooler showers, cold face cloths, frozen face cloths when really bad. I always find that my "normal" body temp seems too hot I am always try to cool myself off...cold cold drinks and so on...cooler always makes me feel better in some way.
  12. irene0074

    irene0074 New Member

    Well, Reynaud's syndrome is a definite contraindication for exposure to cold.

    Sadie, getting dizzy from exposure to heat is not surprising, because it causes vasodilation and a drop in blood pressure.
  13. charming

    charming New Member

    I hate anything cold except water to drink, cold air and cold water on my body makes my bones hurt ,now warm showers soothes my tight swollen muscles and tendons and loosen up my joints
  14. brainfoggy

    brainfoggy New Member

    I can't stand a totally cold shower but I do alternate back and forth while rinsing my hair with cold (it make it shiny too!) because I've heard it stimulates the lymph system, possibly helping with detox.