What is water therapy – the science behind ishnaan

Water will heal you in ways you never thought possible.

What is water therapy?

Water therapy, also known as Ishnaan, is mostly known as cold-water-therapy.

How does cold water affect you?

what is water therapy

Ishnaan is the ancient word for hydrotherapy.

The technology and science of hydrotherapy are also known as hydrotherapeutic massage.

In ancient times people would pray for the miracle of receiving ishnaan for this practice would heal in miraculous ways.

Ishnaan happens when the body on its own will create and correct the body’s internal thermostat needed to support and keep your organs safe during a cold water shower.

The technique to ishnaan, or cold water therapy, will leave one feeling much less pain in muscle soreness if done correctly.

If taking a cold shower is a new thing for you, it will be a challenge.

It takes courage to get through some challenges, and this challenge is worth all its time and effort.

What is water therapy


It may not be easy, to take your first cold shower, but it gets easier once you realize the benefits.

Here are the seven benefits to taking a cold shower:

1Alertness increased 100%.

While taking a cold shower your breath increases to help ease the initial shock of cold water splashing onto your skin.

While deep breathing increases your overall oxygen intake it also will increase your heart rate which in turn will release a huge rush of blood through your entire body giving you a most pleasant natural ‘high’ for the rest of your day.

There are many high profile people that know the importance of cold water therapy, and long ago asked themselves, what is water therapy, as this was once a fad known only to those in the high-profile elitist lifestyles.

what is water therapyLittle known fact; cold water therapy has been known to the Yogis of the East for thousands of years before brought to the west, and once it was known how beneficial cold water therapy is, it was marketed and sold as a commodity by creating all sorts of cryo-baths etc, when all you really need is your own cold water shower.

People like Katherine Hepburn was reportedly being urged by her urologist, to keep up with this therapy for her personal health issues.

Katherine Hepburn was prescribed to take ice-cold baths to help her medical needs as a young adult.

She’s never stopped her cold water showers as it helped keep her energy level high at all times as well as kept her skin flawless and beautifully radiant.

2- Helps Relieve Depression

While hard to imagine, taking a cold brisk shower will help relieve symptoms of depression.

Have you ever watched people coming out of the ocean with a sad look on their face, or witnessed people running out of a cold river with a frown?

I am sure the answer is no.

Elated and Happy is what you see when people come out of cold water.

Here is the reason why;  due to the intense impact of cold water on your skin, cold receptors from your skin is sending a massive amount of electrical impulses from the peripheral nerve endings straight to your brain causing antidepressive effects. (1)

3Stress Reliever

Becoming a cold water enthusiast will increase your tolerance to stress, and disease.

A study from 1994 found an impactful decrease in the body’s uric acid levels subsequent to a cold water stimulus.

Glutathione, an antioxidant, was found to be increased keeping all other antioxidants rendering them at optimal levels.

The volunteers to this study were ten healthy people who were swimmers, swimming in ice-cold water during the winter.
Each swimmer adapted to the repeated oxidative stress, leaving them incredibly healthy and strong in body and mind.  (2)

4- Helps Speed up healing of Sore Muscles

It is not so strange to think of athletes taking ice baths immediately after hard training to help reduce sore muscles.

It works for them and there is absolutely no reason why it cannot work for you.

Taking a quick cold shower following a good sweat from a hard workout at your gym, run or whatever it is you do to get a good workout, will be just as effective in relieving muscle soreness.

In 2009 a study with over 360 healthy volunteers immersed in cold water following resistance training, running and cycling, found that a twenty-four-minute cold water bath was effective in relieving sore muscles.

The temperature of the water used in this study was 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit, 10-15 degrees Celsius.  (3)

5- Weight Loss is stimulated 

Did you know the human body comprises of two types of fat tissue?

There is white fat and then there is brown fat.

White Fat:

We accumulate white fat when we ingest more calories than what our bodies need in order to function.
Without burning this white fat off for energy we simply keep accumulating it into our lower back, our thighs, the neck area, and our waist.

Brown Fat:

Brown fat is the good fat.

Brown fat generates heat to help keep our bodies warm and is initiated when exposed to extreme cold.

Regular cold showers will activate brown fat activity promoting a steady and healthy way to lose weight.

The Joslin Diabetes Center, a Harvard Medical School affiliate supports this claim and uses cold water therapy for willing patients.  (4)

6- Improves Circulation and Immunity Immensely

It is a well-known fact that cold water will improve your circulation and boost your immunity.

When the cold water strikes the skin and your capillaries are opened, the blood is rushed to all organs in the body.

This rush of blood to all organs is helpful in treating all kinds of skin problems, and heart problems.

The blood being forced to circulate leads the arteries to a more effective way in creating overall health and wellbeing.

7- Purifies Skin and Hair

While showering the best thing you can do for your skin and hair is to allow the cold to take over.
Once you are done with a warm shower, for washing all of your body, turn the water to cold.
Hot water will dry your hair out leaving it brittle and ends breakable, same is true with our skin.

Cold water will stop your skin from collecting all sorts of unwanted clogged pores by sealing the pores and tightening skin.

The same is true with our scalp.

Cold water will seal your scalp keeping your natural oils where they are supposed to stay and keeping dirt from getting in.

Taking a cold shower first thing in the morning is becoming a necessity for those who have rheumatoid arthritis, aches, and pains due to muscle pain.

Besides taking cold water showers to help with rheumatoid arthritis, eating turmeric can help tremendously as well.

When taking your total body into account for health and wellbeing, it is best to start with healthy habits from exercise to eating consciously so living a life of longevity doesn’t have to be difficult.

When you realize the benefits far outweigh the initial shock of a cold shower, you will come to love cold water therapy.

There is an exact science behind cold water therapy!

The body’s capillaries open up to create an internal heat, but when they begin to close down and return to normal, the blood then rushes back into the organs.

It is an internal organ massage for all your body’s organs.

Cold Water Will Heal You.

It is documented and well known that when taking an ice bath,  muscle swelling is reduced while lactic acid is flushed out of your body.

When the blood oxygen level is low, carbohydrate will break down for energy which then makes lactic acid.

Conditions such as congenital heart failure, severe infection or any shock to the body will lower the flow of blood and oxygen throughout your body.

what is water therapy

If your liver is severely diseased or damaged, lactic acid levels will be higher as your liver will be compromised by the influx of the acid.

Too much lactic acid is known to cause health issues so a good overall blood check will tell you where you’re at and how you can help yourself heal before the disease becomes a reality.

The best approach to wellness is prevention.

Internal organ massage by cold water therapy has proven to be extremely beneficial and is now considered carefully by major medical facilities around the world. (5)

When cold water hits your body, it causes your blood vessels to tighten which helps drain the lactic acid from your aching muscles.

In some countries such as Japan, Finland, and Russia, the use of cold water temperatures for medical purposes is carefully studied by major universities.

Developed in Japan, whole-body-cryotherapy was designed to help treat pain caused by inflammation due to rheumatic conditions.

Patients are required to spend at least three minutes ( if tolerable) in a room cooled to -166 Fahrenheit. (74.4444 celsius)

People in these countries are so incredibly passionate about their cold water is wasn’t too hard for researchers to find enough volunteers to conduct a research studying the effects of cold water.

what is water therapy

Several years back, Finnish researchers reported their results from a study done with ten women.

These women took cold water plunges, lasting up to twenty seconds in water just above freezing.

Blood tests were taken from these women, and the findings were interesting to note: norepinephrine levels jumped three times their normal levels before being exposed to the cold water.

Norepinephrine is a chemical in our nervous system.

It is known fact to the medical field that norepinephrine helps suppress pain in our bodies, which is why so many people are asking “what is water therapy”  and how can it help us feel better in our body.

All organs in our body, independently, contain its supply of blood.

The kidneys, heart, lungs, and liver each has its very own blood supply.

What is water therapy?

Cold water therapy will flush your internal organs, each with their blood supply, encouraging immediate glandular secretion.

While your glands are secreting your blood chemistry is changing by the opening up of the blood capillaries.

Your body is completely rebuilt as each organ is rebuilding with the adjustments from cold water activation.

As you are taking a cold shower, the blood in your body is rushing out to meet the challenge.

All your capillaries are opening up, so all unwanted deposits have to go giving a total cleanse to the process.

Because your capillaries have opened up entirely to the maximum, you will not feel the cold, massaging yourself during this process will help increase this process of cleansing dramatically.

How to prepare yourself for a cold water therapy:

Use a dry brush on your skin before you shower, dry brushing helps exfoliate all dead skin and improves circulation.

What is water therapy

After you have thoroughly brushed your skin, use a high-grade organic almond oil and oil your entire body, deeply massaging your skin, avoiding your eyes.

Keep your hair tied up into a bun on top of your head keeping it away from potentially getting in your way of briskly rubbing yourself while showering.

Turn your water on cold, only.

Begin with your arms, one arm at a time, massaging the oil into your skin deeper along with the cold water.

Bring your legs under the running cold water, one leg at a time, briskly rubbing each leg.

Let your torso stand in the stream of running water, rubbing your belly in a circular motion.

Bring your face towards the stream of water, allowing the water to hit between the eyebrows and upper lip.

You will become completely and totally energized for the rest of your day.

Take your warm showers in the evening before bed for a nice restful sleep.

As you begin your cold shower, you will feel cold, but after a few minutes, you will feel hot, how?

What is water therapy

When the blood and the capillaries have completely opened up the body will not feel cold.

The aim is to meet the cold water challenge with your body’s internal thermostat, meeting the cold with its circulatory system, which can be amazingly powerful.

From all your capillaries opening up to maximum circulation from cold water activation your blood will then go back to all your organs, your kidneys, the spleen, the liver, your lungs, your heart, all your organs.

Each organ in your body lives on its supply of blood which is then regulated and nourished by the beat of your heart.

By taking cold showers, your organs will get a super rich supply of blood through the opening and expansion of your capillaries.

Other Resources:
Ishnaan: The Science of Hydrotherapy


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4 Replies to “What is water therapy – the science behind ishnaan”

  1. Hey Meherbani,

    Now that I know the benefits of water therapy and showering with cold water… I think I’m gonna toughen up and start doing it.

    As someone who likes to shower with boiling water, the fact that cold water and help with depression and sore muscles is more than good enough reasons to give it a try. Improving circulation and my immune system are also a plus; I get sick a lot!


    Thanks for sharing,

    1. Hi Diana!

      Well, I won’t say it’s easy cuz it’s not if you love hot showers.
      What is water therapy? It’s taking a cold shower for the benefit of being healthier than you could ever imagine.
      Don’t stop taking your hot showers! You will love them even more, I promise.

      If you truly do get sick often as you stated, you must build your immunity up by taking the appropriate steps.
      Good luck with getting and staying healthy!!

      Thanks for your comment!

  2. Hello, this is a very interesting post on cold water therapy. I don’t like cold water to be honest with you but I guess if I must I must if I expect to see results. Your knowledge on this topic and how it all works is so amazing. Your readers will also really find your post to be a great help, thanks for sharing.

    1. I don’t like cold water much myself, but I have to admit, the rush of how well you feel once it’s over is incredible.
      Thank you for sharing and leaving a comment 🙂

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