Cold Showers, Why I Stopped Them and Learning the Hard Way
I started taking cold showers the first thing in the morning about 5-6 years ago. I was suffering of a burn out and bad insomnia so I had to find a way to wake up in the morning. Cold showers of about 20 seconds helped me to get my eyes open so that I could start the day and do my work. I kept doing this for about 5½ years until few weeks ago.
I thought that my burn out and insomnia of 6 years was the reason why I was getting colds and headaches easily from the slightest draft or slight wind when outside. I also experienced lots how my body would get overheated due to exercise or intensive meditation experiences which would in turn make me prone to colds and headaches. I had to constantly monitor temperature, draft/wind and my clothing, also during the night because I would very easily get colds during the night too.
It was constant pain in the ass for years but it didn't cross my mind until few weeks ago that the cold showers might not be helping but making it worse. So one day, 3-4 weeks ago, I stopped taking them, and already after 1-2 days I felt my body coming back to normal.
I don't know why my body reacted to cold water (as cold as you can get from the tab) by getting completely confused about its thermal maintenance but it did. Maybe this is because of the damage done by the long burn out and insomnia.
However, I don't need to keep an eye of the weather and temperatures any more than others do, and it is such a relief. I don't get colds anymore and so I don't need to take painkillers. It's such a dramatic change for the better.
I can take walks and exercise like normal people, and I don't need to keep my skin and head covered all the time. I feel like an ass for having done so much harm to myself by taking the cold showers, although they were helpful for some time too. But that's the story of my life: make mistakes, suffer from them and learn through the hard way.
The reason why I publish this bit from my personal life is because I think many have heard me talk about the benefits of cold water. There are lots of material from folks like Wim Hof that testify about the benefits of cold showers but if you have same problems like me, I just want you to know that this practice is not suitable for everyone, just like there is no one diet that fits all bodies.
At the same time I am greatful that I don't need to work around the clock anymore, get sufficient sleep and wake up fresh in the morning.
Balance in lifestyle is so important but at the same time it often is the case in the world today with work, studies and other types of commitments that we don't have a choice, and so we end up burning the candle at both ends. Looking back at the times of my hardship it feels both tragic and comical that I burned myself up by starting a new school of buddhism. That's pretty contradictory because aren't buddhists and yogis just supposed to have this radiant, settled and balanced chi at all times... but that's what happened. I can honestly say that I will never do it again in circumstances like these. So in case someone is planning to start a new buddhist school, take reincarnation in a buddhist country first, not in the West! Like I said, the only way I seem to learn is the hard way.
I wish you much love and clarity of mind,