I always recommend hybrid warm/cold water therapy for my clients since - in my opinion - our nervous systems are mostly stuck in sympathetic dominance (fight flight freeze or fawn) and shocking them with cold water will do little more than reinforce that.
A long time ago, I was struggling with daily cold showers. I took them daily, for years, as a part of my spiritual practice. I found myself more anxious, unable to warm up, distracted and exhausted for the entire day. I brought this up to my teacher at the time and he suggested a more trauma informed approach, one I now offer to all my clients and the to the women of Becoming The Source during our “Healing The Inner Masculine” Module.
Our unhealed inner masculine wants us to push past our healthy limits. We want to be a certain way so desperately that we “fake it til we make it”, which - when dealing with the nervous system - actually just keeps us stuck where we are, or - worse - deepening into what we are trying to shift.
So when hacking into the nervous system to optimize all of our systems, we have to be honest about what we’re working with.
Ask yourself: will your efforts build a strong container, one that will support you through the wilderness of life, or will they build a rigid structure, unable to stand on its own without considerable external support, easy to crumble when you put any pressure on it.
So let’s meet ourselves where we actually are instead of where our ego wants us to be, so we can create sustainable change.
My first hydrotherapy session of the year looked like this: wood fired sauna, bucket of ice cold mountain spring water, and letting my body regulate over and over again to the contrasting exposures.
It can just as easily be done in the shower, with alternating hot and cold blasts. Eventually, over time, finding your body opening for the benefits of the cold without any need for modulation.