Sun, 22 Sep, 2019

Journey to Cryotherapy

By Navaraj Kharel

I was invariably mesmerized by those people. I used to ask myself, “How do they do it?” I have seen many of them waking up at 5 am and taking a cold shower, even during the winter season. Winter is the coldest time of the year. Even animals hibernate during this time and trees are without leaves. Taking a cold shower in winter was a pie in the sky for me. I used to have a difficult time even washing my face early in the morning. This was when I was in my teenage and then mid-teens. It is the age when one wants to do many things simultaneously. Practically, doing so is a no go. But still, teenagers do not let go of anything that catches their attention. There was a trend of taking computer course after giving S.L.C exams and I also followed. I don’t exactly remember everything, but what I still have a clear image of is that we were learning about topologies. I was busy googling amazing facts and I found something interesting: “Five things that a healthy person always does”. I believe health is wealth. However, what hauled my attention was taking a cold shower everyday and cycling. I was okay with cycling and cold shower in the summer but doing so in winter was a challenge for me. It was just limited to my imagination, let’s say, part of my wish list. Time passed by. I tried to overcome that challenge by implementing my imagination in real life. However, I was weak in my attempt and left after a few days. It might have been due to the fact that I wasn’t so committed to accomplish it. I completed my high school, and time passed by giving me some bad as well as some good experiences. One day, something similar happened. It was after I got into DWIT, specifically during the orientation day. Hitesh Karki, our chief academic officer, asked us whether there was anyone in the hall who wakes up at 5 am and takes a cold shower. No one dared to raise their hand. But that question triggered my past and that day I asked myself, “Why did sir ask about it?” There must be something in it. I googled again. I found something amazing and got angry with myself for not being committed in the past. That ‘something amazing’ was cryotherapy. Cryotherapy is a medical term and is commonly known as cold water therapy. In medicine, cryotherapy is used to treat a variety of benign and malignant tissue damages, medically called lesions. Its goal is to increase cellular metabolism and cellular survival, decreases inflammation, pain and spasm, and decrease the constriction of blood vessels. In common use, cold water therapy has a lot of benefits. The first benefit is the development of a stronger immune system. With cryotherapy in hand, one does not need to worry about eating ice-cream during the winter season. Increased blood circulation, regulation of temperature in the body, relief from symptoms of depression, testosterone and fertility increase, healthy skin and hair, tolerance to stress, better sleep and more oxygen in the body are some of the physical benefits of cold shower therapy. Besides these, talking about the emotional benefits, it is more like training one’s mind and body to push one’s limits and do things which are impossible. Practicing cold water therapy strengthens the body gradually. It develops the ability to subject one’s body to a certain level of stress in a controlled environment. Exposure of body to stresses like cold water, irregular fasting, or considerably vigorous exercises can enhance health dramatically. On the other hand, hot water showers early in the morning are not as beneficial as cold water showers. One starts cursing, muttering and shivering while reaching out for the towel after getting out of the hot water shower. Further, when I found that hot water shower eventually decreases the sperm count, I was a lot more disappointed. It is really important. Low sperm count can result in infertility in males. The Google knowledge indeed helped me polish my determination of taking cold water showers in real life. Early in the morning, the water in Kathmandu is chilling cold. I committed myself of taking up the challenge. First day, I tried; I couldn’t take a shower. I tried for a week. However, it was a really difficult task for me. I always ended up washing my feet and hands. Few days ago, something amazing happened. I was inspired and I was filled with a lot of positive energy. If a person can stay without a grain for 36 hours, why can I not take a cold shower in the morning? Staying without a grain for entire 36 hours is not a simple task. This note was stuck in my mind and was playing automatically in my head. I woke up at 5 am that day with full self confidence and went to the shower. I had already made my mind to complete my challenge. I was afraid to get into the shower at once. By filling a bucket full of water, I slowly started from my feet. I still hesitated to pour water on my body. All of a sudden, I remembered Hitesh sir sharing his story with us about his 36 hour fasting in a week. I ended up pouring a bucket of cold water on my body. It was great; I could feel the rush in my body. Finally, I did it. What an accomplishment! However, the entire courage was not solely mine. Just like emitting photons requires threshold energy in photoelectric effect, I was in need of a push and I received it from a non-credit class. It increased my threshold and helped me get to my goal. Non-credit classes are indeed valuable and worth listening to. We get to hear from those people who have already experienced the reality of life. By the time, this gets published in the DWIT news corner I will have completed my six days of cold shower at 5 am and still 14 cold showers will be left for it to be my habit. I am certain that I will continue it. I recommend everyone to try it. Bonus for the ladies: your skin and hair will be amazingly soft. Do try it! :D Train your body –Train your mind – Push your Limits.