Lifesaving, freezing and breathing
Updated: Jun 18
I’m going to write about my experience with PTSD and OCD and how I chose to combat these issues. Quick summary on my issues, after a tour of Afghanistan and a stint in the British army I could never settle. I was experiencing flash backs and panic attacks backed up with sickening migraines, my social life plummeted to zero and my work life was very rocky. First, I tried the drug Sertraline and talking therapy, this led me nowhere. I ditched the medication and the therapy; chaos descended suicide was on the cards. I sought help once again, which led me to a brilliant doctor whose name I shall not mention until I have permission.
Whilst seeing the doctor on a regular basis, I started meditating and studying the ancient, in my opinion, the purest religion (no Gods to worship) is the Tao. This led me to delve into cold showers and deep balanced breathing.
I will begin with the breathing as I think the breathing practices will help you get accustomed to the cold showers. First, some of the important benefits and background of oxygenation of the body. Of all the techniques I have practiced, I imagine I’m breathing through my belly button, filling my belly, then my chest all the way to my brain, then release from the belly. I do these 30 or 40 times, then exhale and hold, not force, just stop breathing for as long as possible. Just as you feel the urge to take a breath, take big deep breath from the belly and squeeze to your head for 10 second then release. This will make you feel amazing, repeat these 3 or 4 times. Check out the Wim Hoff method for more information.
The process mentioned above can make you feel funny at first, but persistence is key. My wife confirms this personally. This process will increase your oxygen levels to over 90% which is amazing. A very high percentage of people these days breath far too shallow, which causes Hypoxemia. This results in fatigue, loss of strength and tiredness, snowballing into depression. Your organs become compromised as your brain will leach the oxygen and as we know you are fudged without the brain! This is what I believe (and there are plenty of studies) is affecting peoples mental state. Most doctors will offer oxygen therapy, this is just my free alternative.
Oxygen levels in the body
85% and above
No evidence of impairment
65% and less
Impaired mental function on average
55% and less
Loss of consciousness on average
Most people breathe too shallow these days due to lifestyle, neck bent over on devices, lack of exercise unnecessary feelings, example: jealousy, being materialistic, use of the word need, as we don’t need anything but water, shelter, love and nutrition.
Now onto the cold water, my favorite! A lot of people turn their noses up at the cold showers until they build the courage to take the plunge, as I used my wife as a reference before, I’m going to again. Originally, she was a naysayer, now a believer. For me the cold shower liberated me, it washed away all my unnecessary myriad problems and feelings. I felt empowered and strong, not only in the mind but also in the body. The moment the cold stopped shocking me, it felt as though hot showers were a distraction, a distraction that had been crammed down my throat through school, how wrong they were. Here’s a list of benefits of the cold showers:
· Lowers chance of depression
· Lowers stress
· Promotes emotional resilience
· Improves immunity
· Drains lymphatic system
· Improves circulation
There are plenty more benefits, these ones are the most important to me. The chances of lowering depression are greatly increased especially if you let the water hit the back of your neck where it joins your skull, this stimulates the Locus coeruleus (Blue Spot) which produces norepinephrine, aka noradrenaline into the brain. This process promotes vigilance, enhances formation, improves retrieval of memory and focuses attention.
The lowering stress factor could not be truer. First thing in the morning, freezing cold shower no matter the temperature outside. This is real stress, actual stress, like being dehydrated, too hot or lacking oxygen, not needing a new item of clothing or caring how people judge you. So, once your body has felt actual stress, the pointless ones will not even scratch the surface of your emotional state. The cold cuts the levels of uric acid which when too high can cause kidney stones and gout. At the same time, it increases Glutathione, (GSH) an antioxidant which prevents cellular damage, epic way not to feel stress on the body and mind, Good times.
Lymphatic system is flushed of waste, which it should have, that’s it’s job, but a high buildup of waste, which is many people’s problem, will cause infection. The immune system will take a massive boost from the cold shower, speeding up your metabolic rate (Weight loss increased for the those wanting it, bonus!) The rate of white blood cells will flourish as the lymph nodes and white blood cells go hand in hand. White blood cells = disease fighting soldiers, lymph nodes = houses for the soldiers see where I’m going with this.
All this in a mixing pot will increase your circulation, which is vital to achieve the benefits above to their full potential. Your overall resilience will also be greatly improved. This information has been obtained from study and mainly personal experimenting. My life and wellbeing have, greatly improved at this point, although I do still feel there is more to come. I have gone from 16 stone 7lbs and a mental mess to 14stone 9lb strong, healthy and feeling great.
I hope you enjoyed the read. I’m not trying to push these methods or knowledge onto anyone, I would simply like people to hear my thoughts and experiences, and hopefully you guys who have read can take something from it.
Look after yourself, be at peace.
By Ellis Unchained
Work of Unchained Wisdom ©