It has been my experience that the integration of my Vital Chi Skin-Brushing System with strategic hydrotherapies and essential oil selections creates powerful healing synergy for both body and soul. The Alternate Warm/Cool Shower forms a particularly powerful synergy with Vital Chi Skin-Brushing.
While this shower therapy has been used to treat specific health conditions, it has also served well as a general health-maintenance procedure. Of all the various hydrotherapies, this “unequal periods” Alternate Warm/Cool Shower (with the emphasis on the former) is one I suggest most commonly as an overall tonic treatment. It’s an invigorating procedure which vitalizes circulatory, endocrine, immune, lymphatic, nerve and skin functions.
One of the best features of this shower procedure is its convenience. Unlike several other hydrotherapies, it does not need to be followed by a period of covering-up or rest. Thus, it’s well-suited for tightly scheduled workdays. The Alternate Warm/Cool Shower (preceded by the Vital Chi Skin-Brushing routine) employed three to four times weekly has proven to be wonderfully restorative.
Warm and cool water can be used in alternation to prolong the initial tonic-stimulant effect of warm water. The heat (e.g., a warm shower) is applied first for 2- to 3-minutes; then, instantly, before the sedative reaction of prolonged heat can take place, a 15- to 20-seconds short, cool treatment (shower, in this case) is taken. Next, a second heat-application is used, and the body responds with new vigor to the tonic-stimulant effect of the warm water. This is referred to as contrast treatment during which the warm water magnifies the stimulating effect of the cool water, and vice versa, providing a powerful gymnastics workout for the blood and lymph systems.
In general, two to three alternations between warm and cool water are used. The first contrast cycle is always the most intense. The following ones are less so since the body’s ability to react progressively declines. Excess (more than three) hot and cold alternations is depleting which defeats the treatment’s purpose.
Remember, that the greater the temperature differences between warm and cool applications, the greater the effect. For maximum benefit, the contrast between the two temperature extremes should be to the limits of comfortable tolerance. Always finish a contrast treatment with cool water to ensure that the desired warming reaction takes place.
Note: “Warm” and “cool” are relative terms, meaning that each person must use good sense in deciding a comfortable tolerance level regarding temperatures. One should not be heroic and overtax the system. Be conscious of your relative state of vitality on a given day and adjust the temperature of the water and duration of each shower phase accordingly.
INSTRUCTIONS: ALTERNATE WARM/COOL SHOWER
1) First, perform the Vital Chi Skin-Brushing System routine.
2) In a pre-warmed bathroom, begin with a 2- to 3-minute warm shower. The water should be comfortably warm. Be judicious in this reference.
3) Follow with a cool shower of 15- to 20-seconds duration. The water should be cool to a comfortable tolerance. Hand-rub your skin throughout this cool-water segment of shower.
4) Repeat this cycle of warm and cool water one more time.
5) Do not dry; while still wet, perform a vigorous towel-rub by a private, open window (weather permitting).
COMPLEMENTARY AROMATHERAPY FOR THE ALTERNATE WARM/COOL SHOWER
After your Alternate Hot/Cold Shower, you might perform a powerfully synergistic essential oil rub-down while the skin is still moist (see below).
Follow-Up Lemon Juice/Essential Oil Rub: Squeeze the juice of half a large lemon or an entire small lemon (preferably organically grown) into a small cup. Add to the juice, 3- to 5-drops of one of my AromAnita Essential Oil blends (suggested: ImmunEssence, Fragrant Chi, Fragrant Mountain Air, PrimaDerma, Three-Fold Harmony, Female Harmony, Male Harmony, Air Harmony, etc.). Next, stir with a finger, toothpick or plastic spoon. Then, using your bare hands, rub the mixture into the moist skin until completely absorbed.