Cold Shower

Dr Kellogg

Dr Kellogg says...

Cold Shower

The cold rain douche is one of the most exciting hydriatic procedures. A large amount of cold water under moderate pressure falls upon the most highly sensitive and reflexly active portions of the cutaneous surface, causing a perfect cyclone, so to speak, of nerve impulses to be sent in upon the cerebrospinal axis; and naturally most extensive reflex actions are set up... powerful respiratory movements (stimulate) the lymph currents of the brain and spinal cord and (aid) the hepatic and portal circulation... the breathing is in quick, gasping efforts, the heart is powerfully excited, the blood pressure is raised... General metabolic activity is stimulated, the brain and nervous system are intensely aroused, and all the vital movements are accelerated. pp 474,5


from Hydrothermic Remedies...

The cold shower "is one of the most powerful of all tonics. It creates an appetite for food and a disposition to and capacity for both mental and muscular activity to a remarkable degree." J.H. Kellogg, M.D. Rational Hydrotherapy, p.431

Water: Cool 21-27°C / 70-80°F, Cold 13-20°C / 55-68°F, Hot Tub Bath 37-39°C / 99-102°F


Tonic and Stimulating

Physiologic Effects

  1. Stimulating


  1. Following a Hot Tub Bath (38-39°C / 100-102°F), Hot Foot Bath (38-42°C / 100-108°F), Russian Bath or Hot Shower
  2. To tone up the blood vessels of the skin
  3. To decrease perspiration
  4. As a tonic


  1. Patient is cold
  2. Heart Diseases
  3. Kidney Failure
  4. Severe Arteriosclerosis
  5. Hyperthyroidism or exophthalmic goiter/goitre
  6. Nervous System Irritability
  7. Hypertension
  8. Spray should not be directed over the area of Varicose Veins
  9. Neuritis
  10. Rheumatoid Arthritis


  1. Stool - non-rust
  2. Shower cap


Important Considerations

  • Rubber mat on floor of shower so patient doesn't slip

Preparation for Treatment

  • Complete the heating Hot Tub Bath (38-39°C / 100-102°F), Hot Foot Bath (38-42°C / 100-108°F) or Hot Shower. Ensure the patient is warm.
  • Turn on shower and adjust to proper temperature
  • Make sure patient's feet are warm before entering shower
  • Use shower cap if patient wishes
  • Have stool on hand in case patient becomes faint.
  • Have patient get into shower.


  • At first, before the individual becomes accustomed to the cold shower, the upper limits should be utilized.
  • Then begin cold shower (tap cold) for 2 seconds.
  • In each succeeding treatment, the temperature is lowered by 1 or 2 degrees daily and the time prolonged from 2 seconds up to 3 minutes.

Completion of Treatment

  • Dry well with friction.


from Dr JH Kellogg's Hydriatic Techniques...

Stimulant Tonic

  • not as controllable as other tonics so is not suitable for the feeble
  • Hot shower 38-40°C / 100-104°F, 1-3min or other heating if required then short cold - 15-21°C / 60-70°F, 5-30 sec
  • Moderate Tonic, little cooling in

Plethora, prolonged cold 1-2 min - greater heat loss more Stimulating in

Combined Cold shower in:


from Dr GK Abbott's Prescriptions...


  • Precede by Hot Shower, when patient is warmed quickly lower from hot to the limit of tolerance and maintain until vigorous reaction
  • Cool: 21-32°C / 70-90°F, Cold:13-21°C / 55-70°F
  • At first use upper limits of temperature and lower by 1°C / 2°F at each succeeding treatment
  • Time: 1-3 or more minutes