The Health Benefits of Snow
January 19, 2012
How to take advantage of the snow
1) Snow Hydrotherapy: Hydrotherapy, defined by Drs. Boyle and Saine in Lectures in Naturopathic Hydrotherapy is “the application of water in any form, either externally or internally, in the treatment of disease and the maintenance of health.” Snow, is definitely a form of water, and we can definitely use the abundance of it right now to our health advantage. How?
- Barefoot snow walking: this ancient Naturopathic hydrotherapy technique was traditionally used to affect or stimulate the pelvic organs. When cold is applied to the feet for long periods of time, an internal pelvic reflex is activated, and according to Drs. Boyle and Saine, would help stop heavy menstrual flow, help stimulate labor (if pregnant) and shunt blood away from the pelvis and abdominal organs.
- Playing in the snow can be considered a hydrotherapy technique as well. With all of our snow clothes and layers on, working up an internal health in a very cold environment will induce sweating and thus, detoxification.
2) The “calm” associated with snow days has health benefits: People stop driving, we slow down, we cook meals and eat slowly, enjoying the freedom of the day. This induced quietness is perfect for this time of year when we naturally become more introverted. Use this time to retreat, be calm, and reflect. This parasympathetic activity is good for lowering stress levels and associated cortisol, lowering blood pressure, and is overall associated with a longer life expectancy compared to people who are constantly functioning in a sympathetic (or Type A personality) state. Use this snow day to calm yourself down, practice patience, and reflect inward about a healthier state of being.
3) Weight loss: The extra metabolic effort required to stay warm while out in the snowy weather will burn more calories. So for all you New Year’s Resolution dieters- get out and play in the snow!