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Winter Swimming
 

Ecopsychology/Winter Swimming


Winter Swimming

Winter swimming, i.e. swimming in ice-cold water, is a wonderful method not only of tempering the body, but also of increasing the energy might of the organism.

Statistics holds that among those practicing winter swimming the sickness rate decreases for cold-type diseases 60 (!) times, and for other diseases — 30 times. As a therapeutic method winter swimming can heal many diseases, including radiculitis, both high and low blood-pressure, pulmonary tuberculosis, pancreatic diabetes, chronic gastrointestinal diseases, inflammations in genitals, menstrual cycle abnormalities, dermatoses, and so on [32,65].

One should not begin to swim in cold water necessarily in autumn, as some people think: one may start right during the hardest frost, if one likes. But it is recommended to master first the psychic self-regulation techniques that we described above. In this case, winter swimming will directly contribute to strengthening the ability to preserve the subtlest psychic states. Coming out into the frost naked and submerging into ice-cold water become not only an act of volition, but also a controlled experiment on oneself in order to maintain the subtlest states of the consciousness in the conditionally adverse environment. It is beneficial to disidentify oneself from bodily sensations and to merely observe them from the depths of the subtle planes.

The organism responds to the cold shock with energy stress, which may be colored with positive or negative emotions — depending on the mood, with which one set about winter swimming in the first place and one’s psychic self-regulation skills. The activity of the energy system of the organism increases and initiates an intensive heat generation process. The right mood and disidentification from bodily sensations allow one not to feel the coldness of the air and water even during a hard frost. After staying in ice-cold water, a person also does not feel cold for some time, while when the frost is not too hard, one may even start to feel hot due to the continuing process of intensive heat generation in the organism. But after 10-20 minutes, the resources of the organism get depleted, and one starts chilling and shivering. As one proceeds with training, the intensity of such sensations decreases. At such moments one may warm oneself by performing active movements, indoors, or coming near a fire. These kinds of stress and depletion of the energy system of the organism train this system, increase its mobility and capacity.

One has to submerge into water together with the head. Upon entering water, one should immerse oneself into it completely, then wait until the breath calms down, and then immerse oneself again together with the head. During this procedure, one may notice lumps of dark energy flowing out from the body; this has a healing effect on the body.

One of the most eminent popularizers of cold tempering in Russia was Porfiriy Ivanov, who with his life example demonstrated the possibility of merging harmoniously with nature in all its manifestations. He walked barefooted even during sharp frost wearing only pants, swam in natural water reservoirs many times a day or showered himself with water from wells during winter, as well as slept in the snow without clothes.

Although swimming in ice-cold water is undoubtedly the most effective tempering procedure, do not get too upset if there is no suitable water reservoir where you live. You may, for example, run barefooted in the snow and, if there is the possibility, lay in the snow for a while without clothes. You may pour well-water on your body. As a last resort you may lay in the bath-tub filled with cold water or pour it on your body from a bucket or basin.

But one should keep in mind that water with temperature over 8 degrees centigrade (about 46° Fahrenheit) does not induce the launch of the described energy processes in the organism and swimming in it is less effective, while it may even cause untrained individuals to catch cold.

Cold procedures can be performed both as a part of a special training and every day in the morning or in the evening after work in order to relieve fatigue, as well as in all those cases when for various reasons we have lost inner harmony or do not see light in ourselves anymore.

All cold procedures must be performed using psychic self-regulation methods and not merely through an act of volition. Attempts to increase their effect by creating sharp temperature contrasts also do not make too much sense. For example, if you plan to pour cold water on your body, it would be appropriate to submerge the wrists into it first and imagine streams of blissful freshness and joy rising up the hands. Then you may wash your face and feel the freshness and joy entering your body through your face. Spill a few handfuls of water on your head imagining that this is the water from melted snow in a spring puddle on a meadow, that this is spring itself. And then you may really feel the sincere desire to get united with this water with your entire body!

After swimming or showering, you should observe the energy processes inside the body. You may see there the bright white light-fire blazing up, which you should distribute evenly over the entire space inside the body. This fire heals the body and rids us of coarse energies.

In conclusion of this chapter, I want to say the following. Even without prior studying the techniques of psychic self-regulation, winter swimming saved many people of severe diseases that were considered terminal, including cancer. There are many well-known cases of quick healing of respiratory diseases in the acute stage using this method. Enthusiasts of winter swimming accumulated certain experience of healing children, and this issue deserves a thorough in-depth study.

But it is not a panacea (the cure of all diseases). For example, in case of chronic diseases, which are accompanied with slightly increased body temperature, it does not always produce the positive effect. The organism apparently does not have the resources that could be activated by submerging the body into ice-cold water. Such patients should rather get hyperthermal (high temperature) bath treatment [64].

There may be no constraining to winter swimming, even for therapeutic purposes, since it is being mentally ready that to a large extent predetermines the effectiveness of this method.

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