Success Ritual #1, The Wake Up Shower
The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.
Did you ever see the customers in health-food stores? They are pale, skinny people who look half-dead. In a steakhouse, you see robust, ruddy people. They’re dying, of course, but they look terrific.
Not long ago, my friend Dr. Sara Gottfried stopped by Samovar Tea Lounge. She’d been busy writing, traveling, promoting her new book, The Hormone Cure: Reclaim Balance, Sleep, Sex Drive and Vitality Naturally with the Gottfried Protocol. It’s a great book.
I’m not the only one who likes it. Her book is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Bestseller — no small feat!
As we talked, our conversation naturally turned to tips and tricks for keeping life in balance.
I was curious about how hormones affect men. What hormones should I be concerned about? What could I improve?
We had a fun conversation, but simply didn’t have enough time. Afterwards, I made two commitments:
1. I would learn more about the power of hormones and use my daily rituals to achieve the right balance,
2. I’d get Sara back to Samovar for a followup chat soon! (Want to join us? Read on for details.)
My daily rituals
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing my personal success rituals. These are the daily habits I’ve cultivated to not only survive, but to thrive, in the stressful world of entrepreneurship. These rituals have been critical for turning a business plan that was rejected by 71 banks (thanks again bank #72!) into a thriving San Francisco institution serving literally millions of cups of tea to customers around the world.
With three locations and more than 100 employees, I can’t leave my well-being to chance. Having an automatic sequence of personal success rituals to guide me means that I can be at peak performance — without having to think about it.
So how do I start my day?
The best part of waking up, is… A testosterone-boosting cold shower.
I take a tip from James Bond and start my day with a cold shower, what I call a Wake-Up Shower.
The blast of cold can be a shock at first, but after a while it feels completely natural. I’m so accustomed to the jolt of energy and mental clarity now, that I crave the cold finish.
Don’t think a cold shower is for you? Not only do cold showers boost testosterone, a critical sex hormone, but the complete benefits of a cold shower also read like a miracle cure. (Keep in mind that I’m not a doctor. Please check with a professional for specific need medical advice.) To help you overcome your resistance, here’s a brief list of eight ways a cold shower can help you feel great.
Fight Colds And Sickness: Cold showers stress the body causing it to upregulate our systems in a healthy way. Research shows enhanced long-term antioxidative adaptation, an increase in the number and activity of peripheral cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Since the 1800’s cold showers and baths were prescribed to help fight sickness. Even the Greeks, with their hot baths, maintained cold pools for their healing benefit. Exposure to cold water will eventually trigger hypothermia, though. Keep it to less than 10 minutes to avoid the risk and maximize the reward.
Improve Circulation: Your blood flows into your internal organs while you sleep to support repair and regeneration. Start with a warm shower to warm up your muscles. Then switch the dial to full-on cold for a blast of nature’s own wake-up remedy. Capillaries on the surface of your skin will dilate, becoming large and pulling blood from your core to your extremities to warm them up. When you’ve had enough, turn the dial back to warm. Take a moment to stop shouting and regain your composure. Then switch back to cold for what is called a “contrast bath.” Fans of this method claim it keeps them looking younger and feeling healthier. Just remember to end on cold!
Burn Fat: Not only does taking cold showers stimulate overall metabolic rate while you burn calories to get warm, but it can boost blood glucose which in turn suppresses appetite. While the cold water washes down your shoulders, your body will start producing more brown fat cells, fat cells specialized to burn glucose stored in your white fat cells. Not only that, brown fat cells have been shown to protect from aging, fight obesity, fight diabetes, and help fight heart disease. Still not convinced? Pick up a copy of The 4-Hour Body and read the chapter on NASA scientist Ray Cronise who lost 30 pounds — of fat, not weight — in just six weeks through a regimen of drinking cold water, cold walks, and cold swims.
Live Longer: The mild stress caused by the cold shower encourages thermogenesis, the process of heat production in warm-blooded animals. About two or three minutes after the the initial shock, you’ll feel the process kick in as your inner fire begins to cook. Thermogenesis is a powerful response known to increase immunity, reduce pain, reduce stress, fight depression, boost anti-tumor responses and fight chronic fatigue syndrome. Over time, regular use of cold showers can lower core body temperature which some people believe can extend expected lifespan in humans by decades.
Feel Happier: If you’re feeling depressed you might have trouble summoning the energy to jump into a cold shower. On the other hand, it couldn’t get worse, and a recent study has shown cold showers may help fight and even prevent depression. Cold showers stimulate your brain’s “blue spot,” which in turns releases noradrenaline, a chemical believed to alleviate depression.
Look More Youthful: While hot water is known to dry out skin and hair, cold water contracts cuticles and pores. This keeps them from getting clogged, preventing acne and blemishes. Plus it contributes to detoxification by squeezing toxins and waste from the skin. By closing cuticles, you are also keeping hair roots strong which slows hair loss. The result is vibrant, fresh, youthful looking skin.
Have Better Sex: Contrary to conventional wisdom, if you or your honey is having trouble rising to the occasion, a cold shower can actually help. Low levels of testosterone can result in problems achieving and sustaining an erection. Low testosterone can also play a role in low sex-drive in women. The good news is that a cold shower is a natural way to boost this critical hormone. Not only does it help in the bedroom, but the cold showers also help testes regulate optimum temperature, increasing sperm motility and overall virility.
Fight Fear, Build Courage: How much energy do you spend trying to surround yourself with personal comforts? By intentionally exposing yourself to discomfort you disarm anxiety and fear. Every time you turn the shower dial to cold, you are flexing your courage muscles, building confidence in your ability to confront uncomfortable situations. As you become more comfortable in the cold shower, you become more comfortable facing adversity with courage.
How To Get Started With Wake-Up Showers
Are you ready to give it a try? The benefits are well worth the initial surprise!
Warm. Start your shower with warm water.
Wash. Wash your body, hair, and rinse.
Hot. Gradually increase the heat until you feel like you’re melting.
Cold. Then, take a slow, deep breath and turn the dial to 100% cold.
Relax. Try to stay relaxed, breathing calmly while you rinse your head, armpits, chest, back and groin.
Enjoy. Spend at least 10 seconds the first time. The goal is to eventually spend from one to three minutes in the cold.
Bonus: Try a contrast bath by alternating hot and cold. Just remember to end on cold!
Wake-up showers are great because they are so easy to do. Start small. Just pick one day this week–tomorrow perhaps–to try it. Next week, pick two days. Every week, add another day. Within a couple months you’ll be feeling healthier and more energized than ever.
After you’ve given it a try, let me know how it worked.
Join Me For Tea With Dr. Sara Gottfried
Would you like a chance to join Sara and me for tea later this month?
Dr. Sara Gottfried is coming back to Samovar — and you’re invited.
Join Sara and me as we drink tea and talk about how to live a “sexy, ripe & delicious life at any age.” Savor a cup of Samovar tea while we discuss reclaiming balance, improving sleep, jumpstarting your sex drive and boosting vitality — naturally.
This is a unique opportunity. You’ll have a chance to ask us anything you want. It’s an intimate conversation and a fireside chat.
As a special thank you, one participant will be chosen at random to win the Samovar Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Tea (video series).
Seating is limited to 60 and we expect to sell out. If you are interested, please purchase your ticket today.
Would you like to receive discounts on our live events, access to limited edition tea and other offers available just to insiders? Enter your email to join the Samovar Insiders list.