The 12th Invest in ME Conference, Part 1
OverTheHills presents the first article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME international Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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This helps me,,, but why

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Darran321, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. J.G


    Hey, thanks. I will consider that next time I struggle to muster the physical strength and/or resolve to take an icy cold shower. My trick so far – and this is going to sound weird – is to think of Niki Lauda. When that man was hospitalised in 1976 with half his complexion consumed by flames, coughing up the burned out lining of his longs while James Hunt was out there winning races, he swore to fight back. Six weeks later he was on the grid again. A year later he cinched his second world championship. If a man can survive all that, I can get my ass under that frigid beam. Dramatic, I know, but it works.

    From what I understand, for athletes to reap the benefits of ice baths, they need to totally submerge their bodies for some 2 minutes. I don’t know what bits of your body suffer from (hypothetical) lactate build-up most, but for me, the brain fog that builds with intellectual effort (as though my mind just “poops out” over time, usually <45mins even when feeling at my best) is by far the most irritating symptom of ME/CFS. (Besides feeling horrendously unwell >50% of the time, of course.) It stops any intellectual effort I try and make dead in its tracks. My point is: when I take icy showers, I try and give my head the full treatment on the assumption lactate is causing fogginess. An icepack might not cut it entirely (though I appreciate the suggestion!)

    Also, from what I read, to get that vagus nerve stimulus that helps the shift from “fight or flight” to “rest and digest”, it’s literally necessary to give oneself (mild) thermal shock. Yikes. Oddly, one does acclimate to taking icy showers. I’ve been doing this for 5-6 weeks now, and it definitely gets easier. The first couple of weeks I’d get this involuntary heavy breathing as my body panicked at the torrent of 10C water pouring down on it; nowadays I barely flinch. Odd, but true. Less positively, this acclimatisation also makes me worry that cold showers’ effects on the vagus nerve will eventually stop as the body adjusts to such exposure, but we’ll see.

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