Just this morning I was thinking whether I should do my winter ritual from last year—bathing in the snow. The snow here is freshly laid on the grown.
I must say that since I started practicing cold showers (and that is what I do for already 2 year), ailments of any kind started to drastically reduce. A simple seasonal cold that usually takes about 4/5 days to recover, my body recovers in just 1/2 days. Not to mention that my body barely gets sick anyway. I can’t be sure that both are entirely connected, but I presume shifting to a healthy (vegetarian) diet and entirely quitting alcohol and the occasional tobacco also contributed to this.
Anyway, to get back to the topic and to avoid a boasting tone, I can say from experience that cold showers can really be effective towards the body. And not also the body, but the mind as well, because you basically tell the mind who is the boss here. The mind will always say that it’s cold, that it’s extreme, that it’s just wrong, but like you say in your article, it takes only a few more moments of resistance, and then the whole body-mind constitution shifts form sirvuval mode to an i-can-do-it-more mode.
My biggest undertaking was entering into an ice-cold river during a winter night in Siberia. Now that is cold! Your body not only feels the extreme cold, but the whole skin surface start to hurt. But there is a magical moment, once you go outside the water. The body chemistry is chanced so much that once you are out, you feel very warm, although outside can be -10/-20. There is a a minute or two of euphoria and a state of well-being. I would say, 30 seconds in ice-cold river is worth the couple of minutes of feeling high. :)
Stay healthy, stay strong!