• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Nicole Alderman
stewards:
  • Mike Haasl
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • John F Dean
  • Rob Lineberger
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • Ash Jackson
  • Jordan Holland

How Does One Make Showers Less Unpleasant?

 
Posts: 87
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I too, hated hot weather and humid conditions. Then I moved to a country where it was both very hot and very humid. I NEVER once talked myself into thinking I couldn't stand it. I became heat tolerant. I never ever used my AC even though it was there and available. Cold showers were available because the water was never really cold - cool showers were taken.

I firmly believe that one can condition themselves, a type of personal brainwashing, into being physically intolerant of certain things. I do not deny that there could be physical conditions for some that make them unable to do certain things but we all know how deeply we are conditioned throughout our lives to accept what those who came before have told us.

Try talking permaculture or even a different style of gardening to folks who have done it the "family" way for many years.

 
gardener
Posts: 703
Location: SoCal USA
142
cat dog trees wofati composting toilet bike solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Low-Tech Magazine has an article about a kit to convert a shower into a mist shower, so at least you're using a tiny fraction of the water and related energy to heat it, for just as effective result: https://solar.lowtechmagazine.com/2019/10/mist-showers-sustainable-decadence.html

Bonus, that link is for their off-grid, solar-powered web site, which runs on a server using less than 5 watts of power and dithered images to reduce the page sizes by 80% on average. More info about that at https://solar.lowtechmagazine.com/about.html

I think a "sweat bath" in a dry sauna could be a nice option when it's cold, or with a bowl of water for a sponge bath. I can imagine having a greenhouse next to the house, with a sauna between them, and when you finish you open the door to the greenhouse to help heat it on cold winter nights.
 
Posts: 350
Location: London, UK
73
personal care medical herbs ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am not keen on having a shower in winter....and that's with my ability to heat the room up a bit!  I get round it (make it more bearable) by carrying out some physically demanding work beforehand (e.g. maybe a chore you've avoided tackling) so the thought of shedding my clothes is more palatable.
 
Posts: 36
Location: Mendocino County, California, 9a
6
hugelkultur forest garden trees bee solar greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just workout really hard before you shower.  I actually shower with cold because when I jump in I'm so hot.  If the shock of cold is too much at first I excessively shiver with my whole body while running in place and breath hard through fish lips for 10 seconds and I'm good.  Then I dance while I'm showering.

In fact, muscle recovery is known to be faster and pain is lower if one gets cold af and dances after working out!

Here's a studies findings on the cold immersion benefits aspect:

"8.1.2Practical implications
The  findings  of  this  study suggests  that  if  there  is  sufficient  time  between  sessions (>48  hours),  and  muscular  power  functions  are  of  primary  importance,  recovery interventions  may  offer  athletes  minimal  benefits  in  recovery  over  no  recovery intervention. However, the present data suggests that cold water immersion may be the  best  option  if  coaches  are  concerned  about  the  impact  of  leg  muscle  soreness (DOMS).  If  an  athlete's  approach  to  subsequent  games  and/or  training  while suffering  with  leg  muscle  soreness  is  compromised,  then  the  use  of  cold  water immersion may be an appropriate recovery intervention. In  addition,  if  athletes  are  required  to  perform  multiple  repeat  effort  activities  and there is insufficient time to recover (<48hours) between games and/or training, then the  recovery  intervention  of  cold  water  immersion  offers  more  to  the  athlete  in attenuating  the  effects  of  DOMS,  attenuating  decrements  in  game  related  repeated efforts, players‟ subjective perceptions of tasks, and hastening the return of power in comparison to either passive recovery or contrast water baths.For  players  in  Rugby  Union  aiming  to  attenuate  the  effects  of  fatigue  from  multiple high-intensity sessions, the present study‟s protocol for cold water immersions, of 2 X 5 minute baths at 10°C, should be applied immediately after the game. Further, it should  be  noted  that  this  research  demonstrates  that  contrast  baths  are  less effective  as  a  recovery  modality  than  either  cold  water  immersion  or  passive recovery  with  subjective  measures  of  muscle  pain  and  fatigue,  and  should  be discontinued as a recovery protocol."


Higgins, T. R. (2015). Evaluation of cold water immersion and contrast water therapy for recovery with well-trained team sportathletes: Rugby Union (Thesis, Australian Catholic University). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.4226/66/5a9cc0adb0ba8
 
pollinator
Posts: 359
Location: Southern Germany
175
kids books urban chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts bee
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There are some very good strategies already mentioned.

For me, showering is too much of a pleasure and I have to be disciplined to not extend it too long.

Regarding "feeling cold":

I have the luxury to live in a well-insulated house and even if the heat is not turned on in the bathroom, the room is pleasantly warm from the boiler room below and the shower has doors. I even open the window slightly to let the steam out (to prevent mold in the house).
I have problems with low blood pressure and often feel cold, so my strategies are:
Have a nice hot shower, then turn the water to cold. I take off the shower head (common in Germany) and direct the cold water to all extremities. All in all less than a minute.
Then I take the towel which is quite stiff because of our hard water and dry myself very briskly in the closed shower cabin.

By that time I am quite warm and slip into my clothes.

There is even a German term for this temperature switching called "Wechselduschen" (alternate showering). Germans, especially elderly Germans, love all kinds of cold water stuff like "Kneipp treatments" sauna and stuff (my parents dragged me to sauna as a kid already). My great aunt who lived to 102 washed herself with ice cold water every morning.

Not sure how helpful this really is, but on days when I skip the hot-cold shower I have problems to get my "motor" running and feel more cold than usual. Taking a bath in a tub is a no-no for me, both for the effects of making me lethargic and not wanting to leave the tub ever and feeling VERY cold once I leave it, and because of ensuing IU infections. So showering is the thing.

 
pollinator
Posts: 562
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
151
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Does it have to be a shower?  Can it be a wash instead?

(I should mention I'm both poo-less and soap-less;  I only wash with water.  It helps that I only wash my hair once or twice a month too--again, water only;  if necessary I'd wash it separately, fully clothed and standing over the bathroom sink, first thing in the morning.)

We haven't had heating or hot water for a week (and will be waiting at least another week before getting our boiler fixed).  I'm not taking cold showers, and having a wash in the cold bathroom--the draftiest room in our house--is also not working!  So.  I'm taking a sponge bath every night in my own bedroom, next to a space heater we borrowed off a neighbour:  

*I drape my pajamas over the heater which is next to my bed (obviously make sure this is not a fire hazard).  
*I spread my towel on the bed.  
*I boil the kettle:  enough water to give me about two inches in a small bucket/basin, and get a clean washcloth.  
*I sit down naked on the towel with the temperature-appropriate wash bucket and vigorously wash myself with the dampened cloth, starting at my face and working my way downwards.  

I'm sure this method would work for people who use soap:  in this case I'd have a soapy bucket and a rinse bucket, and first wash over with the soapy water and after with the rinse water.  Possibly two washcloths too.

When I'm done, my towel is ready to dry me off (usually only my legs and feet), and my warm pajamas are ready for me.  In all honesty, this is much more pleasant than a hot shower this time of year!  I too, dislike getting out of a shower into a cold room, which is pretty standard for wintertime in our house--I generally prefer a bath which warms both me and the room up...and I've had to forgo baths anyway this winter because I'm hugely pregnant and can't get up and down.  Maybe I'll continue washing this way until I'm free to bathe again.
 
G Freden
pollinator
Posts: 562
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
151
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Summer Morning by Carl Larsson
 
master gardener
Posts: 3430
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
1249
duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So few people "sponge bath" as we call G Freden's technique in Canada, that I thought I'd add one caution - always do peri-care (the crotch) last. Do anything really dirty, second to last (my feet in my case!) If you can't use a clean cloth every time, make sure it dries completely between uses (preferably in the sun, as the UV also kills bacteria).

We have lots of perfectly symbiotic microbes on our skin, so we shouldn't be anal about it (yeah - bad pun), but let's try to keep the bad guys contained so we stay healthy.

Jokes aside, I had to help my sister with this procedure when she had serious abdominal surgery last year and simply couldn't manage independently. She wasn't allowed to shower due to massive incisions. It's worth knowing a little about it.
 
master gardener
Posts: 2103
Location: southern Illinois.
508
goat cat dog chicken composting toilet food preservation bee solar wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a pretty small bathroom. When I close the door, the hot water from the shower heats it up pretty quickly.
 
Mark Brunnr
gardener
Posts: 703
Location: SoCal USA
142
cat dog trees wofati composting toilet bike solar
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I recall a great series of medieval fantasy books called The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (a truly outstanding series of books by the way, I can't recommend them enough!), where a nomadic desert culture would use sweat tents to bathe, as water was too scare to use it for washing. The men and women would strip down and sit in a small tent set up just like a sauna and sweat, and I think scrape a bit with specially shaped stones.

I could see having a small sauna space set up, maybe 6' by 6', where you could heat up masonry and pour some water on it to make some steam, and sweat while washing with a washcloth? Or have that chilly shower nearby, and you heat up to sweating, then jump in the cold shower as long as you can tolerate, then go back to the sauna to warm back up? Maybe that gives you the core temp shock that the ice swimming does?
 
Too many men are afraid of being fools - Henry Ford. Foolish tiny ad:
Rocket Mass Heater Manual - now free for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/8/rmhman
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic