Tempering

Hello all- this is my first post!
Recently I learned about a practice called tempering (named after the metallurgical technique) in which you submerge your body in cold to near-freezing water. The 'In Search of the Miraculous' podcast mentions that Gurdjieff poured a bucket of cold water over his head triggering his first experience of self-remembering. Cold-climate peoples have been practicing tempering as part of a daily ritual for generations. In contrast to the benefits of the conventional hot bath/shower the purported health benefits of tempering are enormous:

1.It stabalizes blood pressure.
2.It strengthens the immune system.
3.It causes release of endorphins (causes felling of well-being; natural pain-killer)
4.Increases muscle tone.
5.Speeds up metabolism.
6.(Obviously,)Increases resistence to cold.

Maybe the endorphins have something to do with the self-remembering?

http://www(dot)associatedcontent.com/article/43477/cold_water_therapy_cold_showers_arent.html
http://www(dot)powerathletesmag.com/pages/tempering.htm
 

Renaissance

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
In the beginning of 'Meetings with Remarkable Men' Gurdjieff also mentions that when he was a young child, his father used to wake him early in the morning and take him to a fountain where he would splash him with cold water mercilessly.

I just started trying out this 'tempering' about a week ago by taking cold showers. It was quite difficult the first couple of times but now I'm actually becoming fascinated with the results, and looking forward to them. It looks like there are different forms: using cold buckets of water, swimming in the ocean or a lake, or cold showers. For me, the shower works best (in terms of practicality). You can start by getting into lukewarm water to get wet; then step out and turn the water cold; wet face hands and feet; then go all in and wait for your body to warm up - usually close to a minuet. You can build up time as you progress. The point is to get your automatic nervous system to turn on. Doing this regularly seems to have a bunch of health benefits. Since I've started, I definitely feel more alert and encountering less to none of that 'groggish-sludge' feeling that is common in the mornings and throughout the day.

I've come across warnings for those with certain health conditions - so it's good to read up on it first if you want to try it.
 

Craig

Jedi Master
Really interesting stuff.

Cold water doesn’t just trigger the autonomic nervous system, it also causes cytokines and similar substances in the body to be released. Cytokines and those other substances are essentially like hormones, and their triggered release is thought to improve the body’s immune system. Several studies have found that patients who underwent cold water therapy actually experienced an increase in levels of white blood cells, which are used to stem off disease.

As if that weren’t enough, consider also that cold water stimulates the body to release endorphins. Endorphins are those hormones that not only give you that "runner’s high" after any kind of intense workout (including sex), but also are key in fighting off pain. In essence, endorphins are the body’s own natural pain relievers and, unlike certain pharmaceutical companies, the body doesn’t charge you an arm and a leg to use them.
If endorphins are related to self-remembering, then it parallels the medicinal benefits alchemists ascribed to the philosophers stone/elixir. Now read what Gurdjieff wrote in Life is Real Only Then, When "I Am" (Fifth Talk):

For the correct understanding of the significance of this first assisting exercise, it is first of all necessary to know that when a normal man, that is, a man who already has his real I, his will, and all the other properties of a real man, pronounces aloud or to himself the words "I am," then there always proceeds in him, in his, as it is called, "solar plexus," a so to say "reverberation," that is, something like a vibration, a feeling, or something of the sort.

This kind of reverberation can proceed also in other parts of his body in general, but only on the condition that, when pronouncing these words, his attention is intentionally concentrated on them.

If the ordinary man, not having as yet in himself data for the natural reverberation but knowing of the existence of this fact, will, with conscious striving for the formation in himself of the genuine data which should be in the common presence of a real man, correctly and frequently pronounce these same and for him as yet empty words, and will imagine that this same reverberation proceeds in him, he may thereby ultimately through frequent repetition gradually acquire in him-self a so to say theoretical "beginning" for the possibility of a real practical forming in himself of these data.

He who is exercising himself with this must at the beginning, when pronouncing the words "I am," imagine that this same reverberation is already proceeding in his solar plexus.

Here, by the way, it is curious to notice that as a result of the intentional concentration of this reverberation on any part of his body, a man can stop any disharmony which has arisen in this said part of the body, that is to say, he can for example cure his headache by concentrating the reverberation on that part of the head where he has the sensation of pain.
I've been experimenting with this for two years; it worked the first time and continues to do so. The only difference though is that it doesn't cure it. The pain relief is instantaneous as long as I can hold my attention on the aching place - get a good sensation of it - and imagine that feeling of lightness/airiness (an "inner smile" so to speak) opening out like a flower. Perhaps this is the difference between an ordinary man and a real man; the latter has all the qualities necessary for a cure (attention and intensity of feeling) developed within himself.

It'd be good if some others would try this and report back.
 

JonnyRadar

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
up here in the northern country, it's a fairly regular practice in the winter to take a sauna and then run out and dive into the snow. lake superior serves the same purpose (sort of) in the summer as the water hovers around 55 degrees F. the shock of the difference in temperature does have many health benefits, blood flow and immunity being the main ones as far as i know. we also have an event called "polar bears" where, during the winter, a hole is cut in the ice and stalwart locals take a quick dip.

i have not tried either of these practices in relation to self-remembering though, it sounds like a very interesting way to do it.

thanks for the post kesdjan! as it's summer, polar bears and snow are out of the question, but i will try this in lake superior and report back on the results.
 
By golly we've got it!

The cold showering, and the "I am" (stimulating the vagus nerve) it's all there for us to use.

This is what prompted me to join the forum , I told Scott that I was pretty sure that I had found a way to make cold showering less painful and that it had to be shared with others.

Stimulate the vagus nerves (in my case during normal showering), then switch to cold showering. By the time you switch to cold your in the zone (vagus nerves stimulated from vibrational (I am ) breathing).

11°C or 51.8°F for 10 Min's since the August C's session if I'm remembering correctly. ;)

I workout and the improvements in my muscles are off the charts as I can see a lot of gain every week. I think some are thinking that I might be juicing. HA! Not bad for my age let me tell ya.
 
The above link doesn't seem to work anymore so here's one more:

http://alliancemartialarts.com/cold2.htm

"Here were people who thought *knife fighting* was a normal thing, but a bucket of cold water was somehow "too far out!" Oooooh, scary stuff, kids!

Others tried it, or claimed to, but failed in the end because they made it into a tough man "extreme bathing" sort of thing. They missed the point. This is not about you being tough because you do this. You must surrender those sort of thoughts. In the face of nature, on a below freezing night with high winds and snow, you are not so big and tough. You must be just another part of nature if you are to survive; but even in these conditions, you can be calm, peaceful, and warm inside while standing naked to the elements.

This again is not an issue of mind over matter as some like to say ("If you don't mind, it doesn't matter"). You are not "toughing it out" in the sense of resistance to the situation. It is only when you absolutely surrender to the moment that you can find the calm center in the storm. That center is always with you, but you must find it. The snow, the water, the cold is just a pathway to that place. Like all things they are illusions and they are fleeting. Even as you pour the water you know it will end; you can only experience it"
 

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:perfect:

I just returned from getting my yearly health exam for insurance purposes. The nurse told me that my body temperature is 96.4... :thup: I could have taken my temperature at home but really never thought to do so. I even kinda forgot about the reason for the cold showering (virus replication and Ebola). We've been told that cold protocol can help so I just went with that advice knowing that others on the forum would follow through also :cool2:

In hindsite I would of ask for a better analysis of my blood work (white blood cell count), but I neglected to do so. Oh well... that would have been interesting if I had.
 
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