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Hands in or Hands out?

Discussion in 'Cold Thermogenesis' started by sfast, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. sfast

    sfast New Member

    Hi folks,

    I am progressing with my CT and fluctuating around the 20-30min at the moment. The water temperature is 32°F. So it is cold and perhaps colder than recommended but as I have just a barrel on my balcony I cannot regulate it properly. In winter, I am making a Wim Hof, meaning that I have a lot of ice.

    I have a problem with my hands. After a while they start to hurt which makes my progress slow down. Are there any disadvantages for keeping (just) the hands out of the water? I am thinking of the great density of receptors in the hands and their special role as sensors of the environment.

    Thanks for the help
  2. Danco3636

    Danco3636 Silver

    Your in freezing water 32°F for 20-30 minutes submerged? Is this in the AM or PM?
  3. sfast

    sfast New Member

    Yes. Just a bit of shoulders and the head are out because I am pretty tall.

    I do my CT second thing in the morning after my mobility and some movement practice. Which is around 6:30-6:45 AM
  4. Hi there, I am experiencing a similar problem with my hands. I am swimming every morning in an outdoor pond that is currently at 4 degrees Celsius and I am only managing to swim for 10 minutes because my fingers get really numb and painful. I see most of the other women swimming there wearing gloves and socks but I don't think I want to go down that path. I am hoping that my resilience will improve with repeated exposures but this hasn't happened just yet.
  5. Lahelada

    Lahelada New Member

    sfast likes this.
  6. Sue-UK

    Sue-UK New Member

    I keep my hands out, or sometimes dip my wrists in with my fingers stretched upwards. I'm never fully submerged to the top of the neck because of my bath set up, so I will sometimes splash exposed torso/leg parts with the cold water or dip them in and out and when my hands get too cold I warm them on my carotids, or massage my scalp and face. Cools them down and my hands warm up ... Win win ...:)
    Brent Patrick likes this.
  7. sfast

    sfast New Member

    Thanks for the links. I found them. But I am not referring to the practical issue of adapt them to the cold but rather to their role as one of the main sensors during ct. The question is: Is submerging the hands more important than a faster progress without them submerged?
    Lahelada likes this.
  8. Sue-UK

    Sue-UK New Member

    I don't currently think so .... My feeling is that as a bipedal mammal, in a natural environment, our feet adapt differently using the gradual lowering of temperature and light stimulus as the season changes to slowly adapt, including perhaps a change in the fat ratios in our "hooves." They become less sensitive to the cold, and help endurance.

    Being upright, not connected to the possibly frozen earth, there is less advantage to the hands, and more sensitivity there might have advantages, such as the collecting of food. A bipedal wading through cold water looking for food might be constantly dipping their hands in and out to harvest, but because its not chronic, they can retain sensitivity, and are still receiving information from the natural environment. Hands trailing in the water means faster heat loss and
    might mean less food harvesting time ...?
    sfast likes this.
  9. sfast

    sfast New Member

    Thanks for your reply, Sue.

    This is a good argument but I don't think it is valid. Now, we are bipedal. But we inherited many traits of our non-human ancestors. The spine is developed in the 3D-World of the water and still benefits from water like actions (e.g. spinal waves) and we can find residues of quadruple locomotion in our brain, which can explain, why quadruple locomotion is oddly beneficial in ones movement practice.

    I apply this thinking to the hands. Yes, we use them in a different way, but the question remains: Could it be oddly beneficial to adapt the hands while submerged in water? When we talk about cold adaption we no longer talk about being exposed to a natural environment. We talk about ice baths which is a artificial way to have a connection to nature again.
  10. Sue-UK

    Sue-UK New Member

    Quantum Biology 6 - Bipedalism has made me think differently about the hands compared to the feet.

    For me there is a "temperature window of opportunity" for cold adaptation for the hands, and that when the temperature drops to a certain level, and dependent on other environmental factors, the risks can outweigh the potential benefits. But its a constantly changing N=1. Shrinking my respiratory proteins and reducing inflammation systemically is more important to me. I aim to be outside in the water just before sunrise. I can tolerate 0C water with a clear sky and good view of the rising sun much better than 12C water under wall to wall cloud, the light makes a big difference, so I can't say I can tolerate xC for x minutes with hands submerged or not submerged, because it varies dependent on the environment as a whole. As a general rule I am much more observant of skin changes when the water temp goes below 5C, and more so if there is also a very cold wind. The only time I don't CT outside is in very strong winds which grounds even the larger birds, or during thunderstorms.

    On my second session this morning, just dipping my hands in and out of the water, I reached a point where I could see that from the knuckles to the fingertips were going white .... time to get out, before it gets painful (which could raise cortisol). Get out whilst I'm a woman in the cold not a cold woman. :) Had I kept them submerged, I would have been out much faster, and had I done it during the first session, I may not have got in for the second session 30 minutes later. So by not keeping my hands and feet submerged, I gained extra time in the water, keeping my spine submerged, and it was challenging without being stressful/painful. I think the spine is a better systemic environmental temperature sensor than the hands, particularly for women. In an icy wind, women will normally turn their backs to it, protecting their breasts. I've read that ice cold breasts can stop breast milk ... so in evolutionary terms this behaviour sort of makes sense, and because cold on the back stimulates BAT to generate heat, even more important because women generally have less muscle.
  11. sfast

    sfast New Member

    I think different context is important: I am a fit and healthy guy who doesn't want to fix broken health but to get after it. I don't mind the pain (up to a point of course). I am more on the antifragile road and not so into fixing fragilities.

    However, one could test the hypothesis we would need one group that cold adapts with hands submerged and one with the hands out. Afterwards, they have to be tested with hands out for comparison. I do both. I have two 24h-fasting days (only eating supper) and I do only approximately half of the duration I do on my normal days but with hands in. After I adopted this practice, my cold tolerance seemed to expand a bit faster.

    Of course, with hands out I am able to be in the cold for quite a bit longer. But this does not mean that the adaptions are better. Like in endurance training: Some adaptions are better when interval training even though you are reducing the overall training volume.
  12. drezy

    drezy New Member

    Good points but I fear that groups of people, all with different exposures nnEMF and degenerative issues, might still not match up with your own personal N=1.

    I'm in a similar boat as you as far as not having any obvious issues at this point, doing 24 hour fasting, and being a collector of Taleb books (presuming that you anti fragile reference comes from him).

    When you say "with hands out I am able to be in the cold for quite a bit longer" roughly how much time are you talking? I'll try out both alternatives and see what I notice. So far I've done hands in and out and usually just stay in for a 48 min timer.

    On a side note I once tried to rush dinner too soon after a hand-in CT session before my muscles loosened back up. I ended up slicing right into 1/10 of my left hand index finger knuckle. It should have gushed like wild, but instead I got a good look at what a dorsal digital artery was. The cut itself healed really quick too FWIW.
    caroline likes this.

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