Four months ago I changed my daily routine tremendously by adding a morning shock strategy to my physical system. After four months of not missing out on my procedures and with disciplined dedication in using myself as subject to my tests, I have finally achieved a point where I can compile an adequate interpretation. Nevertheless, due to limited time and measuring tools/practices, the ASTONISHING results obtained can only be considered anecdotal. However, even if they were entirely placebo, the matter of fact is that I have COMPLETELY resolved three big limitations my Sjogren's Syndrome was still upsetting me with.
What am I talking about?
Remember when back in November 2018 I wrote the very first post on how a daily cold shower therapy had improved tremendously on my energy levels (that due to my Sjogren's was to an extent debilitating and impacted on my quality of life), especially after 6 PM? If you don't, please check the original post HERE. In reality, Sjogren's Syndrome patients state tiredness/fatigue, nausea and reduced alertness has three of the commonest symptoms affecting their daily performance. For me, personally, alertness has never been a problem. However, for a person like myself that has always played football and exercised to a great level, the limitations imposed by Sjogren's on my energy levels were tremendously. Add to that the fact that I am the father of two very young children who extract from me the fuel my reservoir must contain to actively participate in their growth, education and well-being.
After reading and watching so much about the Wim Hoff Method, I designed my own strategy soon after consulting additional literature on immune system modulation, by means of shock thermal therapy. The initial results vaguely reported this last November 2018 were impressive, as my strategy had resulted perfectly. Driven by such incredible results, I decided to go the extra mile and defined a more dedicated program that helped me achieve even more incredible ones.
What was the objective?
My uttermost objective was to reduce or eliminate tiredness and fatigue I was reporting on a daily basis, especially after 6 PM and that were occurring regardless of my metabolic discipline and dietary constraints.
In what consisted my personal program?
One must know itself and understand to what limits one's body can be taken without generating iatrogenic effects that can be detrimental to one's health, and that might also contradict the improvement desired. In that sense, for about two/three weeks in November 2019 I had been following the Wim Hoff Method by applying his breathing methodology followed by a warm shower (with the duration of 5 minutes) and finally a shocking cold shower for no longer than 25 seconds (in the first three days), 60 seconds (in the following 3 days) and then 90 seconds thereafter. Even though some of the literature states the duration of the applied cold shower does not impact in the outcome , I had my doubts. In that sense I decided to gradually increase length of exposure to cold as it would also allow me to stay committed and learn with my own limitations, as I gained experience.
By then, and after three weeks I was a rejuvenated man. No kidding!!! I felt extremely energetic on a daily basis and the intense fatigue and tiredness I was going through in the evening was no more.
My current personal program:
However, I wanted to be sure that the extremely impressive results I had gone through weren't just a hype of the moment. So I decided to carry this program for an additional 3 months in order to better understand its impact. In addition, because the breathing part wasn't something I could be so dedicated to, on a daily basis, due to domestic and work obligations that regularly force me to very limited available time, I decided to abandon the breathing part and focus entirely on the cold shower therapy. Thus, I simplified the protocol to something that can be applied by any Sjogren's patient at home; nevertheless please bear this disclaimer in mind, it is important to be aware of your medical condition (especially cardiovascular issues) and to be sure that at all times you are either supervised or help's at reach, especially at an initial stage. I do not advocate what I have achieved, as medical treatment. This is a personal discovery that HAS CHANGED MY LIFE!
Everyday I take a warm shower for about four minutes (with soap and all that jazz involved). Right after I take a freezing cold shower for an additional two minutes by starting gradually by my feet, going up the legs, then hips, torso and head. It takes me 30 seconds to get to the head. That basically means all my body will be completely 'touched' by freezing cold water for at least 90 seconds thereafter.
And that's it!
Now the best part! I haven't had any tiredness, fatigue OR NAUSEA (yes, you read right!, as I was affected by intense nausea every single evening of my days since diagnosed with Sjogren's or even a little before that). NOTHING! I MEAN ZERO... FOR REAL!!!! Never again have I experienced that sense of incredibly intense will to just stop. I feel invigorated, rejuvenated and am currently attending two fitness classes a week at my local gym (aerobics on Mondays and fitness pump on Thursday) with the duration of 1 hour each. Do you think I get tired after these? No way, I want more and more and more. And this has been the trend for the past 3 months.
Nausea was a constant issue back in 2018. Never again had I any concerns about it. I haven't missed a single day of my cold shower therapy and nausea has just vanished from my life. I hope never to come back.
We're all different people and maybe my Sjogren's is not as harsh and tough as someone else's, however I did my research and found the solution for my energy problem. If clinicians consider it placebo, which I pretty much doubt as I presented enough scientific literature last time to validate this methodology,... So be it. If placebo works for me, it is in its own nature a great remedy for an issue that can be quite debilitating. With this very simple approach I corrected my own systems and improved so much that I can't believe why I hadn't tried it myself way earlier.
The number of available articles on hydrotherapy is incredibly good for you to go out there and do your own literature research. But I found a wonderful article (I honestly advise you to read it) that debates on the impact of water immersion under different temperatures  where one of the cited articles states that "regular winter swimming significantly decreased tension, fatigue, memory, and mood negative state points with the duration of swimming period; significantly increased vigor-activity scores; relieved pain who suffered from rheumatism, fibromyalgia, or asthma; and improved general well-being in swimmers" .
Mooventhan and Nivethitha (2014) also debate partially something that might possibly explain why it is important to shower the whole body, especially letting the water pour from above the waste line. In this article, two additional articles are cited when the authors state that "Walking in water at umbilical level increases the activity of erector spinae and activates rectus femoris" [4, 5], respectively the back muscles that extend the vertebral column and the thigh/hip inter-crossed muscles. So I think that if you also have the chance to do it at a pool , there might be some additional benefits there. Bear in mind muscle physiology is not my immediate science, I must say. Nonetheless, what we observe here is muscle stimulation, and that is primordial for achieving increased energy levels and better mobility.
In terms of having made nausea absent from my life, this was an unexpected plus from my experiment. But one that I am so happy to have mastered now :) I actually found some information that can indicate a reasoning behind cold showers eliminating nausea in Sjogren's. My suspicion is that it has immediately to do with the endocrine system, but until I find scientific consubstantiation I prefer not to come up with theories that could be simply wrong or distracting from the actual reason.
Regardless of improvements on energy levels, having eliminated fatigue and tiredness altogether, and made nausea disappear from my life, literature out there states that cold shower therapies do not induce modifications of inflammatory and hematological markers. I do not immediately hold the screening tools to validate that, but at least I'll have a punctual opportunity to see that, as well as any other Sjogren's patient, during annual check-ups.
I hope this article does indeed help you regain control of your life has it has done with mine.
The Toxicologist Today
 Buijze, G. A., Sierevelt, I. N., van der Heijden, B. C. J. M. et al (2016). "The effect of cold showering on health, and work: A randomized Controlled Trial". PLOS ONE, 13(8), pp. 1-15.
 Mooventhan, A., Nivethitha, L. (2014). "Scientific Evidence-Based Effects of Hydrotherapy on Various Systems of the Body". N AM J Med Sci, 6(5), pp. 199-209.
 Huttunen, P., Kokko, L., Ylijukuri, V. (2004). "Winter swimming improves general well-being". Int J Circumpolar Health, 63(2), pp. 140-144.
 Bleakley, C. M., Davison, G. W. (2010). "What is the biochemical and physiological rationale for using cold-water immersion in sports recovery? A systematic review". Br J Sports Med, 44, pp. 179–187.
 Bleakley, C., McDonough, S., Gardner, E., Baxter, G. D., Hopkins, J. T., Davison, G. W. (2012). "Cold-water immersion (cryotherapy) for preventing and treating muscle soreness after exercise". Cochrane Database Syst Rev.
Post image by Alexei Scutari on Unsplash.