Besides making the landscape beautiful, snow has a less known attractive quality, namely that of being a great medicine. If used consistently and correctly, snow can be exceptional for cleansing and invigorating the body and increasing immunity to diseases.
Even when weather conditions are not very friendly, it is possible to turn a disadvantage into advantage. Snow and cold can be healing factors when used regularly and correctly. More specifically, controlled exposure to cold and snow may become very useful in fighting various diseases. By its thermal effect, snow is a powerful anti-inflammatory, a tonic for the skin, and it also calms itching and rashes. Combined with exercise and heat, snow is an exceptional regulator of peripheral circulation and an effective stimulant of the immune system. Here’s how to take advantage of this free product of the winter and use its healing qualities:
Walking barefoot in the snow prevents urinary cystitis and infections, including even recurrent or chronic cases. It also helps prevent rheumatic flares, circulatory insufficiency in the feet and vascular disease in the legs. Moreover, those who suffer from cold in winter are advised to walk barefoot in the snow regularly in order to prevent crises of sciatica and digestive disorders caused by low temperatures.
The procedure: simply walk in the snow barefoot (no socks either!) for 30-40 seconds. Put on your footwear, then walk a few hundred meters at a brisk pace, pressing your feet hard to the ground, so that you get your blood circulating. After just 10 minutes you will experience the first beneficial effects: your feet will become very warm, your body will warm up very pleasantly, and you will feel refreshed. Repeat the procedure 2-3 times a week, progressively increasing the duration of the barefoot walk up to 3 minutes.
Hand rubbing with snow
Rubbing your hands with snow improves circulation and increases resistance to cold, thus improving reflexes and preventing frostbites. The treatment increases the immunity of the skin on the palms, which is recommended as an adjuvant effective against certain infections and eczema. Those who suffer from dry and chapped skin because of the cold should also rub almond, sesame or grape seed oil into their hands.
The procedure: rub your hands with snow for 1-2 minutes. Put on warm gloves immediately and wriggle your fingers and circle your wrists to improve circulation. In just a few minutes, your fingers and palms will warm up and lost sensitivity due to contact with the snow will be regained.
Snow and ice compresses
Snow and ice compresses have soothing, anti-inflammatory and anesthetic effect on the skin and are recommended for fighting itching and burning, herpes, eczema and various infections of the skin. Snow and ice compresses are also indicated in cases of bruising and sprains. In the latter case, place snow or ice in a plastic bag, and keep it on the affected area for at least one hour.
The procedure: place a handful of snow or a piece of ice onto the affected area (you may cover the skin with a sheet of plastic), and leave it on for 5-10 minutes, then remove and allow the area to dry. If necessary, the procedure can be repeated after 10 minutes. It is recommended that the application should not be done outdoors in the cold, as it can cause pain, frostbite or hypothermia.
Treatment with snow is not recommended for people suffering from diseases such as acute viral respiratory infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, severe circulatory disorders, or those who are just recovering from an illness. Persons who are very sensitive to cold should be treated for shorter periods of time to avoid hypothermia. In very cold days, especially if it’s windy, snow shouldn’t be applied directly onto the skin, as there is a danger of frostbite.