Epiphany bathing is the oldest tradition of the Russian people, although, according to some reports, it is not Orthodox, contrary to popular beliefs. This custom was born in 988 during the baptism of Russia. It was then that dipping into the sacred waters of the river acquired the meaning of cleansing from sins. Although in fact, according to all the clergy, baptismal bathing does not cleanse anyone from sins, and indeed is not a Christian custom. To plunge into the hole or not to plunge is a personal matter for everyone. Christianity calls to attend a service, put a candle in the temple and collect blessed water.
Doctors' opinion on this matter also fluctuates from positive to strictly negative. The rational grain in this tradition is as follows. You should prepare in advance for swimming in ice water on a frosty day: it is not necessary to pray daily, but it would be useful to temper yourself. Inveterate "walruses" recommend starting swimming in open water from October, when the water temperature is approximately 15°C. The time spent in the water should also be increased gradually: starting with a few seconds to dip, andending with swims of 50-100 meters. If you do not have the opportunity to dip in open water, pour cold water at home, gradually lowering its temperature. It is also useful to wipe yourself with snow on the street in winter.
- It should be borne in mind that before starting all these procedures, you MUST consult a doctor and it is advisable to undergo a series of examinations, since there are many contraindications: heart and vascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, oncological diseases, immunity disorders, chronic inflammatory processes in the body, gynecological and psychiatric ailments and many others. Diving into cold water for people with the above diseases is fraught with serious complications, up to a heart attack, stroke, and even sudden respiratory arrest, which will lead to death.
- Epiphany bathing is also contraindicated in the presence of even the slightest signs of a cold at the moment. Otherwise, you risk ending up in the hospital with serious pneumonia. Yes, yes, the fact that people swimming in the hole on Epiphany holidays do not get sick is a myth!
- Bathing in ice water and alcohol are incompatible. Not before, not after, not in any way. This is explained by the fact that cold water is already a serious stress for the body, and alcohol will increase the load on the heart and blood vessels. If you really need to drink for courage, it is better not to bathe.
- It's not worth it, having seen enough of the "exploits" of friends, the first time to dive into the hole with a running start and with your head, and then, getting out, flaunt, walking around in swimming trunks andbarefoot in the snow, otherwise Baptism will again end with pneumonia for you. It is wiser to plunge up to your throat for a few seconds, after doing an active warm-up, and getting out, first of all, wipe your body dry, rubbing it to redness, put on a warm terry bathrobe and be sure to put on shoes. Then drink hot tea, herbal tea is better, and try to be on the move all the time - do not stand in one place.
- Bathing children in the hole at Epiphany is a topic for a separate, very serious conversation. Here opinions differ even more radically. So, pediatricians express
- However, the experience of many families and organizations shows that a reasonable approach to hardening allows children to plunge into the hole almost from birth, while strengthening the immune system and preventing the development of various diseases, such as vegetative-vascular disorders. Of course, it should be borne in mind that children require even more serious preparation for swimming than adults, but the recommendations remain the same.
the opinion of all official Western medicine, which says: it is recommended to start winter swimming no earlier than 15-16 years old, when the body is already getting stronger. Considering that children have undeveloped immunity, and small and completely imperfect thermoregulation system, dipping into ice water is simply contraindicated for them.
So, Epiphany bathing - although a very controversial moment both from the point of view of medicine and from the point of view of religion, however, is an ancient tradition in Russia, which has been maintained for centuries.
The benefits of swimming in ice water have been debated for a long time, but, nevertheless, no one can refute this obvious fact. Therefore, be he althy and swim to your he alth!