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Why do I burn with curiosity about Cold Baths

I sampled the delights of the cold water during my first year as medical student. As soon as my brain was loosing track of my reviewing, I was taking a brief cold shower. It’s my uncle Claude, an illuminated Yoga teacher, who had sung the praises of it. I’d told myself that of all his absurd theories, I risked nothing to test one, discreetly. The result of my first freezing shower was immediate: reinvigorated, I was ready to battle with the rest of the statistics course. It quickly became a positive ritual: one brief cold shower every 30 minutes of work, in order to learn fast and well. After 30 years, my friends know that before and after doing sport, I would end up in the river, in the sea or to break the ice of their pool in order to dive in the freezing water… Above all, I don’t want that they imitate me, I want to have a slight physiological advantage over them!

As I am often lazy, I have to reactivate my anchor of addiction to cold water. This conditioned response allows me to overcome the insupportable contact between the cold water and the skin, which only disappears when my head is finally dipped. To “bypass” this freezing passage, I do the “fast method”, which I strictly forbidden to the others: dive firstly the head or start to take the shower by the head. I admire the courage and intelligence of those who are able to enter gradually in the freezing water!
A simple head immersion is enough to trigger the brain “reset” and the stream of neurological and physiological benefits that result of it.


I have Raynaud’s (vasoconstriction of extremities), that means that my feet, hands and genitals freeze very painfully when in contact with the cold. So when the water is freezing, I often wear gloves, socks (sometimes in neoprene) and animal skin underpants (otherwise I get out of the water with a vagina).
Of course, a hot shower is more beneficial if I come down with an infection. And even more if I’m frozen, my mouth numb as far as being unable to say a sentence, such as after an effort during the winter. That would be the fastest way to get the flu or to turn a small cough into pneumonia! Personally, I was spared but I had seen these at many patients or fellow sportsmen.

There are 2 physical concepts to remember:
1) The water is a 24 times more powerful conductor than the air; therefore we need 24 times more energy to stay 1 minute in a water at 24°C than staying 24 minutes outside at 24°C!
2) The body cools down 3 times faster when the head is immersed. So in addition to neurological benefits of immersing the head, the peripheral effects of immersing in cold water are multiplied by 3!

cold bath benefits

I succumbed! since 2018! Wim Hof inspires me a lot Especially his simple breathing technique applicable to health and sport (article coming soon)

Wim Hof

Leeder J et coll. : Cold water immersion and recovery from strenuous exercise: a meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med 2012 ; 46 (3) : 233-40.
Glasgow, Ferris, Bleakley .Cold water immersion in the management of delayed-onset muscle soreness: Is dose important? A randomised controlled trial. Phys Ther Sport. 2014 Jan 29.
Jajtner, Hoffman, Gonzalez, Worts, Fragala, Stout. Comparison of Electrical Stimulation Versus Cold Water Immersion Treatment on Muscle Soreness Following Resistance Exercise. J Sport Rehabil. 2014 Mar 12.
Solianik, Skurvydas, Mickevičienė, Brazaitis. Intermittent whole-body cold immersion induces similar thermal stress but different motor and cognitive responses between males and females. Cryobiology. 2014 Oct;69(2):323-32.
Roberts, Nosaka , Coombes, Peake . Cold water immersion enhances recovery of submaximal muscle function after resistance exercise. 2014 Oct 15.
Selfe J, Alexander J, Costello JT, May K, Garratt N, et al. (2014) The Effect of Three Different (-135°C) Whole Body Cryotherapy Exposure Durations on Elite Rugby League Players. PLoS ONE 9(1): journal.pone.0086420
White, Rhind, Wells. The effect of various cold-water immersion protocols on exercise-induced inflammatory response and functional recovery from high-intensity sprint exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2014 Nov;114
Hausswirth C, Louis J, Bieuzen F, Pournot H, Fournier J, et al. (2011) Effects of whole-body cryotherapy vs. far-infrared vs. passive modalities on recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage in highly-trained runners. PLoS ONE 12: 1–7.
Pournot H, Bieuzen F, Louis J, Mounier R, Fillard JR, et al. (2011) Time-course of changes in inflammatory responses after whole-body cryotherapy multiexposures following severe exercise. PLos ONE 6: 1–6.
Elias GP, Wyckelsma VL, Varley MC, McKenna MJ and Aughey RJ. Effectiveness of water immersion on post-match recovery in elite professional footballers. Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2013 In Press.
Drummond PD, Knudsen L., Headache. 2011 Mar;51(3):375-83. Central pain modulation and scalp tenderness in frequent episodic tension-type headache.
Yu Q. Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, China. Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai). 2011 Jun;43(6):448-54. Cold water stress attenuates dopaminergic neurotoxicity induced by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine in mice
Jimenez C. Apply Physiol. 2010 Jan;108(1):49-58. Whole body immersion and hydromineral homeostasis: effect of water temperature.1Human Factor Department, French Army Health Center, La Tronche Cedex.
Alhaddad. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010 Feb;108(3):599-606. Influence of cold water face immersion on post-exercise parasympathetic reactivation. Faculty of Sport Sciences, Amiens, France.
Alhaddad. Auton Neurosci. 2010 Aug 25;156(1-2):111-6. Effect of cold or thermoneutral water immersion on post-exercise heart rate recovery and heart rate variability indices.1Laboratoire de Recherche, EA 3300 Adaptations physiologiques à l’exercice et réadaptation à l’effort, Faculté des Sciences du Sport, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, F-80025, Amiens, France.
Shevchuk. Molecular Radiobiology Section, The Department of Radiation Oncology, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, 401 College St, Richmond, VA 23298, USA. 2008;70(5):995-1001. Adapted cold shower as a potential treatment for depression.
Shevchuk. Possible stimulation of anti-tumor immunity using repeated cold stress: a hypothesis. Infect Agent Cancer. 2007 Nov 13;2:20.


Ticks attack

My first publications related diseases transmitted by ticks. Indeed, global warming promote proliferation of tick bites which can transmit many diseases (Lyme disease, encephalitis …).
So I decided in 1996, helped by the Army Health Service and the National School of Active Non-Commissioned Officers, to conduct my own investigation.
The Pasteur Institute (C. Pereiz-Eid) analyzed the Ticks collected and the Rickettsia Unit of Marseilles (Didier Raoult) the Serologies.
Accessory: discovery of the first serious Rickettsia Slovaca infection transmitted by the Dermatocentor Marginatus tick in France (world ?)
Problèmes de santé provoqués par les tiques dans la région de Saint-Maixent l’Ecole (Deux Sèvres). Etude sur un groupe de militaires. T. Ho-Pun-Cheung, Lamarque R, Josse C, Perez-Eid I, Martenot G, Auzanneau G., Jalady A.-M., Niel G, Rey J.-L. Médecine et Armées. T.28; 235-240.
Effet protecteur de vêtements imprégnés de perméthrine vis-à-vis de D. Retinaculatus et D. Marginatus dans un biotope ouvert du centre-ouest de la France. T. Ho-Pun-Cheung, D. Lamarque, R. Josse, C. Pereiz-Eid, L .Niel, G. Auzanneau, J.L. Rey. Bulletin Société Pathologies Exotiques. 1999. 92. 5, 337-340.
morsure tique osteopathie

These double-blind placebo-controlled studies were the most important on the subject (+ 600 soldiers).
– Is that repellents used against mosquitoes are effective against ticks;
– In case of bite, you have 24 hours to remove the tick before the first blood meal where it will transmit its microbe;
– That the best way to remove it is simply catching carefully the tick as close to the skin between his nails, and pull gently. All other methods (unscrewing, asphyxiation oil bodies, ether anesthesia, heating …) the stress causing the injection of its potential microbes.

To keep awake exhausted soldiers of the dangers of such a small creature, I had to be short and rude, like:
“I have just seen in consultation a holy fighter, clenched jaws, long muzzle, dark and piercing eyes, like,” I’m not a chick, I’m not there to laugh. “Physically he looked like Vin Diesel and intellectually to the ancestor of Stallone. You’ve already met, but to preserve its identity I will reveal his first name: John R. I was usual he walks with sea urchins under the arms. . More weird is that he seemed to have also between the thighs … sea urchins. With his stentorian voice: “Captain, I have a little problem” and here he drops his briefs. After the shock effect when I thought he had grafted a mammoth penis, I realized it was just bloated. As the smell was unpleasant, I had a nose clip to root a tick sated and smiling into his welcoming mucous, etc… “.
extract tick osteopathy

Effective “home” treatment of colds and sinusitis


NASAL IRRIGATION, large volume:
– for 1 liter of LUKEWARM TAP WATER
2 table spoons of COARSE SEA SALT
1 teaspoon of BAKING SODA (food grade)

Irrigation with a syringe > 150 ml per nostril.

Inhale deeply while administering slowly.

The liquid is blown out or discharged through the other nostril (according to head position).

Individual syringe! Rinse and dry after each use.

To be performed in the morning (for calmness during the day) and the evening (for a good night’s sleep).

This treatment is difficult at first, but it is the most effective. It disinfects and eliminates secretions and pus lodged deep within the sinuses, which is often significant.

Moistening of the mucous membranes:
The Mucous membranes (nose, sinuses, mouth, throat, bronchia…) must remain moist.
A dry environment should be moistened (place a container of water on the radiators…).

Inhalation of boiling water:
Boil water, place a towel above your head, and breathe. The hot water vapor releases the sinuses. As an enhancement, essential oils can be added (10 drops of Eucalyptus oil…).


Abdominal respiration: rediscovering the proper breath


respiration_abdominale_osteopathieOptimal use of the Diaphragm → better shape and health:
Ventilation (oxygenation, waste elimination)
+ Stabilisation of Posture.
In fact, the inspiratory (Diaphragm+++) and expiratory muscles (Transverse+++)
are linked with the Rachis and Perineum to support the core.
Example: arm movement is preceded by a synergic contraction of the Diaphragm + Transverse and Perineum.

Consequences of poor thoracic respiration:
Abdominal respiration = automatism from birth. However, growing up, we “must” flex our muscles, pull in our stomachs, and the stress of daily life and the effects of prolonged sitting block the diaphragm and provoke high and superficial thoracic breathing → Diaphragm and abdominal area atrophy, posture is disrupted, leading to contractions and back pain.

Respiration influences Posture and Emotions:
Stiffness of the Diaphragm → misalignments (neck, shoulders, and back). Conversely, neck, shoulder, and back pain limits inspiration. Therefore, the way we move and breathe influences our emotions: looking downwards, rolling the shoulders in and closing up, breathing is limited = a depressive attitude.
Negative emotions ← superficial thoracic respiration: slow = Sadness/ quick = Anger.
Ventral respiration → positive emotions: slow = calmness – confidence / quick = enthusiasm…
Thus, in order to be revitalized and find a solution → lift the head, look towards the sky or the horizon, open the chest while breathing deeply.

Benefits of Ventral Respiration:
Up to an additional 25% of O2, increasing cellular performance.
In the short term: management of the emotions by adapting the breathing: to calm down, focus, become enthusiastic…
In the long term: correction of posture, releases the stomach, chest and back = conserving energy.
Breathing in a balanced posture: when breathing in, calmly inflate the upper abdomen (solar plexus).
Buttocks slightly tightened (in order to properly position the pelvis and lumbar regions). Flexible chest, relaxed neck and shoulders. The difficulty is in thinking: a few seconds a day, then a few minutes until it becomes automatic in a few months.

Abdominal muscles!
It is the abdominal zone (Transverse, Oblique muscles) which is important, Not the “chocolate bar” (Rectus Abdominis): it retains proper posture, refines the waist, massages and supports the organs. These static muscles (endurance) are to be isometrically strengthened (contraction without visible movement). Example: Core Stabilization.

Breathe calmly through the nose while inflating the solar plexus; calmly sigh through the nose.
A person at rest breathes 14x/min. Therefore, the optimal frequency for synchronizing our body rhythms (respiratory, cardiac, tissue-level) = 7 breaths/minute.

Exercises for abdominal breathing:
Breath in through the nose, inflating the upper abdomen as much as possible (when the abdomen inflates, it is not air which is coming in, but rather the Diaphragm which is dropping, opening up like an umbrella). Then, breathe out while pulling the abdomen in strongly (as if the belly button would touch the spine).
Focusing on breathing in (intake of O2 and Energy) has a revitalizing effect.
In order to relax and calm down, focus more on breathing out (expelling CO2 and waste products).
Alternations of Apneas after inhalation (alkalosis) and exhalation (acidosis) promote a hypnotic state conducive to visualization techniques.

Working on inhalation:
The Diaphragm is strengthened after inhalation: with 4 seconds of apnea.
1. On the back = the Posterior Diaphragm is strengthened.
More advanced: legs extended (Rectus Abdominis); then, more weight on the abdomen.
2. On the stomach = Anterior Diaphragm is strengthened (Resistance of the floor and the Rectus Abdominis).



Strengthening Exhalation = strengthening the abdominal area:
For warming up or with exertion: to Energize.
Exhalation is active, silent, slow, and peaceful: pull in the stomach while tightening the buttocks, then hold the breath for 4 seconds.
More difficult: on all fours (the increased Resistance of body weight). Core strengthening (increased resistance on the Rectus Abdominis).


Complete Abdominal-thoracic Respiration:
Abdominal Inhalation, then maximum thoracic inhalation. Exhalation empties the chest and then the abdomen: to energize / and between 2 exercises: to recuperate and focus.