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Cold water immersion – powerful free medicine

In today’s video we take you through our daily ritual of cold water immersion, which we call a full bodied ‘acceptance ritual’, and speak to the physical and mental benefits of going into this aqueous underworld every morning before dawn, before a hot cup of tea.

Here is the audio-only version.


And following are some articles looking into the science of what we have found (intuitively) to be highly beneficial.

Winter swimming improves general well-being
The Science Behind Cold Water Plunges
What to Know About Cold Water Therapy
Scientific Evidence-Based Effects of Hydrotherapy on Various Systems of the Body
Cold water immersion – science for sport
New Science – Ancient Body
Cold Water Immersion – Take the plunge?
Taking the plunge: does cold water swimming have health benefits?

We hope you’ll share in the comments your powerful medicines and practices that have become routine rituals for you.

Sending warm, wintry love from here,

Meg, Patrick, Woody and Zero


  1. Julie Montan says:

    I have been cold showering every morning for over 20 years…..similar benefits do you think?

  2. Sara Dehi says:

    Dear artistasfamily,

    Thank you for this inspirational video, I usually follow you on youtube but Im so happy to see you left that forum following your discussion regarding youtube and censur etc.

    I live in Sweden with my family and here its cold in the waters (seas/ocean) all year around. During summer like now its pleasant and warmer but it never gets really warm and yesterday I was in Norway and took a night dipp in Mjösa and it was ice cold! The water in Mjösa seems to come from melted ice on the mountains, and is the biggest sea in Norway so it never seems to get warm… so it was just me and my friend Lisa there swimming in the cold water in middle of the night. It cant be described with words the feeling of it <3 I wish you guys can come and visit Sweden and scandinavia sometime.

    Please let me know if so.

    Also I have a question regarding toothpaste, permaculture style? Looked everywhere for tips but hope you guys have a good one? I wrote/asked if you could do a lovely video about that on one of your videos but you guys had a lot to think about lately with you bike tour and then covid/vaccin etc. But Toothpaste and other stuff you use or dont, if you like to do a video about that.

    Thank you for your videos and take care.

    Kind regards

    1. Thanks so much for this goodly missive from Sweden, Sara. It was sooo good to read of your midnight plunge with friend. We’d absolutely love to plunge with you at some point in our lives but won’t be for some time. We are slow travellers, so to come so far north would mean leaving home for a few years. But we dream. Thanks for your suggestion about toothpaste. We’ll certainly add it to the list of vids to make.

    2. Kate says:

      I also have a little water tank that I place on the south side of the house that I use for my cold plunges, I started a few years ago with showers but I don’t overly like that feeling, I found the water tank a much more pleasant experience. I often tell people about the benefits but people just look at me like I’m crazy, seek discomfort is my new life’s motto.

      1. Seek discomfort! That’s wonderful Kate. The power and pleasure in discomfort, if one chooses to go into the underworld and come back with gifts (and self care) on the other side!

  3. Carillo says:

    Thanks, this and the last video have inspire me to up-level my Wimm Hoff practice/medicine! I do a daily Qigong gland/ Meridian tapping practice with the intention of awakening my glands for more optimal hormonal functioning as well as tapping the Meridian points to move Qi through my body and unblock stuck energy (interestingly many of the Meridian and gland points are the same making it simple to do them all at the same time) As I do it I’m noticing a deepening of my sense of wonder and gratitude for my body, so there is an inner dimension to it as well. I finish it with some Shaking (like this ) I was inspire by the Meridian points talked about in EFT ( ) and in Qigong videos. And for the gland points I learnt them from Whapio Bartlett: sadly I can’t find anywhere online that shows the way she does it, so an exploration of gland locations might be necessary for any wanting to give this a go..!

    1. Oh thanks Carillo, so good to read this. Looking forward to exploring those practices.

  4. katrina says:

    Hi Artistas family,
    Thankyou for your post on health practices. I’ve been cold water plunging on and off for the last 2 winters in the local creek. I find it hard to get in or decide to go, but my husband says ‘yes’ anytime I mention it and we’re off down the creek (not schitts creek). Sometimes if I am up Schitts creek mentally, he’ll almost throw me in and it’s like magic. It snaps me out of any wonky thinking I’m in and when I get out of the water, all I see is beautiful nature all around me.

    You asked about other health practices I do and there is one that I found to be so beneficial. Pelvic steaming (v-steaming, yoni steaming). Men and women can do it for all sorts of gynaecological problems. I’ve used it to stop 20 years of period pains. Nothing else worked…hence my absolute love of it and getting trained in facilitation. I’ve used it for anything going on in or around my pelvis. Works like a charm and feels sooo good!

    ps thanks for being a voice of reason and courage in the last couple of years. Your videos have really helped in keeping me on track with love and reason, not fear.

    1. Thanks Katrina, it certainly makes such a difference to have a plunging partner or friend to help bolster courage.

      And we hear your experience of being snapped out of wonky (or over) thinking by the grace of the creek. This is our experience too. There’s a calmness that comes during and after CWI.

      Thanks too for sharing your Pelvic steaming practice with us. Not something we’ve done.

      We have actually experienced much fear over these past years, but not fear of the virus (although initially we were concerned), but rather fear for the absence of due diligence and principled journalism, fear for the captured medical system, fear of gun-toting authoritarian governments and their behavioural insight units, and fear for sociopathic billionaires lauded (by billionaire compromised news media) as saviours. All this fear has focussed our attention and caused us to act, and to join countless others mobilising to fight, expose, resist and compost the corruption.

      As a friend spoke yesterday, “the more lies told, the closer we are to the truth.”

  5. Peter Brandis says:

    A few years ago we started winter ocean swimming but with the ocean being less welcoming this season (floods) I’ve started in my creek – it’s colder than the ocean but it’s really inviting. Now with the floods the creek is too dangerous. So maybe I also need a plunge tank! Do you empty the tank from time to time (back to the garden) and do you wash off before entering the plunge? So the question is how you keep the plunge water “hygienic”. Do you cover the plunge?

    1. Hi Peter, we also find the ocean water warmer than inland rainwater in winter. And yes, we’ve heard how much rain has fallen in Kangaroo Valley. Woah! Sounds like North Wales level of rain. Have you been cut off from the town?
      We empty our rainwater plunge ‘pool’ tank every 10 days or so (it has a tap and we run the water into a swale via a short hose), we then take a little bucket of warm soap water, clean it (when empty the tank is light enough to turn on its side and clean and rinse out with a hose), and then set a timer on the hose to refill. The emptying (gravity fed) takes about an hour, the cleaning takes 5 minutes and the the refilling about 40 minutes. Hands on labour is only about 6 mins. Our cold water plunge is our only body washing we do, we don’t use soap on our bodies, although Meg takes a warm shower once a fortnight to wash her hair. Hope this helps.

      1. Peter Brandis says:

        Thanks for the response – that all makes sense. Except for the hair washing – I can’t get my head around that idea!

        Yes, our roads have been badly damaged by floods and Kangaroo Valley has been isolated from time to time. The road to Bowral (up Barrengarry Mountain, through Fitzroy Falls) was closed for 4 months – I think you cycled down this way many years ago! It opened for a few days before the current rain and then it was closed again due to tree fall and landslips! We’ve been able to get to KV town all the time (our bridge over the river is high enough to never be flooded), but some valley folk are on roads with a low crossing points. Some areas of the valley are now isolated (Upper KV River Road has suffered major damage)

        I was using our indoor bath for cold plunges but it was a bit painful to empty onto the garden – as all the water goes into the grey water system (and eventually into the garden) – and we had water shortages not long ago! While our creek is running I’ll use it for cold plunges – as I think running water is better than “stale” water – more mineral rich and more microbes. But I’m sure it will dry up at some point and then it will back to the bath (inside or outside).

        Cheers to youse all.

        1. Wow, closed for 4 months! Everywhere, in everything, there is so much change. So much control and attempt at order, and yet so much chaos and wrecking havoc. It’s even more important than ever we have grounding practices like CWI, which call us to be present and calls us to acceptance for that which we cannot control and additionally hones our courage, resistance and resilience to that which we can.

  6. Penny says:

    Wonderful, thank you for sharing!

    Would also love to see and hear more about your natural food growing and gathering – I remember a great video about how you handle your grey water and it was so instructional, actionable and valuable.

    All the best!

    1. Thanks Penny, yes it’s time for us to return to positive action videos after months of critical action ones. So yes, more videos that speak to how we live (outside the state-corporate nexus) will be coming along.

  7. Dave says:

    Love this. So wonderful.

    As with Carillo above, I have been practising qi gong for the past 3 years which I find very calming and beneficial to my overall wellbeing. The biggest challenge is not the qi gong itself but forcing time into my day to practise it! Having said that, I am such a newbie to the practice – I’ve got so much learning to do.

    This learning, the permission I give to spend time on myself and the discoveries along the way are what make it so special 🙂

    xx Dave

    1. Thank you for sharing this, Dave. Yes, we’ve also found that a practice starts with the art of making space for or around it!

  8. Annabella Bray says:

    Lovely to see your morning ritual. I always finish a warm shower with a cold one of several minutes. So good! I was interested to hear you refer to the ‘pain’ at first immersion. It has never seemed painful to me, just a shock of temperature and feeling of exhilaration which I usually express by vocalising joyfully 🙂 Of course, after a cold bath, I have experienced the pain of feeling returning to the extremities which can be quite excruciating but vigorous movement certainly helps! Enjoy your bathes and thanks for sharing <3

    1. Thanks Annabella, thanks for sharing your CWI practice.

  9. jack says:

    I always love to hear/see people cold-water bathing as it’s often accompanied by ecstatic hooting & other sounds. Its true that it can ‘snap you out it’ too, I’ve found

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