Like practically everyone else in the world at the beginning of summer, I was searching online for a baby pool to put in my backyard, but high demand led to ridiculous prices.
After lamenting about my fruitless search to my next door neighbor, I found this infant pool thrown over my fence, with a note taped to it that said, “Enjoy! Plenty big for you. LOL!”
It was intended as a joke obviously, but seriously when it’s 100 F outside, I’m willing to try just about anything.
So not only did I make it work…I went over the top with it, as I tend to do.
And you know what?
It was ah-mazing! Just that little bit of water on my body made a massive difference in feeling cool.
While not everyone has access to a pool, beach or central AC, wellness, joy and beauty are for everyone, not just specific individuals who fit into “societal standards” of weight, age, “prettiness”, skin color or anything else that has historically made people believe “health” isn’t for them.
Having lived in many cities where central air conditioning inside homes and apartments isn’t common, such as New York City, Milan and Portland, I’ve had to find rather inventive ways to get heat relief during sweltering heat waves.
So what’s a hot little potato like you supposed to do when you feel like you’re baking inside an oven?
You don’t have to get extra silly like me (though I hope you do and will send me pictures), but you can get creative with great results!
Honestly, this is may be greatest home office, poolside set up ever!
I kept an iced beverage in the cooler and Ginige (the orange cat) enjoyed drinking directly from the pool. #livingourbestlife
Without further adieu, here are some of my favorite holistic health experts’ natural ways to cool your body during a heat wave. First let’s start with…
Why AC isn’t the healthiest solution for cooling off
Of course I have window AC units in my house that I could just park myself in front of, but I’m very mindful about not over using them, because as holistic health coach Donna Sonkin Shaw cautions us:
“Your metabolism is your own personal heating and cooling system. When you don’t let your body do what it was designed to do, the effects can be detrimental. Over using your A/C certainly can contribute to weight gain because if you slow down your overall calorie burning, then you are likely not superseding the amount of calories you would need to burn fat away. Importantly, when you sweat, your body releases toxins — a necessary process that keeps you healthy.”
# 1 Eat cooling foods and beverages
Dr. Karuna Sabnani shares with us in Heat Relief Through A Healthy Diet 10 foods that naturally cool your body.
#2, #9 and #10 are perfect for…
Make yourself some spa water, by adding cucumber slices, mint, orange, or basil to spring water and then keep it chilled in the fridge.
Last summer I had a serious obsession with making fancy ice cubes with edible flowers and herbs.
You can see inspirations for floral ice cubes on my Pinterest board here.
#2 Mist and Spritz
Keep your facial toner in the fridge. Bonus points if it’s got cooling peppermint essential oil in it like this one from Kaelen Harwell.
#3 Hydrotherapy Relief with the “Kneipp Espresso” Treatment
Don’t live somewhere you can have a baby pool? Then you’re going to love this apartment-friendly, natural protocol for keeping cool.
Wholistic skin care professional, Angela Peck recommends the Kneipp Espresso hydrotherapy treatment for cooling the body off, as well as reviving yourself when feeling sluggish.
Benefits of Kneipp Espresso hydrotherapy:
- Strengthens the immune defenses of the upper airways
- Promotes circulation of the blood
- Stimulates the metabolism
- Supports blood flow within the heart muscle
- Refreshes in the case of exhaustion and fatigue
- Relieves pain in the case of elbow discomfort
Angela’s suggestions for the best results…
How to do the Kneipp Espresso hydrotherapy treatment:
Step 1: Fill a washbasin with cold water (12 to 18 degrees C/54 to 65 degrees F)
At the start, your arms and hands should be warm. If the hands are nonetheless cold, performing a cold bath is strongly discouraged! They indicate circulatory problems which could become worse with cold water
Step 2: Now immerse your arms in the water, up to the middle of the upper arm, until a feeling of cold becomes noticeable (about 30 to 40 seconds).
During this time, breathe calmly and deeply, and smile – that never hurts.
Step 3: Then gently wipe the water off your arms.
Now take care to rewarm yourself: Put on clothing and swing the arms back and forth.
Tip: Before wiping the water off your arms, you can gently wet the back of your neck. This is particularly refreshing because the cardiovascular and respiratory center is located here.
If you have angina pectoris and organic heart disease, you should proceed carefully with the cold arm bath.
Now let’s hear from you!
What creative, natural solutions do you use to cool your body off during a heat wave?
Connect with the featured experts: Donna Sonkin Shaw here. Dr. Karuna Sabnani here. Angela Peck here.
Arm bath photo courtesy of Kneipp. Product image from Kaelen Harwell. All other photos copyright Kristen Arnett, 2020.