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Do not run into the water, stand on the snow and other tips on how not to harm your health during Epiphany bathing

January 19 marks one of our country’s favorite holidays – Epiphany. And every year more and more people decide to plunge into the Epiphany night in the Jordan. But is it equally useful for everyone? We’ll find out from the expert.
Last year, according to a survey by VTSIOM, 20% of Russian residents expressed a desire to plunge into the Epiphany night in the font. Fortunately, in any city there is such an opportunity. A year earlier, there were 5% fewer applicants. The popularization of Epiphany bathing is promoted by the swims of top officials of the state. Including the President and show business stars. Every year, Anastasia Volochkova (a ballerina engaged in hardening all year round), Ksenia Sobchak, Maxim Averin, Nikolai Valuev, Oleg Gazmanov and many others “brag” about their exploits in social networks.

Sobchak a couple of years ago dived into the hole in the Malaya ushayka river, when the temperature dropped as much as-40 degrees. Then I warmed myself with tea with the Siberians. The former presidential candidate was campaigning at the time and, according to her, had an incomparable experience. The next year, however, I did not dare to repeat it. The weather this year, on the night of January 18-19, is expected to be sub-zero (up to-5 in the capital region), but we still do not have to talk about severe Epiphany frosts. Therefore, there will be plenty of people who want to plunge into the font.
The water of the sacred
Around the Christian feast of Epiphany, which arose in the first half of the first century, many legends have already developed. Thus, it is believed that the ritual of bathing in a consecrated font saves the believer from sins. It has also been noticed for a long time that Epiphany water, which is usually lit on this day in churches, has healing properties and does not deteriorate throughout the year. Water can be safely collected on this day and from the tap – it is considered that it is no worse than consecrated. Then it is drunk in small SIPS on an empty stomach.
Natalia Tolstykh
head of the polyclinic Department of the MEDSI clinical hospital on Pyatnitskoe highway, internist/oncologist
Swimming correctly
“A serious consequence is the reflex reaction of the heart to a sharp dip in icy water. Skin-cardiac reflexes may occur, leading to tachycardia, and in some cases to arrhythmia. Therefore, in places of Epiphany bathing, a lifeguard with a defibrillator, trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, should be on duty nearby. However, you can gradually accustom yourself to cold water. That is, gradually lower the temperature of the water in the shower or bath for 2-6 months – this will then allow you to safely start bathing in ice water for Epiphany.”
So, how to swim correctly:

First, do not rush headlong into icy water. Enter the font confidently, but not too quickly. The body has to get used to sub-zero outside temperatures;
You should not spend more than a minute in the water if you are not engaged in walrus, because there is a risk of hypothermia;
Before swimming, do a warm-up, tune in to the procedure;
After leaving the font, RUB the body with a Terry towel, walk for a minute in the snow. After dressing, drink hot tea;
Bathe in strictly designated areas-the Jordan, which is specially cut down on the eve of Epiphany;
before swimming, do not forget to measure the pressure – it should be normal! Hypertension, people with diseases of the cardiovascular system are strongly advised by doctors not to perform this rite;
Never take alcohol before undressing and entering the water – the consequences can be sad, emergency workers warn us. These people, along with ambulance crews, are on duty at the places of mass bathing on Epiphany night.

Ivan Golubev
doctor-therapist of the MEDSI clinical and diagnostic center in Groholsky pereulok
“Contraindications to swimming are chronic diseases in the acute stage, which can reduce the immune system. Also, if a person has cardiovascular diseases, he is also at risk – since a sharp dive into icy water can cause a shock, which in turn can cause serious complications of cardiovascular activity. It is not recommended to swim in the ice hole and those who have recently suffered from acute respiratory infections, acute respiratory infections, bronchitis – all that is associated with a cold. Older people are also at risk, as they have a certain decrease in immunity. But if you have a normal immune status, you have not suffered from SARS in the near future, then bathing in the baptismal font will not bring harm to your health.”

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