This Week in Supercharged Holistic Healing

While you're left drying out under the newly opened heater vent, reminiscing on the last salty dip you took before summer (kinda) ended, there are people in the world following each of their impulses as they see fit. Luckily some of these people are right in our very own back yards! Polar diving, or winter bathing (the act of purposely, momentarily submerging yourself in hellishly cold water), gets the folks laughing and shaking, all blue-lipped and elated after completing their one mandatory extreme action feat of the year.

Think of it as supercharged holistic healing: a practice that dates back to the Romans, the benefits of wintry swimming range (supposedly) from curing stomach problems and headaches to simply jump-starting those sexy feel-good endorphins. So, instead of traveling thousands of miles to have your skin implode from pore-shock (people actually do this where there's snow and ice and other things cold weather makes), you can watch or join in as “a loosely organized group of brave individuals show up and run together into the water near the Huntington Beach Pier before returning to shore.” I can think of nothing more exhilarating or more effective at erasing a soul-crushing hangover then becoming a part of this hydra hysteria. Granted, the waters off Huntington Beach aren't arctic (the average temp for this time of year is 58 degrees) and half-nude winter bodies are usually best kept concealed or left hibernating in tanning beds, but this may just be the perfect wake-up call to start the New Year.

Polar Plunge at the Huntington Beach Pier (south side), 315 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, (714) 374-5683. Sun., 10 a.m. $10 suggested donation.

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