Hydrotherapy has long been a solution offered for pain relief and treating ailments and illnesses. Also known as water cure or hydropathy, this treatment has been around in different forms since the 19th century.
Hydrotherapy is thought to work with the aid of heat or cold and the simultaneous pressure of the water upon the body as well as the relaxing feeling that the water itself engenders. This is thought to help with digestion, circulation, lowering stress hormones, lowering pain and enhancing the immune system. It can also, in cases, help resolve skin problems like acne, joint problems such as arthritis, and problems related to the nervous system such as nerve problems and depression.
Hydrotherapy can not only help in relaxation, it can help to increase the metabolic rate, help in detoxifying the body, improving organ function and boosting the immune system.
The different applications and types of hydrotherapy are:
This procedure is started off with a warm or cool shower when is then turned into a cold shower. This is thought to improve alertness and to stimulate the mind as well as the body. It is also thought to improve muscle tone, increase energy levels and give greater resistance to colds and other infections.
Cold and Warm foot baths
Cold and warm foot baths help to relax tired feet. Additionally they can help improve sleep, help to heal sprains and varicose veins. This type of hydrotherapy could also help with headaches.
A warm foot bath followed by a cold foot bath is thought to not only stimulate the blood vessels but is also thought to help in treating ailments such as bladder infections. It can also help improve insomnia symptoms.
Sitz Bath (Hip Bath)
A hip bath can be useful either with plain or saline water. Heat and cold can be alternated to help ease constipation, hemorrhoids and other inflammatory conditions, prostate problems, painful periods, and other conditions.
Warm water with or without bath oils, salts, or other herbal additives is used. Immersion up to shoulder level for about 20 minutes is recommended for helping a person relax.
Steam inhalation and steam baths
This forms a part of hydrotherapy and has obvious benefits. It can help dislodge nasal congestion, ease symptoms of bronchitis, allergy, skin problems and asthma.
This type of hydrotherapy uses moist sheets of flannel, blankets and towels to wrap the body.
Hydrotherapy can be used by itself or in conjunction with sauna type of setting. It can include massage etc as well.