Hydrotherapy is one of the oldest treatments that has been used by ancient Egyptians, Greek, and Romans who used spring water to help heal sickness. It was brought back to modern times by Sebastian Kneipp in the 1900’s… so we can thank him for all the wonderful water spas like the Scandinavian spa in Whistler😉 We learn hydrotherapy in school and I think it is very underused. It is the cheapest treatment you can do for yourself…FREE! This post is here to inspire you to incorporate water into your life in different ways💦
What is Hydrotherapy
Hydrotherapy is the application of water to the body in any form (internally or externally) to help treat disease or maintain a healthy life. This could be drinking cold or hot water or applying that to your skin in the form of a bath, shower, foot bath sitz bath, etc. the options are really endless. Comparing naturopathic hydrotherapy to conventional hydrotherapy, naturopathic hydrotherapists focus on the normal + healthy flow of blood. They believe that water treatments can help with the quality of blood and circulation. By doing this it enhances the blood flow through the elimination organs like the liver, kidney, bowels, and skin to cleanse the blood. They also believe that water treatment can build blood by increasing things like oxygen, nutrients, red blood cell, and white blood cells. Blood is what gives humans life and hydrotherapy is able to optimize that!
[Optimize blood quality — Improve efficiency of circulation]
The Hot + Cold Water
- Hot = 98-104°F (tolerable but parts turn red)
- Cold = 51-65°F (tolerable but uncomfortable)
Hot application followed by cold allows for the blood vessels to open up, contract and then open up again. This increases the pumping of the heart and helps to increase circulation.
Why it is Good for YOU!!
- Boost the immune system
- Decreases muscle tension + spasm
- Increases circulation
- Detoxifies the body
- Relieves stress
- Pain management
Therapeutic Effects of Hydrotherapy
Sedative — will soothe and relax the body (muscles + nervous system)
Anti-pyretic (anti-fever) — water is the most efficient and quick way to decrease body temperature (no drug can do this!)
- Remember that a fever can be healing to the body when it not out of control. 102°F is the optimal temperature for healing.
Analgesic — help to decrease joint, muscle, and burn pains
Anti-convulsive — warm water is effective to relax and alleviate convulsions and muscle spasm as it brings blood flow to the tissues
Conditions It Is Useful For
- Cold, flu, sickness
- Stress + anxiety
- Digestive complaints
- Immune deficiency conditions
- Gynecological disorders (PMS, infertility, dysmenorrhea)
- Circulatory issues (varicose veins, Raynaud’s, hemorrhoids)
- Pain relief (MSK complaints)
*Don’t use or use caution when:
- Circulation issues
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
How It’s Done
It really depends on what kind of hydrotherapy treatment you are doing! They are all so different. I am going to teach you the simplest way to incorporate hydrotherapy into your everyday life.
At Home Procedure
Adding hydrotherapy into your daily routine can be simple… all you need is a working shower! The way I love to do is a really beginner way. Take your normal shower and then at the end of the shower flip the tap to super cold for 10-30seconds. For more advanced you can take the last 5 mins of your shower and alternate between 1 min hot and 10-30 seconds cold and repeat 3 cycles (that is if you are feeling really brave😉)
I hope that inspires you to use more water in your life. May you be happy + healthy!