Hydrotherapy formerly called hydropathy and also called water cure, is a part of alternative medicine (particularly naturopathy), occupational therapy, and physiotherapy, that involves the use of water for pain relief and treatment. The term encompasses a broad range of approaches and therapeutic methods that take advantage of the physical properties of water, such as temperature and pressure, for therapeutic purposes, to stimulate blood circulation and treat the symptoms of certain diseases. Taking note of the benefits of hydrotherapy, Siddha Spirituality of Swami Hardas Life System opines that our readers to know about hydrotherapy, and learn hydrotherapy benefits.
Various therapies used in the present-day hydrotherapy employ water jets, underwater massage and mineral baths (e.g. balneotherapy, Iodine-Grine therapy, Kneipp treatments, Scotch hose, Swiss shower, thalassotherapy) or whirlpool bath, hot Roman bath, hot tub, Jacuzzi, cold plunge and a mineral bath.
Hydrotherapy, formerly called hydropathy and also called water cure, is a part of alternative medicine (particularly naturopathy), occupational therapy, and physiotherapy, that involves the use of water for pain relief and treatment.
The hydrotherapy is often done at health centers, spas, or at home. Common types include:
Hydrotherapy massage – Watsu
A sitz bath involves two adjacent tubs of water, one warm and one cool. You sit in one tub with your feet in the other tub and then alternate. Sitz baths are recommended for hemorrhoids, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and menstruation problems.
Steam bath or Turkish bath
Steam rooms are filled with warm, humid aid. The steam is said to help the body release impurities.
Towels are soaked in warm and/or cool water and then placed on a particular area on the body. Cool compresses reduce inflammation and swelling, while warm compresses promote blood flow and ease stiff and sore muscles.
While lying down, cold wet flannel sheets are used to wrap the body. The person is then covered with dry towels and then blankets. The body warms up in response and dries the wet sheets. It’s used for colds, skin disorders, and muscle pain.
At the end of a shower, turn the temperature down to a level you can comfortably tolerate (it shouldn’t be icy cold). Turn the water off after 30 seconds (some people alternate between warm and cool water for up to three cycles, always ending with cool water).
Take a pair of wet cotton socks, wet them thoroughly, wring them out and put them on your feet. Then put a dry pair of wool socks over them and go to bed. Remove them in the morning. The cold, wet socks are said to improve circulation in the body and help ease upper body congestion.
For treatment of acute conditions such as chest colds and coughs. It is said to relieve symptoms but also decrease the length of the illness.
Exercising in a warm-water pool. The warm water allows you to exercise without fighting gravity and offers gentle resistance. It’s considered helpful for:
Unlike water aerobics, hydrotherapy exercises tend to be slow and controlled. Often done under the guidance of a physiotherapist.
Salt water flush
By drinking a beneficial mixture of real sea salt dissolved in water (sometimes along with a little lemon juice), you’re able to push waste through the body, release toxins and improve digestion.
Sound a bit crazy? This method of colon and stomach cleansing has actually been used for many years, and it appears to be a lot safer than many commercial colon-cleansing drugs, laxative teas or diuretics.
Colon is a completely natural treatment that is enjoyed by thousands of people every day, from celebrities and film stars to ordinary people of all ages, from all walks of life. It may seem a little strange at first, but the more you learn about the treatment and its many benefits.
Why have colonic hydrotherapy?
People have colon hydrotherapy for a wide range of reasons. Some are looking for relief from the symptoms of IBS and other gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, constipation or diarrhea, while others simply want to maintain and improve their digestive health and enjoy the fresh, light feeling and enhanced energy levels that often comes from the treatment.
How colon can help
Colon hydrotherapy works with your body, helping to return your digestive system to a more natural, healthy state. The gentle flow of water works in two ways:
- Firstly it cleans out the waste matter in the colon, and
- Secondly, it stimulates the natural nerve and muscle action of the bowels to encourage proper bowel function
Unlike an enema, colon hydrotherapy, combined with a gentle abdominal massage from your therapist, can reach the full length of the large intestine, ensuring a thorough cleanse and the maximum benefit.
Benefits beyond the bowel
Colon Hydrotherapy gives many people a sensation of overall well-being and energy and it’s often the inspiration for a healthier diet and lifestyle all around.
What’s more, since your digestive system is closely linked with the rest of your body’s functions, the therapy may also help you with:
- Improve mental and physical sluggishness
And when you feel good on the inside, it shows on the outside, bringing out your natural beauty through clearer skin and brighter eyes.
Here’s a look at several findings from the available research on the potential health of hydrotherapy benefits:
In a study published in Clinical Rehabilitation in 2018, researchers compared the effectiveness of twice-weekly individual aquatic exercise sessions to once a week group patient education in people with knee osteoarthritis. After the eight week treatment period, those doing the aquatic exercises had improved pain and function.
For a report published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, researchers analyzed previously published studies (including a total of 1190 participants) on the effects of aquatic exercise in people with knee and/or hip osteoarthritis. They found that aquatic exercise may cause a small, short-term improvement in pain, disability, and quality of life.
Recovery After Athletic Activity
Cold water immersion and contrast water therapy may help with certain aspects of recovery after team sports, according to a report published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in 2017. For the report, researchers analyzed previously published studies and found that cold water immersion was beneficial for neuromuscular recovery and fatigue 24 hours following team sports.
With conventional drugs, hydrotherapy may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, according to a study published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases in 2017. For the study, participants with rheumatoid arthritis received hydrotherapy with conventional medication or conventional medication alone for 12 weeks. At the study’s end, the group receiving hydrotherapy had an improvement in antioxidant levels and oxidative stress.
It may not be appropriate to apply hydrotherapy in certain circumstances:
It’s a good idea to check with your health care provider before using hydrotherapy. Keep in mind that hydrotherapy shouldn’t be used as a substitute for standard care in the treatment of any health condition.
Hydrotherapy Society and culture
The growth of hydrotherapy and various forms of hydropathic establishments resulted in a form of tourism, both in the UK and in Europe.
While many bathing establishments were open all year round, doctors advised patients not to go before May, nor to remain after October.
English visitors rather prefer cold weather, and they often arrive for the baths in May and return again in September.
Americans come during the whole season but prefer summer. The most fashionable and crowded time is during July and August.
In Europe, interest in various forms of hydrotherapy and spa tourism continued unabated through the 19th century and into the 20th century, where in France, Italy, and Germany, several million people spend time each year at a spa.
In 1891, when Mark Twain toured Europe and discovered that a bath of spring water at Aix-les-Bains soothed his rheumatism, he described the experience as “so enjoyable that if I hadn’t had a disease I would have borrowed one just to have a pretext for going on”.
A hydropathic establishment is a place where people receive hydropathic treatment. They are commonly built in spa towns, where mineral-rich or hot water occurs naturally.
Several hydropathic institutions wholly transferred their operations away from therapeutic purposes to become tourist hotels in the late 20th century whilst retaining the name ‘Hydro’. There are several prominent examples in Scotland at Crieff, Peebles, and Seamillamongst others.