We have all felt the benefits of a long soak in a hot bath at the end of a particularly stressful day, or felt invigorated by taking hot shower hydrotherapy is an alternative treatment involving one of nature’s oldest elements, water. It was the Romans who first introduced the benefits water can bring us with spa’s, they found water helped to improve the blood circulation, relax tension, help in alleviating pain and brought a sense of calm.Not only is water beneficial to us through bathing taken internally it can be used as means of a diuretic, laxative, phlegmatic and diaphoretic. Studies over recent years have looked into the various ways that hydrotherapy can be used as alternative medicine.

How Does Hydrotherapy Work?

There is no marketable drug that can compete with the multitude of beneficial physiological effects that common water is capable of producing, it is one thing that is always readily available and is a cheap commodity. Its therapeutic qualities include pain relief, relaxation, alleviates muscle spasms and joint pain.

Common Techniques Used In Hydrotherapy

The general term of Hydrotherapy involves several different techniques these include baths and showers, sitz baths, douches, hot and cold compresses, body wraps and sauna and steam treatments.

The Sitz bath can either be a rising temperature bath which will help people with bladder problems, warm bath which is also used for treating bladder problems or cold bath which helps soothe haemorrhoids.

There are various types of douches available which are given by way of a stream of water being directed on the area of body, after the treatment the water is gently stroked from the skin

Compresses can be given as either hot or cold; a warm cloth will be soaked in a diffusion of herbs and applied to the patient’s body, this is particularly helpful to those suffering from painful problems such as cystitis, renal disease or arthrosis.

A linen cloth is usually used for body wraps; it is usually moistened with cold water though for problems due to the respiration warm water will be used. Neck wraps will ease pain from sore throats; chest wraps are used for bronchitis and lung diseases and joint wraps for arthritis and arthrosis.

Sauna and steam baths are very similar to each other but with sauna the heat works better in eliminating toxins and a steam bath will provide more benefit for those with respiratory problems. Both treatments are deeply relaxing and promote an overall sense of wellbeing.

Is Hydrotherapy safe for everyone?

People with certain medical conditions should take care when considering Hydrotherapy as a possible alternative treatment and if you have a serious medical condition then it is wise to seek the advice of your doctor beforehand.

People suffering from diabetes should avoid body wraps and hot applications to the feet and anyone suffering high or low blood pressure should avoid hot immersion baths as should pregnant women and those with diabetes.

The elderly and children may be prone to exhaustion from too much heat and should avoid saunas and immersion baths. If in any doubt then always seek medical advice prior to considering treatments by hydrotherapy.