Millennials are all about alternative this, alternative that. It’s therefore not surprising the popularity of naturopathy is enjoying. Naturopathy believes in the body’s ability to heal itself and creates special treatment plans for each individual. Hydrotherapy, a huge part of alternative medicine, is the use of water for pain relief and treatment.
Hydrotherapy also referred to as water therapy is very broad and covers therapeutic procedures that utilize the physical properties of water for therapeutic purposes. Hydrotherapy uses water as a medium for physical therapy and post-injury rehabilitation. The temperature and pressure of water can be used to stimulate blood circulation and treat symptoms of some diseases.
Modern hydrotherapy employs water jets, cold plunge, hot Roman bath, jacuzzi, hot tub, mineral bath, whirlpool bath, and underwater massages. Here are the types and health benefits of hydrotherapy.
Related media: Hydrotherapy
#1. Aquatic Exercise
Aquatic exercise is a low-impact activity like swimming, water jogging and water walking that eases pressure on the bone’s muscles, and joints. Water offers a very natural resistance which can help strengthen the muscles. Water weights can be added based on a professional’s advice.
#2. Aquatic Physical Therapy
This simply is practicing physical therapy in water. Just as a physical therapist designs exercises and activities to suit an individual’s needs, a routine for water is also created. The pools used are specifically designed to aid in exercise. There are adaptations like handrails and aquatic treadmills. This can be extremely difficult but is very effective because the body is more buoyant in water and decreases stress on the joints.
#3. Immersion Therapy
Immersion therapy covers ice baths (cold water immersion) and contrasts with water therapy (series of brief soakings in cold and warm water). Rapidly alternating between cold and warm water causes your blood vessel to open and close, thereby relieving pain, especially from injury. This is practiced predominately by athletes.
#4. Baths And Saunas
A cold water bath is a very fast way of cooling down the body’s temperature and can reduce inflammation in the body. A warm water bath also reduces pain and inflammation and can increase blood flow in the body. A sitz bath is done by sitting in warm shallow water to help soothe pain and itching in the anal and genital areas. This is particularly good when treating hemorrhoids, anal fission, or healing from an episiotomy.
A sauna is a small room with wood interiors where water is poured on rocks or stone to generate steam. Saunas and steam rooms use dry and moist heat respectively to aid the body relax sore muscles improve circulation and heart health, loosen stiff joints, burn calories, lower blood pressure promote skin health, remove toxins and boost your immune system.
Studies show that using a sauna or steam room can help individuals with anxiety relax better, and improve mental health and sleep.
Our Final Word!
Hydrotherapy is recommended for people dealing with stress, obesity, arthritis, depression, muscle and joint pain, and nervous system disorders. Coldwater decreases pain, reduces inflammation, lessens soreness in muscles, lowers body temperature, and boosts the immune system; whereas warm water also decreases pain, promotes blood flow, relaxes the muscles, flushes out toxins, and relieves constipation.
It is important to know the end goal of using water for treatment to enable you to use it correctly. Remember cold water constricts and warm water relaxes!
Share with us your experiences with water therapy, if any.
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Written by: Phoebe Addo, Thu, Apr 28, 2022.