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Hydrotherapy - How To Make Water Work For You

Aug 17, 2007
Hydrotherapy is using water to treat various types of medical conditions. This practice has been part of disease and health condition treatment for thousands of years. Many ancient cultures, including Japan, China, and Rome used hydrotherapy as standard practice. Bavarian monk, Father Sebastian Kneipp, made hydrotherapy popular in the nineteenth century. Current uses of this treatment include baths, saunas, wraps, and packs.

1. Hydrotherapy For Muscle Tone

Hydrotherapy is typically used to improve muscle tone, help with digestive and intestinal processes, stimulate circulation, improve the immune system, and offer pain relief. Water has the unique ability to eliminate stress and heal the body. It can not only assist the external body parts like skin, it can also soothe the major organs as well as the nervous system.

2. Hydrotherapy Techniques

There are a number of techniques to use hydrotherapy. Cold rubbing is one unique use of this practice. It is primarily used to invigorate and tone the body. To start, soak a cloth, preferably linen, in cold water. Ring it out and rub the entire body. After this is complete, go to bed until your body is warm and dry.

3. Douche

Another form of hydrotherapy is a douche. A gentle douche can be carried out with a container of water or a source of water like a hose or shower head. The water, though, should never splash the skin. The water should flow in toward the heart. After the douche is complete, shake off the excess, get dressed, and work out. There are a number of types of douches. The knee douche is used for headaches, blood pressure problems, sleep issues, and skin problems like bruising or varicose veins. In this process, the water should move from the toes toward the knee, then back to the sole of the foot. It should be repeated for the other leg.
4. Thigh Douche

A thigh douche is very similar. The procedure is essentially the same as above, but instead of stopping at the knee, move toward the upper thigh. In addition to the conditions a knee douche treats, this can also improve circulation. A lower trunk douche is, again, the same procedure, but the entire lower half of your body should be included. This can help with the swelling of major organs or the formation of gall or kidney stones. The arm douche is used for anxiety issues, rheumatism, heart difficulties, and headaches. To complete this procedure, take the stream of water from the outside of the hand to the shoulder, then back on the inside of the arm. It should be repeated for the other arm. The upper trunk douche involves much the same procedure, but dont stop at the shoulder. Continue to the chest. This should help with lung and throat difficulties. It can also stimulate the cardiovascular system. The face douche, useful for headaches, eye problems, and toothaches, can be completed by starting at the right temple and moving toward the chin, then up to the left temple, and over the course of the forehead, then making circles about the face.

5. Circulation

An additional form of hydrotherapy is a steam bath. These help with circulation, heart rate, hormone production, and airway flow. Additionally, they have been known to boost the immune system, relax the individual, and help with depression. It is important, though, in a steam bath to avoid overheating. Do not spend more than fifteen to twenty minutes in a steam bath.

6. Immersion Baths

Full and partial immersion baths are also forms of hydrotherapy. For back pain and the common cold, a rising temperature hip bath can be helpful. For fifteen minutes, three times a week, stand in a tub with rising hot water. It should start at the foot and rise to the navel. The eventual temperature should reach one hundred and three degrees. A cold foot bath can assist with varicose veins, headaches, circulation issues, and sleep problems. Place both feet in a bath filled with cold water up to the calf. You should stop when the water no longer seems cold. Wipe off the extra water, then walk or run until you are dry.

7. Wraps

A final form of hydrotherapy is the wrap. Wraps are used to treat fever and inflammation. A cloth, preferably linen, should be wet with cold water and wrung out. It should then be tightly wrapped around the part of the body that is ill, but do not constrict that part of the body. Once youve completed this wrap, wrap again with a dry linen cloth. The person receiving the wrap can then relax for an hour. If the wrap is not warm after fifteen minutes, a hot water bottle should be applied. If at any point in time, the person receiving the wrap feels ill, the wrap should be removed.
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