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Hydrotherapy - A Treatment For All Times

Dec 25, 2007
Hydrotherapy is the use of water for recuperative and healing purposes. Hydrotherapy treatment is largely considered to be the oldest form of medical treatment known to man. Hydrotherapy tubs and other items of hydrotherapy equipment are still used in modern times for a vast range of therapeutic measures.

Hydrotherapy has been used since the dawn of civilization. Evidence of its use can be found in ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman societies. Archeological evidence shows that members of the Egyptian ruling class would bathe in waters infused with oils and flowers for rejuvenating effects. Hippocrates, the Greek physician who lived from 460-370 B.C. and recognized as the father of modern medicine, prescribed bathing in spring water to cure illness. Romans built communal baths to promote the general health, hygiene, and well-being of its citizenry. Nonetheless, it wasn't until the 18th and 19th centuries that it attained its most widespread recognition. Sir John Floyer, an English physician who lived from 1649 to 1734, promoted its benefits. Vincenz Priessnits, an Austrian peasant who lived from 1799-1851, invented sponge baths, douches, and established health spas and hydrotherapy centers in Germany and other European countries. A Dominican monk by the name of Sebastian Kneipp wrote My Water Cure, which was published in 1889. This book was translated into many languages and the benefits of hydrotherapy treatment became widely known throughout Europe and established for the rest of time.

Along with treating diseases and improving wound healing, circulation, relaxation, digestion, and the immune system, hydrotherapy has been proven to be beneficial for people with:

Acne
Anxiety
Arthritis
Asthma
Back Pain
Burns
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Constipation
Depression
Headaches
Hyperthermia
Knee Pain
Muscle Pain
Musculoskeletal Disorders
Neck Pain
Sleep Disorders
Sports Injuries
Work-Related Injuries
Varicose Veins

Hydrotherapy treatment also has a soothing effect and calms the lungs, heart, stomach, and endocrine system by stimulating nerve reflexes on the spinal cord.

The recuperative and healing properties of hydrotherapy are commonly known today and the practice is widely used. It reduces stress, revitalizes the circulatory and digestive systems, and decreases sensitivity to pain. Hot water calms and soothes the body, relieving stress and loosening tense muscles. Cold water energizes and stimulates the mind and body and rejuvenates the immune system. Submerging yourself in a hydrotherapy bath tub, or a whirlpool, provides enormous benefits. The whirlpool in a hydrotherapy tank will massage your body, stimulate touch receptors and nerve endings on the skin, boost blood circulation, and release tight muscles. Whirlpools are also used to relieve joint conditions and have been useful in physical therapy for cases of paralysis and stiffness of the extremities.

Recent research has shown that water therapy can be highly curative for a wide range of conditions. For patients who have undergone abdominal surgery, whirlpool therapy can alleviate pain, enhance relaxation, promote pain relief, and assist in wound healing. Whirlpool therapy has been recommended to aid venous circulation and alleviate symptoms for patients with varicose veins. Whirlpool therapy is particularly beneficial for arthritis sufferers. Arthritic patients have shown significant improvement in joint tenderness and in knee range of movement after whirlpool therapy. Water therapy has been recently shown to play a curative role in asthma treatment. Researchers discovered that decreased function of the adrenocortical glands, evidenced by low serum cortisol levels, improved after therapy. This was accompanied by the reduction in the dosage of glucocorticoids needed to control asthma attacks.
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Learn more about other physical rehabilitation therapies or read more about hydrotherapy equipment.
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