Hydrotherapy is a combination of two Greek works; “hydro” meaning water and “therapie” meaning healing. Hydrotherapy is a treatment involving water in different forms for recovery of muscles including balancing, coordination and movement. It involves use of water in the form of liquid, ice and steam both hot and cold for application of pressure on human body. With this pressure, a physical energy is infused in the tissues that enhances healing process involving aches, pains and diseases. This water therapy is also used in connection with heat and then it is termed as hydrothermal therapy.
Aim of Hydrotherapy!
The basic aim or function of hydrotherapy is to activate functions of a human body upon reaction with hot and cold spurs. In general, heat therapies are used to soothe human body as it slows down the internal organs’ activeness. On the other hand, cold stimulates and activates human body functions making them more active. This is why when you are dealing with some kind of stress and have tensed muscles; you feel relaxed with a hot water bath. However if you are feeling tired and needs to make your body active; you may take a cold water shower. Similar is the purpose of hydrotherapy in general.
Benefits of Hydrotherapy:
Here are some benefits that hydrotherapy brings to a human body:
- It helps in getting rid of stress.
- It revitalizes your body.
- It improves your immune system and digestion.
- It enhances flow of blood through your body.
- It helps in reducing pains and body aches.
- It helps in reducing stress and aids sleep.
- It proves helpful with treatment of arthritis.
- It aids treatment of musculoskeletal disorders.
- It helps in healing burns.
- It benefits stroke patients as well.
- It helps in recovery of sports injuries.
- It is a good form of pre and post-natal exercise.
- High fever, acne, colds and there are many other benefits of hydrotherapy.
Methods of Hydrotherapy :
Different methods are used for various hydrotherapy healing sessions. Some of these sessions are carried out in special swimming pools, saunas, baths, and in others similar areas where temperature is maintained at a certain level to keep patients at complete comfort. Usually the temperature of water is kept from 33 to 36 degree centigrade whereas the surrounding is kept from 25 to 28 degree centigrade.
Some of the popular hydrotherapy systems are:
- Kneipp System: Sebastian Kniepp developed this technique and it involves use of both hot and cold water on skin. Some of the popular treatments under this name are water treading, dew walking and snow walking. This technique has proved to give positive effects on human body include its immune system, physiological health, segmental response, tensed muscle relieve, consensual responses and trauma recovery.
- Colon Hydrotherapy: Rectum that is the last point of the largest intestine from where the waste terminates is worked upon during this therapy. With this painless therapy, warm water is infused in rectum that helps in clearing any waste that is build-up in colon. This therapy improves your digestive system with a natural therapy that involves no use of chemicals or drugs.
- Hydro Massage Therapy: This therapy involves use of warm water to massage human body causing it to chemically, mechanically and thermally react with the body to give the required benefits and results. With this technique, human body would experience increased blood circulation, relieve from tensed and aching muscles, stress reduction and recovery from sports injuries, arthritis, insomnia, fibromyalgia and many other diseases.
Preparing for a Hydrotherapy :
Before going for your hydrotherapy session, here are some considerations and tips for preparation:
- Be aware of the details of that session at a therapist such as length of the session, method, features included etc.
- More of the spas where you go for hydrotherapy without prescription are mostly giving a general treatment. However if you have been prescribed a certain program by a therapist, you would need to make sure that your hydrotherapy session is tailored for your needs.
- If you are pregnant or have any disease or problem; make sure that you inform your therapist and hydrotherapy may not be suitable for your condition. Such circumstances would include having high/low blood pressure, chest infection, fever, high sugar level, asthma, skin infection, epilepsy, kidney problem, stomach upset or others.
- Do not consume a full meal or take alcohol before going for hydrotherapy. Have your meal afterwards instead.
Basics of a Hydrotherapy Treatment :
Hydrotherapy treatments or sessions are basically exercise sessions in water (pools) that are supervised by your therapist. Although exact details would depend upon your injury or condition. For example if you are suffering from spinal injuries or are a stroke patient or any other condition that is serious; you would be given some specific person for supervision along with a physiotherapist assistance. In conditions that are severe and patients need support, you will have professionals working with you on one-on-one basis.
You may need to take multiple sessions for recovery and healing to take place. Your first consultation may be a session of around 30-45 minutes. Therapist would ask you all the questions related to your overall health including medical history so that a hydrotherapy session can be tailored according to your needs and health condition. Usually your hydrotherapy course would consist of 4-5 such sessions where you will be recommended some particular exercises to help your condition. You will find these sessions really relaxing.
It is natural to feel tired after a session or you may feel that you have become more active. To further please your body, you may opt for a massage or any beauty treatment after hydrotherapy if the place has facility for it. Hydrotherapy keeps you in water and it is an activity that would leave you hungry similar to swimming.
Hydrotherapy treatment is particularly safe in all forms and you will not see any side effects. However you should make sure that if therapist will be using some herbs, essential oils or other lubricants; you are not allergic to them. If you happen to be allergic to some specific oils or herbs, make it certain that your therapist knows about it in advance in order to avoid any adverse reactions to your body. Some cases of feeling chills, headaches, aches or nauseous feeling have been reported but it is quite rare.