Hydrotherapy: Types, Uses and Benefits
The use of water to treat a number of illnesses has been around for hundreds of years now. The use of cold and hot water and even steam has been known to provide relief from pain and has proven to promote the overall well being of people. Today, using hot and cold water for this purpose is known as Hydrotherapy.
Hydrotherapy is also at times, referred to as aquatic therapy, is based on the principle of using water for exercise and altering its intensity. Hydrotherapy involves the person being immersed in a swimming pool that has been designed specifically for the purpose of providing aquatic treatment. However, what sets it apart from a regular swimming pool is that the temperature of the water can be adjusted.
How Hydrotherapy Works
Hydrotherapy works by using the reactions of the body to the cold and hot stimuli, application of the heat and the gentle pressure of the water that is exerted combined with the overall sensation of being in the water itself. When a person is submerged in to the pool of water for this therapy, they feel weightless while the water works to gently knead and massage your body providing you relief from various pains and aches.
Types of Hydrotherapy
Generally, hydrotherapy is done through a variety of techniques. These techniques include:
- Showers and baths
- Foot baths
- Neutral baths
- Contrast sitz baths
- Sitz baths
- Cold compresses
- Hot compresses
- Steam inhalation
- Cold mitten friction rub
- Alternating cold and hot compresses
- Body wraps
- Salt glow
- Wet sheet pack
Medical Conditions Treated Using Hydrotherapy
Hydrotherapy has been proven effective in treating a variety of medical conditions and illnesses. The use of hot and cold water has provided many with relief. Below are the different conditions and illnesses that are being treated effectively through the use of hydrotherapy.
- Stomach problems
- Sleep disorder
- Nerve, joint and muscle problems
Benefits of Using Hydrotherapy
The use of hydrotherapy results in the following benefits.
- Hydrotherapy helps in increasing the metabolic rate
- It has been shown effective in promoting digestive activity
- Helps in eliminating the waste in the body allowing the body to detoxify
- Hydrotherapy stimulates the blood supply which in turn improves the overall functioning of the internal organs
- Hydrotherapy boosts the immune system
- Hydrotherapy hydrates the cells in the body which in turn helps in improving the muscle and skin tone
- Strengthens weak muscles
- Helps in improving the overall balance and coordination
- Increases range of motion of joints
- Helps to reduce muscle spasms
For people with certain conditions, hydrotherapy is not recommended.
- Kidney problems
- Vascular conditions
- Those people who have inflammation
- A person with a fever should not use hydrotherapy
- People with hypertension
- People with heart disease should avoid using hydrotherapy