What is hydrotherapy and how it is useful?

turning on hydrotherapy tub

What was hydrotherapy used for?

Hydrotherapy, aka as water therapy is using water, both externally and internally at fluctuating temperatures, for the purpose of healing.  Advocates of hydrotherapy believe that cold water constricts the glib blood vessels and moves the flow of blood away from the body’s surface, allowing more of it reach the organs. Hot water has the opposite effect and dilates glib blood vessels while activating the sweat glands which it is believed, removes waste from the body tissues.

During the start of the 20th century, hydrotherapy was a treatment for mental illness at many institutions, such as the London Asylum for the Insane. The theory behind this method was that water was an effective treatment because it could be cooled or heated to different temperatures and applied to a patient’s skin. It would cause the body to produce different reactions quickly, which was believed to be a benefit of the treatment.

Today is hydrotherapy still used, but not for the same type of “shock” treatment. Hydrotherapy is used for the treatment of several things, among them are:

  • Acute or chronic pain management
  • Pre- and post-joint replacement surgery
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Relaxation to lower stress

Also, hydrotherapy for arthritis has gained popularity among patients to minimize their reliance on medications. Hydrotherapy has long been used as an alternative by expectant mothers, usually in a hydrotherapy tub for exercise and to help ease labor pains while giving birth.

A combination of hydrotherapy and massage is used to improve muscle flexibility, a range of motion, minimize muscle spasms and when combined with resistance training, improves strength.

Why is hydrotherapy important?

Using hydrotherapy isn’t anything new, it has been around for a 100s of years, as we stated earlier in this article. It was an integral part of medical practice at one time and has modern medicine grew more prominent for disease or illness, the concept of hydrotherapy became a traditional medical practice became an unfamiliar concept. The benefits that were once a great miracle faded away.

Today, we now know that hydrotherapy eases physical discomfort, proving once again that water has healing properties. Our bodies react to cold and hot stimuli with the cold invigorating and the hot calming. The act of alternating between the two enhances our body functions, reduces inflammation, and aids in healing injuries.

Who benefits hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy can be beneficial for anyone that inflicted with the following musculoskeletal disorders:

  • Arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Burns
  • Paralysis
  • Spasticity
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Strokes

Hydrotherapy is a non-medical way to sooth pains and treats disease without the risk of becoming addicted to pain medication or risk medications causing more issues.

How do you do hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy is done at health centers and spas, or you can do some forms in the comfort of your home. The most common methods of hydrotherapy include:

  • Watsu: Used by a therapist who massages the patient while they float in a pool of warm water.
  • Sitz bath: This method is used for those with hemorrhoids, menstruation problems, and premenstrual syndrome by sitting on one tub with cold or hot water and placing your feet in another tub of opposite water temp, alternating after a specific set time.
  • Warm water baths: Determined by what condition or injury is treating, the patient soaks in warm water for thirty minutes with aromatherapy oil, Epsom salts, ginger, mineral mud, moor mud, or dead sea salts.
  • Steam bath: A specially designed room that fills with warm, humid air, creating steam is that releases impurities from the body.
  • Sauna: A dry and warm air that promotes sweating.
  • Compresses: Cool or warm towels placed in certain areas of the body. A cool compress reduces inflammation and/or swelling, and warm compresses stimulate the blood flow, which eases stiff muscles.
  • Wraps: This hydrotherapy method is used for those with colds, muscle pains, and/or skin disorders. Wet flannel sheets are wrapped around a patient’s body as they lay, then blankets and/or dry towels are placed over them This allows the body to warm up while the sheets are dry.
  • Contrast hydrotherapy: This is one type of hydrotherapy that can be done at home. After your shower, turn the temperature cooler but still tolerable and let the water run 30 seconds, then turn off, repeating this process 3 times.
  • Warming socks: Another hydrotherapy you can do at home to ease congestion of the upper body and improve your circulation. Wet a pair of cotton socks, wring them out and place on feet, place a dry pair over them and leave on overnight. Then put a dry pair of wool socks over them and go to bed, remove when you get up the next morning.
  • Hot fomentation: Coughs and colds in the chest are treated with this method by placing hot compresses on the bare chest.
  • Hydrotherapy exercises in a pool: This treatment is used by those with musculoskeletal conditions we mentioned above because it has a gentle resistance as the patient exercises. This should always be done with a physiotherapist present so they can regulate the method.
person in hydrotherapy tub

What are the side effects of hydrotherapy?

Side effects of hydrotherapy include the following:

  • Bursitis
  • Cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Sore muscles

For anyone experiences any of the diseases, illness, or pains we’ve mentioned in this article, it is well worth asking your physician if hydrotherapy would be good for you. If your doctor approves this type of treatment plan, start with professional guidance to assure you’re doing it correctly and not overdoing it. Too much of a good thing isn’t good. Dial (972) 695-3027 today for your hydrotherapy tub installation in Frisco, TX.