Introduction – Water works Miraculous:
Water has been used as a valuable therapeutic agent since time immemorial. In all major ancient civilizations, bathing was considered an important measure for the maintenance of health and prevention of disease. It was also valued for its remedial properties. The ancient Vedic literature in India contains numerous references to the efficacy of water in the treatment of disease.
In modern times, the therapeutic value of water was popularised by Vincent Priessnitz, Father Sebastian Kneipp, Louis Kuhne and other European water-cure pioneers. They raised water cure to an institutional level and employed it successfully for the treatment of almost every known disease. There are numerous spas in most European countries where therapeutic baths are used as a major healing agent.
Water exerts beneficial effects on the human system. It equalises circulation, boosts muscular tone and aids digestion and nutrition. It also tones up the activity of perspiratory gland and in the process eliminates the damaged cells and toxic matter from the system.
Above 450C, water loses its therapeutic value and is destructive.
Definition of Hydrotherapy:
Hydrotherapy is the medicinal use of water for positive health benefits. These health benefits come from the mechanical and thermal effects of water interacting with the body. It includes the use of physical water properties, specifically temperature and pressure, and sometimes the delivery of minerals or herbal treatments to manipulate the body’s flow of blood, the endocrine system and associated neural systems in order to treat the symptoms of certain diseases. The term “Hydrotherapy” is derived from the Greek words “Hydro” meaning water, and “Therapia” meaning healing.
The main methods of water treatment which can be employed in the healing of various
diseases are described below.
The common water temperature chart is: cold 100C to 180C, neutral 320C to 360C and hot 400C to 450C.
Conditions Helped by Hydrotherapy:
Hydrotherapy is used to treat many illnesses and conditions including:
- stomach problems
- joint, muscle, and nerve problems
- sleep disorders
It is also commonly used for relaxation and to maintain a person’s state of health. Hydrotherapy is also excellent for reducing or relieving sudden or long-lasting pain.
Benefits of Hydrotherapy:
The benefits of hydrotherapy include:
- dramatically increasing the elimination of waste, thus assisting detoxification
- loosening tense, tight muscles and encouraging relaxation
- increasing the metabolic rate and digestion activity
- hydrating the cells, improving skin and muscle tone
- boosting the immune system, allowing it to function more efficiently
- improving the function of the internal organs by stimulating their blood supply
Contraindications for Hydrotherapy:
Cold baths should not be used for young children or the elderly. Sauna baths should be avoided by people that suffer from heart conditions.
Hydrotherapy appears to be a low-risk practice for most people if common-sense precautions are taken, such as not exposing the body to too much heat or cold for extended periods and drinking adequate fluid to prevent dehydration. However, hydrotherapy can pose risk for certain people including:
- People with a condition that could be worsened by exposure to extremes of heat or cold
- (for example, heart disease, lung disease, circulation disorder, Raynaud’s phenomenon, or chilblains)
- People with injuries that could be aggravated by strong motions from water jets
- People with difficulty perceiving temperature (for example, from neuropathy, or damage to the nerves)
- Women who are pregnant
- People who have implanted medical devices such as pacemakers or pumps