What is it?
Hydrotherapy is a branch of Nature Cure. It is the treatment of disorders using different forms of water. These forms of water application are in practice since age-old days. Hydrothermal therapy additionally uses its temperature effects, as in hot & cold baths, saunas, wraps, etc and in all its forms-solid, fluid, vapor, ice, and steam, internally and externally. Water is, without doubt, the most ancient of all remedial agents for the disease. This great healing agent has now been systematized and made into a science.
Water is used in many forms in treatment. The various forms of treatments are:-
Compresses and Fomentation:
- Cold Compress: Abdominal Cold Compress.
- Heating Compress: Chest pack, abdominal pack, wet girdle pack, throat pack, Knee pack, and full wet sheet pack.
- Hot and Cold Compresses: Head, Lung, Kidney, Gastro-Hepatic, pelvic & Abdominal hot and cold compresses.
- Hip Bath- Cold, Neutral, Hot, Stiz Bath and alternative hip bath.
- Spinal Bath & Spinal Spray:-Cold, Neutral, Hot
- Foot and Arm Bath: Cold, Hot Foot Bath, Arm Bath, Hot Foot, and Arm bath Combined, Contrast Arm Bath and Contrast Foot Bath.
- Steam Inhalation & Steam Bath
- Sauna Bath
- Sponge Bath
- Cold, Neutral, Hot, Alternate, Circular jet Spray massage
- Affusion Baths: Cold Affusions, Neutral Affusions, Hot Affusions, Hot and Cold Affusions
- Cold Shower
- Cold Immersion Bath, Cold Immersion with Friction, Neutral Immersion Bath, Hot Immersion, Neutral Half Bath, Graduated Immersion Bath with Epsom Salt, Asthma Bath, Whirlpool Bath, underwater massage.
- Graduated Enema, Vaginal Irrigation, Cold Irrigation, Neutral Irrigation, Hot Irrigation.
- One of the modalities of Hydrotherapy is Colon Therapy.
It is the process of cleansing and flushing out colon or large intestine. The treatment is similar to an enema but is more extensive. It uses clean filtered water under gentle pressure (without pain) to wash out or detoxify colon of stagnated fecal materials. The number of sessions will depend on the individual. Most people require a series of 3-6 treatments to receive a thorough cleansing of the colon.
Why is it Best?
Benefits and Physiological effects of Hydrotherapy:
The recuperative and healing properties of hydrotherapy are based on its mechanical and/or thermal effects. It exploits the body’s reaction to hot and cold stimuli, to the protracted application of heat, to pressure exerted by the water and to the sensation it gives. The nerves carry impulses felt at the skin deeper into the body, where they are instrumental in stimulating the immune system, influencing the production of stress hormones, invigorating the circulation and digestion, encouraging blood flow, and lessening pain sensitivity. Generally, heat quiets and soothes the body, slowing down the activity of internal organs. Cold, in contrast, stimulates and invigorates, increasing internal activity.
Its mechanical action occurs during the bath when the body weight decreases by 50% to 90% when submerged in a bath, a pool, or a whirlpool, experiences a kind of weightlessness. Body is relieved from the constant pull of gravity. Water also has a hydrostatic effect. It has a massage-like feeling as the water gently kneads your body. Water, in motion, stimulates touch receptors on the skin, boosting blood circulation and releasing tight muscles.
Cold Application is defined as the therapeutic application of any substance to the body that removes heat from the body, resulting in decreased tissue temperature. Cold application decreases tissue blood flow by causing vasoconstriction and reduces tissue metabolism, oxygen utilization, inflammation and muscle spasm. Topical cold treatment decreases the temperature of the skin and underlying tissues to a depth of 2 to 4 cm, decreasing the activation threshold of tissue nociceptors and the conduction velocity of pain nerve signals. This result in a local anesthetic effect called cold-induced neuropraxia. Thermotherapy is the therapeutic application of any substance to the body that adds heat to the body resulting in increased tissue temperature. Heat therapy is delivered by three mechanisms: conduction, convection, or conversion. Increased blood flow facilitates tissue healing by supplying protein, nutrients, and oxygen at the site of injury. A 1ºC increase in tissue temperature is associated with a 10% to 15% increase in local tissue metabolism. This increase in metabolism aids the healing process by increasing both catabolic and anabolic reactions needed to degrade and remove metabolic by-products of tissue damage and provides the milieu for tissue repair