More than 70% of our body is made up of water; so it is only natural that water is used as a curative agent. Hydrotherapy or the use of water in various different ways to heal and cure the human body has been around for millennia. Water massage, water physiotherapy, water jets, medicinal water, and alternating hot and cold water can all be used variously. So how effective is hydrotherapy and what are its various forms? Let’s have a look.
Natural hot water springs as well as modern spas offer this type of hydrotherapy. Relaxation, stimulation, massage as well as mineral baths with sulfur, selenium, radium and silica form a part of this therapy. Painful conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia and certain skin conditions could improve with this type of therapy.
2. Kneipp Cure
Sebastian Kneipp was one of the founders of naturopathic medicine and also developed a system of hydrotherapy that used water applied at various different pressures and different temperatures. The Kneipp cure incorporates other naturopathic treatments such as use of botanical medicines, proper diet and exercise as well as spiritual wellbeing.
This therapy underlines the importance of being by the seaside and of the curative properties of sea water. Salt as well as traces of iodide, potassium, calcium, magnesium found in sea water are thought to have healing properties. Thalassotherapy is found largely in the Dead Sea area and includes showers with warm seawater or application of sea mud, algae and so on. Inhalation of sea fog and sea weed wraps are also thought to be beneficial.
4. Thermae or Mineral Spas
Ancient roman baths were known to be therapeutic, and hydrotherapy working on the same principle is also available today at mineral spas. These are usually at the site of natural hot springs where people can take the benefit of the minerals in the water. These are recommended for certain skin ailments as well as for pain management.
5. Scotch Hose
Pressurized jets of hot and cool water are used in this form of hydrotherapy. This is supposed to speed up the body’s metabolism and improve general health.
So, How Effective Is Water Therapy
Though therapists do tend to make claims of healing and disease alleviating with hydrotherapy, the evidence to this effect is limited. Clinical trials have mostly confined its effectiveness to pain and stress reduction, and to reduce the symptoms of certain skin problems.