Hydrotherapy makes use of water to preserve a person’s health and treat different ailments. This is accomplished with hot and cold showers, underwater massage, steam, jet sprays, immersion in mineral and salt baths, contrast baths and saunas. Although the healing powers of water have been recognized since ancient times, people who want to relax can now experience hydrotherapy at many indoor and outdoor spas that are protected by spa covers. (c) Google search
The healing effects of hydrotherapy depend on the temperature, depth and the how long the person remains in the water. These effects include thermal, mechanical and chemical. How do these differ? Thermal effects are produced by applying water at temperatures higher or lower than the body temperature. For example, cold water can stimulate the body and helps reduce inflammation, pain and swelling. In contrast, hot water is relaxing, improves circulation and removes wastes from the body. This is often utilized to treat chronic pain.
Mechanical effects are due to the massaging effect of water jets that affect the touch receptors of the skin and increase blood circulation. The partial weightlessness one experiences in water can relieve joint decompression that is common in weight-bearing joints. This helps prevent degenerative joint diseases like osteoarthritis. The chemical effects of hydrotherapy result in calmness. This leads to increased serotonin levels – a hormone that calms the lungs, heart, stomach and the endocrine system. This is the reason why you feel great after a hydrotherapy session. (c) Google search
These three effects make hydrotherapy good for the body. Hydrotherapy can energize and rejuvenate the body by eliminating stress. It relieves inflammation, promotes well-being, and soothes painful muscles and joints.
A few of the common hydrotherapy techniques are the neutral bath, the whirlpool bath and the contrast bath. In the neutral bath, a person is immersed up to the neck in water with a temperature of about 92 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit. This relaxes the nervous system and is recommended for those with insomnia, depression and anxiety. The whirlpool bath is often used in rehabilitation. This uses moving water to treat injured muscles and joints. In a contrast bath, hot and cold water are applied alternately. The person first stays in hot water for 3 minutes before cold water is used for a minute. This is done 4 to 5 times in one sitting and often ends with cold water. It improves circulation and transports important nutrients to cells to promote healing. So take away those spa covers, take a dip and have a taste of hydrotherapy.