Hydrotherapy is the use of water in the treatment of different conditions, including arthritis and related rheumatic complaints. Hydrotherapy differs from swimming because it involves special exercises that you do in a warm-water pool. The water temperature is usually 33–36ºC, which is warmer than a typical swimming pool. Hydrotherapy, or water therapy, is the application of water to initiate cure. All three forms of water (liquid, steam, ice) can be used therapeutically. Hydrotherapy tends to be different to aquarobics, which can be quite strenuous, as it’s generally more focused on slow, controlled movements and relaxation.
The goals of hydrotherapy are to improve the circulation and quality of blood. This is important because blood delivers nutrients to and removes wastes from tissues and organs. If circulation is poor or slow, healing nutrients cannot be delivered and toxins cannot be removed, which causes degeneration of the tissues and organs. By improving the quality of blood, more nutrients are available for cells to use and toxins are managed more efficiently. General therapeutic uses of hydrotherapy include pain and swelling of injuries, fever, elimination of toxins, antispasmodic, constipation and improved immune function.
Alternating hot and cold (contrast hydrotherapy) is a common hydrotherapy treatment. The hot application expands blood vessels, filling them with blood, and the cold application constricts the blood vessels, forcing the blood to move on to other parts of the body. Hot and cold can be applied to any part of the body that is inflamed, congested, or injured. Treatment normally consists of applying a hot cloth for 3 minutes then a cold cloth for 30 seconds, alternating 3 times in a row. The treatment can be done several times a day.
The amount of time the hot and cold is applied may vary (e.g., 5 minutes hot, 1 minute cold) as long as the cold application is of shorter duration than the hot. It is also important to end the treatment with the cold application. The hot application should be pleasantly hot.
- Holistic Sutra Posted for Ayurved Sutra by Soulpark with Shruti M