The use of temperature-controlled water as a form of physical therapy has been a part of traditional medicine practices for hundreds of years and has helped to relieve pain and improve overall wellbeing. Hydrotherapy uses water to relieve discomfort and pain throughout the body by using duration, temperature, pressure, and areas to alleviate a disease’s symptoms. Hydrotherapy focuses on the body’s physiologic reactions in how it responds to those pressures and temperature changes in the water.
How Does Hydrotherapy Work?
Depending on the practice, practitioners who offer hydrotherapy often keep their water temperatures between 33-36 degrees Celsius or 91 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit, operating at temperatures warmer than most swimming pools. It relies heavily on mechanical and thermal effects, taking advantage of the body’s reaction to a cold and hot stimulus, along with the pressure exerted by the water to get in contact with the skin and nerves. These sensations are meant to stimulate the immune system, influencing hormones, digestion, circulation, and blood flow, thus reducing the body’s reaction to pain.
Does Hydrotherapy Work?
Stimulating the mind and body through water makes hydrotherapy effective for many people suffering from chronic illnesses. Studies have shown that immersing the head in and out of waters at various temperatures produced a lowered heart rate and an overall lower blood pressure compared to ambient air temperature. Many hormones that regulate the blood pressure system, including the renin and aldosterone hormones, were significantly lowered by 45%. Noradrenaline and dopamine concentrations increased as a result of this relief in blood pressure and produced calming effects.
Types of Hydrotherapy
Hydrotherapy can be applied both internally and externally to the body to stimulate the muscles, nerves, and skin.
External Hydrotherapy – Most commonly referenced, this form of hydrotherapy uses swimming pools, body packs, six baths, and other water treatment forms to work externally. The temperature of the water determines what conditions can be treated. For hot water, it causes the skin and muscles to relax, producing better circulation. For cold temperatures, the water helps increase stimulation in the muscles and increase blood flow.
Internal Hydrotherapy – Internal hydrotherapy uses enemas and colonic irrigation to clean the bowels of unwanted gut bacteria. It can treat digestive problems and clean the system for relieving conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.
What are the Benefits of Hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy has been used for years, and in recent years, has become an effective treatment for ailments, and can provide these benefits:
• Control blood pressure
• Increase metabolic function
• Improve production of serotonin and dopamine
• Improve the rate of cardiovascular activity
• Boost the immune system
• Stimulate blood supply
• Relieve stress and anxiety
To learn more about hydrotherapy and see whether or not hydrotherapy options exist in The Woodlands, TX area, our facility at Alternative Health Center for the Woodlands provides an extensive amount of amenities and alternative health treatments you long-lasting pain relief and effective treatment for your conditions. To see what the Alternative Center can do for you, contact Dr. Stephen Clouthier for more information.