Water has been used for medical treatment for thousands of years with traditions rooted in many cultures including ancient China, Japan, India and Rome. From Roman bathhouses to ancient hot springs in Asia, different cultures have recognized the therapeutic uses of water by taking baths to prevent or treat disease. Spas, hot springs and bathhouses have been used throughout history for therapeutic and health purposes.
Hydrotherapy is the external application of water in any form or temperature that promotes healing with the ability to alter blood flow. Typically it includes immersion in a bath, use of water jets, application of wet towels to the skin for relief of various diseases and injuries. However, hydrotherapy treatment can also be used for general well being and for relaxation of the body.
The healing properties of hydrotherapy are stemmed from thermal effects by exploiting the body to hot and cold stimuli. Different water temperatures play a huge role in treatment because cold water stimulates the body while hot water relaxes the body. Most people use hydrotherapy to treat many diseases and conditions including arthritis, colds, headaches, stomach problems, joint and muscle problems, nerve problems and stress. The most common hydrotherapy treatments include hot baths with 20-minute soaks or alternating hot and cold treatments depending on your symptoms.
Hydrotherapy is not only for those who are trying to overcome an illness or are experiencing pain. It can also be used for every day health to provide the body with a moment of relaxation and to step away from our every day endeavors. Hydrotherapy can be carried out by a professional or at home with a whirlpool bathtub.