You’ve probably heard how important consuming the right amount is for good
health. From happy cells to glowing skin, there is no denying that water is a necessity
for good health. In fact, our bodies are made up of approximately 60% water!
But, did you know that water can also be incredibly therapeutic when used on the OUTSIDE of the body?
Hydrotherapy, as it applies to being used externally, is the principle of using water to
relieve pain and promote health and healing. Hydrotherapy promotes health and healing
through the manipulation of blood flow through hot and cold temperatures. Maybe you
can relate to using an ice pack for an injury or heat to relax tired and sore muscles? We
can manipulate and enhance blood flow either locally or systemically. The ice pack on
that injury or heat on those muscles is an example of local hydrotherapy. Systemic
hydrotherapy may boost energy and the immune system, ease a nasty cold or flu, or
even help to subdue a headache. It may also assist the various organs of elimination,
such as the skin, liver, kidney and bowels.
Hydrotherapy for energy and immune boosting: Alternating Hot and Cold Showers! Eek!
Cold showers you say! With a properly designed protocol, taking into consideration
water temperature, timing, duration, frequency, location and even time of the day,
contrast showers can become an invigorating and energizing treatment to look forward
Hydrotherapy for cold and flu: Magic socks! Magic socks are a tried and true way of
draining sinus congestion, pain, and of getting a good night’s rest. In the beginning,
magic socks don’t sound so magic! They involve the application of wet, cold cotton
socks to one’s feet, followed by a pair of 100% wool socks on top. It is recommended
that this treatment is done just before bed. You’ll be astonished when you wake in the
morning feeling improvement from your cold symptoms and your cotton socks will be
Hydrotherapy to subdue a headache: Cold water marching! Fill a bathtub with
approximately 2 inches of very cold or icy water. Sit on the edge of the tub and move
your feet up and down for 2-3 minutes. The cold water helps to drain the pain from your
Lastly, it’s important to remember that neither water or hot or cold temperatures heal the
body. Only the body heals itself. But, hot and cold water can enhance the capacity of
the body to heal. Using the gentle, healing properties of water is safe for most people.
However, always consult your naturopathic doctor prior to embarking on a hydrotherapy
regime. There are some conditions where this form of treatment may not be best suited.
Curious as to how hydrotherapy may work for you? Send me an e-mail!