The Growing Popularity of Hydrotherapy
If you’ve got chronic discomforts and pain, chances are you may also be experiencing other symptoms, like a weakened immune system and digestive health issues as well. Medical researchers have found that these factors are commonly linked.
“I see it all the time” says Dr. Nancy Lin, PhD. “Often people who suffer from chronic pain also report frequent bouts of digestive issues, and feel like they catch every cold or virus they come in contact with”. If this sounds familiar, then maybe it’s time to take your health into your own hands and finally find some lasting relief.
The good news is that there are natural alternative treatment options for pain, immunity, and improved digestion, including one that doesn’t receive the recognition it should — it’s called hydrotherapy. In this article we explore why alternative health experts say hydrotherapy is worth considering to address these health concerns.
What is Hydrotherapy?
As the name implies, hydrotherapy is a type of therapy that involves the use of water to help treat conditions like chronic pain and other issues. It involves the use of cold (even ice water) or hot temperatures to help promote balanced health. The temperature of the water will depend on what you are using the hydrotherapy for.
Hydrotherapy can be performed at home, at a health center, or even in a pool to help treat certain chronic pain-related conditions, especially those caused by inflammation, like arthritis.
Let’s take a look at the use of hydrotherapy for inflammation, pain, immune and digestive health.
How Can Hydrotherapy Help with Pain?
When it comes to using hydrotherapy for pain, most people seek out the help of a physical therapist who can help with specific exercises to reduce pain, using a pool designed specially for hydrotherapy. This form of hydrotherapy is generally used to help with the treatment of conditions like arthritis, and it can be helpful for multiple reasons.
For one, since the water temperature is often very warm when used to for this treatment, the warmth can help relax tight muscles which can bring relief to those experiencing chronic pain related to arthritis, or other tight muscle and joint-related issues.
Use of a hydrotherapy pool can help improve your range of motion and to help build strength without having any added pressure on your body.
Lastly, the relaxation benefits of hydrotherapy can be very beneficial for those experiencing pain. Relaxation can help reduce muscle tension and pain, and can help calm the mind which can in turn reduce some of the pain symptoms you may be experiencing. The relaxation benefits can be quite important — it’s important not to overlook the benefits of reducing stress for chronic pain, as stress can put an additional strain on the body and make symptoms worse.
Hydrotherapy for Immunity
Hydrotherapy techniques have also long been used to help support the immune system. Using something as simple as a warm foot bath for 20-30 minutes to help improve circulation may be able to help with things like sinus congestion when you are sick. The increase in circulation may also be able to help the lymph system remove toxins from your body more efficiently. Hydrotherapy naturally helps build your immune system to function at more optimal levels to fight off germs and lower your inflammation. The better your lymphatic system works, the better you will be able to fight off illness.
You can also try taking a contrast shower to help boost immune health and give you an energy boost before you start the day. To take a contrast shower, take a regular shower with warm water, and before you get out, turn the water to as cold as you can tolerate. Get the cold water on your legs, arms, front, and back for 30 seconds (or more) before getting out of the shower. Keep at this regularly for best results!
Hydrotherapy for Digestion. Yea or Nay?
Hydrotherapy digestive health benefits are also garnering more recognition. Hydrotherapy is commonly used as an alternative treatment option for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, or frequent indigestion. When used to enhance digestion, it is generally performed by alternating hot and cold towels over the abdomen.
Colonics are another form of hydrotherapy involving rinsing the colon with warm water to help flush out mucus and stagnant stools, but use of this therapy is still considered quite controversial. Many argue colonics may help to reduce some of the toxic waste built up in the colon, giving your digestive system a boost, but practitioners beware. Too many consecutive colonics and you run the risk of flushing out all the good flora inside your larger digestive tract, without giving your body time to build back up the natural enzymes it needs for regular, healthy bowel movements. If you want to use colonics, it’s best to do so infrequently while practicing good digestive habits like eating a plant based diet rich in fiber, moving your body daily with moderate exercise and taking a high quality probiotic and digestive enzymes daily.
Practicing Good Digestive Habits will help you:
- Support recovery from an injury
- Support natural detoxification
- Reduce stress & promote relaxation
- Increase blood flow and circulation
The Bottom Line
There are so many ways to combat inflammation and ease body aches and discomforts. One alternative and natural approach is the use of hydrotherapy to help support overall health. Though hydrotherapy makes an excellent natural treatment option for numerous health conditions without the use of medication, caution should be used on the frequency and dependency of its practice for digestive health. It’s best to work with a licensed therapist.
Remember to also follow an anti-inflammatory, plant-based diet whenever possible, and get quality sleep and find ways to address the stress in your every day. This holistic approach to wellness is always the best way to sustain a healthier you.