Use the healing properties of water (a.k.a. hydrotherapy) for better health
Have you ever heard about the healing properties of water? Hydro or water therapy is considered one of the most ancient of all healing remedies. Ancient cultures such as the Greeks, Hebrews, Persians, Hindus, Chinese, Romans, and Egyptians have well documented uses of water therapy. The first book on water therapy was written in 1881 called The Tokio Medical Journal and was published in Japan.
Hydrotherapy first came to America in the 1790’s. It was typically applied for the reduction of fever and reduction of inflammation. Dr. Kellogg, the same guy that invented corn-flakes cereal, furthered hydrotherapy at his sanatorium in Battle Creek, Michigan in with late 1800’s or early 1900’s by adding electrical current. I know what you are thinking…isn’t electricity and water together dangerous?!?
Turns out that adding the electric current and directing the current to the adrenals, gut, and occasionally liver or spleen could actually help improve several health conditions.
Some of the reasons I like to recommend hydrotherapy are to:
- Improve overall vitality or energy
- Help reduce stress by supporting the adrenals
- Improve sleep
- Enhance immune function
- Improve blood counts while on chemotherapy
- As a helpful treatment for lymphoma, leukemia, and myelodysplastic disorders
Some of the health benefits people have experienced are:
- Increased circulation of the blood and lymph
- Better nutrition delivery to the cells
- Improved detoxification and elimination of drugs and metabolites (even months after chemo has finished I can still sometimes smell the drigs coming out of the skin)
- Pain relief
- Speedy healing and recovery from other treatments
- Decreased inflammation
- Increased White Blood Cell and Red Blood Cell counts
There are so many ways to use water as a therapy!
My top 5 hydrotherapy recommendations to try are:
This treatment is performed in a doctor’s office with electrical stimulation and the application of hot and cold water to the chest and abdomen. I recommend this type of hydrotherapy for lymphoma, leukemia, and MDS. I also use this after chemotherapy to help with detoxification and improved vitality. Some of my patients have had improved blood counts, increased energy, and overall sense of feeling better.
Foot Bath: could be used for headaches, sinus congestion, arthritis, venous stasis ulcers, edema, and local injuries.
Sitz Bath: could be used for damage to the pelvic tissues. I like to recommend this to people undergoing pelvic radiation to help heal tissues, reduce pain, and improve bowel movements.
Total Body Immersion: This is your standard old fashioned bath! I think you probably already know how to do this…but, did you know it can be used to help break fevers, increase sweating and detoxification, or calm the nerves? It’s great for all these reasons, and more!
In my house, we love wet socks treatment! It’s mostly used for colds and flu’s. Why do we love it? It helps break a fever, improve sweating, increase sleep, and circulate the lymph to help the immune system react to the illness.
Cold Towel Application
Apply a cold towel to any part of the body, and then cover it with a blanket. You let the cold towel sit on the body, until it is warmed up to the touch. This increases localized circulation and can help reduce pain. I like to recommend this application for constipation and as a general pain reliever.
This can be a great treatment for skin conditions, sinus congestion, and lung infections. If you want, you can also add essential oils. Research studies have shown that adding Eucalyptus oil to inhaled steam increase the immune system’s reaction even deep in the lungs. Pretty cool for a little bit of steam, right?!
**As always, make sure you talk about any of these suggestions with your doctor before adding it to your home therapies. Although water seems like a pretty simple thing to use, it can be contraindicated in certain medical conditions!