Hydrotherapy is an ancient healing practice which uses water to help the body to heal itself; it is as old as man. We sometime apply this healing method without knowing it. When you apply ice to a sprain, when you draped a hot towel over a stiff neck or when you soak yourself in a hot tub to get rid of tension, they are all forms of hydrotherapy. ;
In the ancient Greek temple devoted to Asclepius, the god of medicine, this therapy was used to treat the sick. The Sanskrit hold evidence of its existence to as far back as 4,000 B. C.
As a healing discipline, hydrotherapy was born in the early 1800s when a German farmer named Vincent Preissnitz used cold wet compresses to heal his badly injured hand and broken ribs. He build on his success at healing himself through hydrotherapy by healing his friends and neighbours.
For his impressive record of clinical success words soon spread around to the effect that the Crown of the Astro-Hungarian Empire set aside its customary regulations for medical training and permitted him to continue his practice despite the protests among practicing physicians of the time.
Hydrotherapy was brought to America in 1840 by a man called Robert Wesselhoeft, who was cured of rheumatic fever by Pressnitz. Armed with studies in medicine Wesselhoeft and his brother, William, settled in Vermont where they both founded the Brattleboro Infirmary. Here many people tried the water’s curative power.
Underlying the power of hydrotherapy is the ability of water to trigger the basic healing mechanism of the body. Some form of hydrotherapy improves circulations, improving the circulation is key to stimulating the body’s healing process.
Common colds, coughs and sinus problems, respond well to steam treatments. When your head or your chest is congested, breathing in steam’s vapors provide relief.
Hydrotherapy that uses water in its solid form, ice, can provide potent pain relief in many situations. Ice slows down the ability of your nerve to transmit pain to the brain.
Moist heat hydrotherapy is known for its ability to ease muscle aches and cramps. Many women rely on a moist hot pack to take care of their monthly crams or their sore muscles after a stressful day at work.
Your bathtub is a form of home health care device. It is a potentially useful vessel for treating everyday problems like skin irritations, insomnia, muscle spasms and congestion. The basic therapeutic bath comes in three temperature ranges: cold, normal and hot.