What is Hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy is a type of therapy that uses water to help alleviate pain. It is the use of temperature and pressure of the water within Hydrotherapy that is linked to pain relief.
Water therapy has been used for centuries around the world, because of its healing properties. It’s still used as a healing therapy for physical wellness, but also relaxation and spiritual therapy too.
Hydrotherapy in history
In history you see water being used for therapy dating back to the Egyptians, and features in Ancient Greece and Roman history too, with Roman Baths being particularly well known.
In Ancient Greece, Hippocrates referred to what we now call Hydrotherapy as Hydropathy.
The first mentions of water therapy as a medicinal use are a book published in 1702 by a physician Sir John Floyer about the Healing Virtues of Cold Water and then later a piece published in 1797 by Dr James Currie on using a combination of hot and cold water for therapy.
Hot Baths were introduced to England in the 1850s by David Urquhart in the form of Turkish Baths which he had seen when travelling the East. Turkish Baths remain popular today.
Who can benefit from Hydrotherapy?
Everyone will feel an improvement in their general well being by introducing Hydrotherapy into their daily routines, however, there are two main groups of people who see the most drastic improvements from doing so.
These are athletes and sports persons, who when they use hydrotherapy as a part of their training regime may see a general improvement in health, and performance. Hydrotherapy has been seen to speed up the recovery time from injury and post work out by reducing swelling and other pain from inflammation.
The second group who will most benefit from Hydrotherapy are those that suffer from disabilities or conditions which affect joints and cause muscle pain. This group may include those with arthritis, rheumatic ailments, fibromyalgia, people who have had joint replacement surgery, suffers from back pain, or osteoarthritis.
However, anyone who suffers from muscle or back pain, soreness or inflammation, anxiety, stress or high blood pressure, poor circulation or prone to cramping will likely see an improvement following hydrotherapy.
Today, Hydrotherapy is so popular, it is even used to treat pets, and specialist canine facilities can be found to treat pain in dogs with hydrotherapy.
What does Hydrotherapy do?
Hydrotherapy is a water therapy, which uses warm water to make your muscles relax. This then helps take the pain from joints and eases pain. The water also helps support your weight, which also relieves pain and can help enable people to perform stretches and exercises under less stress than if they were out of the water.
Types of Hydrotherapy
There are several types of Hydrotherapy that take place in different settings, from a spa or luxury treatment centre, sports centre, a health centre or physiotherapy setting, or hospitals.
These include water circuit therapy, aquatic exercise, aquatic massage, steam baths and saunas.
What is Hydrotherapy used for?
Amongst the many benefits that Hydrotherapy can provide, the below should be specially noted:
- Increase blood flow in the body
When the body is immersed in hot water your blood vessels expand, which increases blood flow and promotes better circulation. This improves the flow of white blood cells around the body, which also mean infection-fighting cells in the lymph perform better, helping to prevent infections improves your immune system and general health.
- Stress Relief
It cannot be underestimated, the physical damage that stress can do to your body. Hydrotherapy can work wonders as a means of stress relief and in turn lower your blood pressure, regulate healthy blood sugar levels and improve your quality of sleep. Studies have also shown Hydrotherapy as helping release endorphins in the body, which are released by the pituitary gland and work as the body’s natural pain reliever, which also works as a natural sedative.
- Rehab for injured joints and muscles
When the body is submerged in warm water, the impact of improved blood flow and better circulation can be shown to help heal injured tissues which in turn reduces swelling. This also supports the rehabilitation of injured joints and muscles.
- Relieving pain and reducing muscle tension
Muscle tension and pain can be caused by the day-to-day effects of gravity, which is felt more as we age. When soaking in the water there is less pressure on our bodies from gravity, which is why the weightlessness can feel so relaxing as it relieves tension from our bodies.
Hydrotherapy at home
One of the easiest and most accessible ways to access all the benefits of Hydrotherapy is to bring this water therapy into your own home.
You can reap the rewards of Hydrotherapy in your own home, to your own schedule, by installing a walk-in bath that includes a Hydrotherapy feature.
A huge benefit to this option is how regularly you can access Hydrotherapy, by having a walk-in bath at home, as regular use of Hydrotherapy sees the best results.
Benefits of Home Hydrotherapy
All of the abundant benefits of Hydrotherapy including stress relief and the wonderful feel-good endorphins might be counterbalanced by a stressful journey to a Hydrotherapy centre in a public space or the use of a shared pool.
When combining Hydrotherapy as part of your daily bathing routine, you are getting all of the benefits of Hydrotherapy with no compromise.
- Regular use
The best results from Hydrotherapy are seen when the therapy is used regularly. We may be lucky if we are able to get to a public Hydrotherapy once a month, or even weekly, but with a Hydrotherapy bath in your home you can access the benefits as often as you desire.
Hydrotherapy features of a Walk-In Bath
There are many bathtubs on the market which have hydrotherapy, spa, and whirlpool settings that will provide the hydrotherapy benefits. However, if you choose a bath with a walk-in feature you don’t need to worry about getting your sore muscles, tired legs, aches and pains and all the other worries from the day over the wall of the bathtub to start with.
Simply open the door to enter and exit the bath, sit down and enjoy the hydrotherapy experience. The bathing position provides by a walk-in bath adds to the relaxation, and the walk-in features reduce the risks of slips and falls, meaning fewer potential aches and pains to soak away. A walk-in bath with Hydrotherapy can also help to future proof your home, for if the day arrives where you find it difficult to hop into the bath and is a great feature to have should you have an elderly relative visit.