Hydrotherapy is the use of water to revitalize, maintain, and restore health.
Why it is used?
From a naturopathic perspective, hydrotherapy is used to stimulate the bodies own innate power to heal (Vis medicatrix naturae or Nature Heal Thyself- link to naturopathic principle article). This is one of the founding principals of naturopathic medicine.
Hydrotherapy returns the body to its’ natural state of balance between the parasympathic and sympathetic systems. The parasympathetic system is what is nicknamed the “rest and digest” system. It can loosely be considered the opposite of the sympathetic system, which activates what is often termed the “fight or flight” response.
In order for the body to be in optimal health, there must be a balance between the two systems. Unfortunately, it has been found that many people are operating on automatic sympathetic mode. An unbalanced sympathetic mode produces stress and continued stress facilitate “dis-ease” of the body. When you undergo a hydrotherapy treatment, you become more relaxed, your parasympathetic system starts to ramp up and your body starts to heal.
Another way to describe the physiological basis of hydrotherapy is to look at the therapeutic aspects of hot and cold water. Cold water stimulates, it causes superficial blood vessels to constrict, which directs the blood to internal organs. Hot water relaxes, causes blood vessels to dilate, and removes wastes from body tissues. Alternating hot and cold water improves elimination, decreases inflammation, and stimulates circulation. All of these factors allow the innate power of the body to heal.
Hydrotherapy treatments include saunas, steam baths, foot baths, sitz baths, and the application of cold and hot water compresses.
If you are interested in a getting colonic treatment, please contact Angela at Wellness of Life.
Frequently Asked Questions
What conditions does it treat?
Hydrotherapy can be used to treat or enhance the treatment of a variety of acute and chronic conditions. Please consult with Dr. Chhun-Lum for the best options for your situation. It is the philosophy of Naturopathic Doctors to educate and inspire patients to feel empowered about their wellness through promoting self-healing.
Can I use hydrotherapy to treat this specific condition?
The philosophy of hydrotherapy is a simple one. It will help you to relax and balance your body. When relaxation and balance occurs, the body heals itself naturally. If you need advice on treating a specific condition with hydrotherapy, please consult with Dr. Chhun-Lum.
What are some types of hydrotherapy treatments?
- Constitutional hydrotherapy
- Alternative hot/cold (Shower—3mins hot, 30 sec cold)
- Bath salts: Epsom salt and essential oils
- Colonics or Colon hydrotherapy
- Cold wet sock
- Wet sheet wrap
- Stream bath/Nebulizer
- Hot fomentation
Can you explain in more detail the different types of hydrotherapy?
This site is a good reference, http://www.methodsofhealing.com/types-of-hydrotherapy-treatments/, however, these are general explanations. A Naturopathic Doctor investigates for the root causes of health conditions while treating the whole person. As a result, hydrotherapy may be used as part of an entire treatment plan and/or as a single therapy.
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