Water therapy or hydrotherapy is being practiced since hundreds of years as an auxiliary mode of treatment for various diseases. It is also used for detoxification and rehabilitation purposes to improve various health parameters. Water constitutes over 60 percent of the body; hence, it has a great influence on the overall well being of an individual. You will be surprised to know that we use hydrotherapy in our daily life without even being aware of it. Every time we relax in our bathtub, go swimming, or use the sauna, we are actually treating ourselves unknowingly by employing the therapeutic powers of water.
A number of hydrotherapy centers are cropping up these days, as more and more people are recognizing the benefits of this therapy in the management of chronic illnesses, where conventional methods have failed to bring about any improvements. Many have reported that their health, which was otherwise deteriorating due to conditions like diabetes, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other debilitating illnesses, improved drastically so as to enable them to pull on with their lives comfortably.
The temperature of water, as well as its level of agitation, is set according to certain guidelines depending upon the line of treatment. Water at higher temperatures induces vasodilatation. The rate of blood flow increases towards the target areas, thereby supplying oxygen and vital nutrients to the muscles, whilst facilitating removal of the cell’s toxic waste products. This helps to rejuvenate the musculoskeletal system. Hot water is known to decrease spasms, relieve pain, and increase the range of movements of a particular joint. Cold water produces vasoconstriction, which helps to localize and reduce any inflammation.
Water exercises include swimming, pool games, water walking, and massages. Water provides a perfect, stress-free environment for these exercises as the buoyancy of water supports the joints and encourages movements without much difficulty. The strength and flexibility of the body muscles increases to a great extent when working out against water resistance. This therapy is very beneficial to patients suffering from psoriatic arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis because in deep water, a person barely feels any pain even if his muscles and joints are sore.
Aquatic exercises go well with asthmatic patients too. They help in lowering the frequency of asthmatic attacks, reducing the severity of bronchial constriction, enhancing the endurance of the respiratory muscles, and facilitating the clearance of mucus. Other benefits of water therapy are balance enhancement and improvement of peripheral circulation. However, it is always advisable to consult a doctor before opting for this therapy, as it may aggravate certain conditions and give rise to complications.