No other substance on Earth can match the healing properties and restorative powers of water. For untold generations, people have recognized water as a natural medicine, one that can ease the body and calm the spirit. Hydrotherapy harnesses the life-giving power of water and uses it to provide relief and comfort to those who suffer from all manner of aches and pains.
Ancient cultures in Greece, China and Japan were among the first to develop hydrotherapy, which is the practice of submerging all or parts of the body in water for medicinal purposes. The practice rose to prominence in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries as physicians of the day studied the science of water therapy. “Water cures” were a common treatment at the time for a host of illnesses, including pneumonia, anxiety and back pain. Since then, the use of hydrotherapy has expanded greatly and is now an often prescribed treatment for a broad range of physical maladies as well as a luxurious indulgence at resorts and day spas.
Bathing is a daily necessity that is integral to maintaining one’s health and appearance. Regular bathing is good for the skin, improves circulation and can help alleviate insomnia and muscle pain. Bathing also provides a boost for the self-esteem – looking and feeling clean can go a long way towards building a positive self-image.
Given the proper circumstances, bathing can be a restorative ritual that soothes the mind and relaxes the body. Instead of a quick shower that takes care of only the essentials, imagine a restful oasis. Picture a steamy scented soaking tub with soft lighting, a good book and a plush towel nearby. Or if you prefer, an invigorating jetted whirlpool with swirls of pulsing water that knead the day’s tensions out of tired muscles. In either scenario, you emerge not just “clean” but refreshed and renewed and ready to re-enter the world.
Water has a purifying effect on the body and mind. The natural minerals found in water help to detoxify the body, while the soothing sensation of soaking in water provides a much-needed respite for the mind.
Hydrotherapy is a natural and organic form of pain relief that works its magic in two primary ways. First, the experience provides the bather with the sensation of weightlessness and significantly relieves the body of the effects of gravity. The buoyancy of water reduces body weight by 90%, easing pressure on aching joints, muscles and bones. According to the Arthritis Foundation, “Hydrotherapy is one method of using water to help treat arthritis. The soothing warmth and buoyancy of the water makes it a safe, ideal environment for relieving arthritis pain.”
Secondly, the water serves as a medium for heat therapy. Soaking in warm water quiets the body and slows internal organs. Heat dilates blood vessels and increases circulation in the body, thus allowing enzymes and endorphins (the body’s natural pain relievers) to work more quickly and effectively. It also stimulates sweating and increases the elimination of toxins. In fact, a recent study by the Mayo Clinic found that a hot bath provides many of the health benefits of exercise with less strain on the heart. Soaking in a hot bath increases the heart rate while lowering one’s blood pressure rather than raising it as does exercise.
Hydrotherapy is an unparalleled method of effectively relieving pain and promoting wellness in a number of different areas, and it also plays an important role in relieving anxiety and tension.
Conditions Helped by Hydrotherapy
MTI is a recognized leader when it comes to the technology of modern hydrotherapy, offering five distinct types of hydrotherapy experience. Each is unique; each is thoroughly therapeutic. Whether you prefer the simple luxury of a soaking bath, the gentle experience of bathing in a forest stream, the invigorating deep-tissue massage of a whirlpool, the light full-body thermo-air massage, or a combination of the air bath/whirlpool, MTI offers more than 200 tub models with multiple configurations to meet your specific hydrotherapy needs.
Soaking Bath: The most elemental form of hydrotherapy is the soaking bath, where heat and water’s natural buoyancy foster deep relaxation. All MTI soaker tubs are ergonomically designed for maximum comfort with a thick cast acrylic shell or Engineered Solid Stone®, both of which keep bath water warm longer. And this means a longer soak for you.
Stream Bath®: The newest form of hydrotherapy from MTI. Imagine the soft sound of flowing water as a gentle current caresses your body. MTI’s exclusive Stream Bath technology replicates the feeling of sitting in a tranquil forest stream. Directional vents (not jets) provide a gentle current of water created by a whisper-quiet pump so you can enjoy the feel and sound of your private stream. Stream Bath is so gentle it is ideal for all ages, from the very young to the more senior. Think of it as the Ultimate Soaking Tub.
Whirlpool Bath: Enjoy the power of a deep, penetrating massage. This type of hydrotherapy comes from strategically placed jets that may be targeted to specific areas of the body. This system is ideal for a sports-related injury, using powerful jets that thoroughly massage muscles and help eliminate accumulated toxins. Operated by a whisper-quiet pump, MTI whirlpool systems use a mixture of air and water that can be adjusted from a gentle swirl to a more vigorous pulse.
Air Bath: The blissful combination of water, heat and air movement creates an incomparable effect that is as therapeutic as it is relaxing. The movement of millions of tiny air bubbles activates the lymphatic systems, increases blood flow, stimulates endorphins and relieves sore muscles and other painful ailments. MTI offers two unique air systems: Air Massage and Air Massage Elite. Both provide a full-body massage experience via 20 or 30 air jets located in the bottom of the bathing well. Because of its gentle massage action, the air bath may be particularly well suited for the elderly.
Air Bath / Whirlpool Combination Bath: Enjoy the best of both worlds with this fully adjusted hydrotherapy system. Select the light full-body massage of an air bath, the deep penetrating massage of a whirlpool or both simultaneously. Great for households with family members of different ages and needs.
Hydrotherapy benefits people of all ages and lifestyles, from the teen athlete who needs a water massage for tired muscles to the elderly grandparent who finds relief in the soaking tub from troublesome arthritis. MTI offers designs for all generations, that is, bathing products and therapies that will accommodate the needs of every member of today’s multi-generational household. For more information on Universal Design, go to Trend: Universal Design.
MTI also offers additional, complementing therapies for healing. To learn more, go to Sight, Sound, Smell and Heat for Wellness.