The Power of Water
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.
Benefits of Bathing
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.
How Does Hydrotherapy Work?
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.
Health Benefits of Bathing
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
- Insomnia and Stress: The National Sleep Foundation recommends taking a warm bath a few hours before bedtime to enhance sleep quality. Unlike the use of prescription sleeping pills, hydrotherapy is an effective natural sleep aid that helps the body relax and unwind on its own, leading to a more restive sleep.
- Circulatory System: The heat and massage action of hydrotherapy help blood flow more easily, thus relieving tension headaches and soothing stress-prone areas like the neck, shoulders and lower back.
- Muscular and Skeletal Systems: Sore muscles, lower back pain, aching joints – all stand to benefit from the heated water massage of hydrotherapy. Such treatments are often recommended by doctors for those suffering from sports-related injuries or strains. The Arthritis Foundation also recommends hydrotherapy as a means to help those with stiff joints regain mobility and ease discomfort.
- Respiratory System: The moist heat associated with hydrotherapy is often beneficial to those suffering from respiratory ailments such as bronchitis, congestion and asthma.
- Digestive and Immune Systems: Improved circulation results in a more effective digestive progress. Wastes and other toxins are more easily eliminated, and lymph is moved more efficiently through the body, strengthening the immune system.
Types of 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.