Hydrotherapy is one of the oldest methods of healing and has been utilized in most ancient cultures in some form or another for thousands of years. It is defined as the use of water at various temperatures to create a therapeutic effect on the body. Hydrotherapy treatments include saunas, steam baths, foot baths, sitz baths, and the application of cold and hot water compresses.
Constitutional hydrotherapy is a special technique that uses the alternation of hot and cold water to stimulate the body’s own healing force. It is called “constitutional hydrotherapy” because it changes the very constitution of each individual cell. This treatment greatly improves recovery from many illnesses, both acute and chronic. It helps to normalize circulation, sooth the nervous system, stimulate detoxifying and eliminative processes, strengthen and heal the digestive system and stimulate the immune system. This subtle but powerful therapy will improve sleep, digestion, bowel function, chronic pain and energy levels.
The treatment consists of the patient laying face up on a table wrapped up in a sheet and blankets. The practitioner unwraps the top half of the patient and places warm wet towels on the patient’s torso and then wraps them back up. After 5 minutes, the warm towels are replaced by cool wet towels ,which are left on the torso for 10 minutes. This process is then repeated with the patient lying on their stomach. Placing the warm towel on the skin brings blood and other fluids up to the surface in order to maintain the body’s homeostasis. When the warm towel is replaced by a cool one, the surface blood vessels constrict causing blood to move back towards the center of the body and into the vital organs. After this initial blood vessel constriction, the body sends the blood back to the surface to warm the skin and subsequently the towel. With the simple placement of alternating warm and cool towels, an oscillatory effect is created and balance is restored to the body’s blood flow and to the autonomic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system (responsible for fight or flight) is down regulated and the parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for rest and digest) is stimulated. This balancing effect mediates the repair of the body, improves digestion of food and pushes immune cells into the blood stream. By enhancing the oxygenation and circulation of blood and lymph and promoting better digestion of food and nutrition to the cells, this therapy can help rebuild your metabolism and regenerate your health.
Because of its ability to boost the immunity and to improve the overall nutrition of the patient, constitutional hydrotherapy is beneficial for almost any condition and may be done on patients of all ages. It has been found to be particularly useful for irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, colds, flu, Lyme disease asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, PMS, infertility, environmental sensitivities, constipation, migraines, arthritis and chronic fatigue.
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