Hydrotherapy: Cold Showers, Baths & More
Did you know that your body is made almost entirely of water?
Our bodies are comprised of nearly 60% water. That’s over half of yourself. That means that at any given time, the one thing that takes up the most space in your body is, in fact, water.
There are so many ways to use hydrotherapy, and the healing benefits of water will be there no matter what version you choose. The next time you feel stressed, overwhelmed or like you need a break, take a moment to consider your hydrotherapy options.
Do you know of a good pool to take a dip it? Do you feel like a bubble bath will relax you? Even hopping into a cold shower can jolt you into a better mood.
Being willing to try new things and explore the healing power of water can have immediate impact on your mood and outlook! Let’s take a look at different ways to give hydrotherapy a shot!
What is Hydrotherapy?
Which brings us to hydrotherapy. You might be asking yourself, “What is hydrotherapy?” Hydrotherapy involves the use of water to treat many ailments or conditions within the body, whether physical, psychological, or emotional. The idea behind this movement is the use of water to correct certain issues. It can be used both internally and externally to treat any issues. Showers using cold water, enemas, ice packs – it’s like hydrotherapy can correct it all.
Even if this isn’t a practice that naturally speaks to you, it may be worth giving it a shot. Let’s explore some of the benefits and ways to use hydrotherapy and help you discover is this practice is right for you.
Related article: Your Mind & Body on Hydration
Types of Hydrotherapy
There are many types of hydrotherapy, and it is not a one-size-fits-all practice. However, exploring the different methods of hydrotherapy can help you narrow your options down and decide what’s right for you.
1. Cold Showers
Cold showers are known to improve the circulatory system by placing a small amount of stress on the body. Using this form of hydrotherapy can boost endorphins, reduce depression, and increase cognitive abilities. This is due to the fact that an icy, cold shower sends electrical impulses to the brain.
When these impulses are awakened, you may feel more energetic, positive, confident, and optimistic. It’s even been said that for those suffering from depression or other lethargic energy, a cold shower can act as a form of physical therapy – jolting your body back into its natural state of being.
The Benefits of Cold Showers
Furthermore, cold showers can improve and speed the metabolism, improve circulation, fight off illnesses, and limit certain bodily risks. For these reasons alone, it’s a great idea to start the day with a cold, refreshing shower.
As an added bonus, a cold shower is likely to feel like the most upsetting part of the day, making any other task or chore feel easier to manage. While it doesn’t necessarily feel comforting or delightful at the time, adding a cold shower to your self-care ritual can make all the difference. Taking a cold shower can boost awareness, increase your body’s immunity, improve circulation, and it’s great for skin and hair.
As a reminder, cold showers are not necessarily a “magic cure-all” for all conditions, but it can put a spring in your step.
2. Spending Time In & Around Water
Similar to cold showers, being in a body of natural water can produce positive effects. When you submerge your body in water, you’re getting exercise that does not put strain or pressure on your joints. This can make it easier to burn calories without any pain or frustration.
The warm water allows muscles to relax while supporting weight and adding a comfortable resistance to your joints. All of which can help bring strength back to aching bodies. This is why physiotherapists often use hydrotherapy to aid in the recovery process of injured patients and it is recommended that elderly people or those with chronic pain take on aquarobics because it takes the strain off of joints and bones.
Additionally, water and bathing techniques are used in spa therapy to soothe the mind, body, and soul - some taking a particular interest in mineral water or bath salts to improve the hydrotherapeutic benefits.
Hydrotherapy does not consist entirely of cold-water treatments – steam can also be a lifesaver. Spending time in the sauna can also improve circulation, clear up skin issues, relax your joints, and reduce stress.
Saunas specifically can release endorphins and other relaxation hormones that promote relaxation and peace within. Many spas will recommend a cold plunge or a massage after a sauna to heighten the detoxification and continue the relaxing effects.
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4. A Warm Bath
This form of hydrotherapy has a long-running history. This form of hydrotherapy was (and is) most prominently featured in bathhouses (or Turkish Baths) where public bathing took place and water therapy was used relaxation.
When you’re feeling stressed, what’s more relaxing than a nice bubble bath? You can gain amazing benefits from relaxing in your own tub with nice music and aromatherapy. Try running a bubble bath for yourself, adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil, rose petals, and placing your most powerful crystals along the edge of the tub.
When you sink into the healing water, imagine your troubles melting away and your body healing itself of any ailments. Practice gratitude for the things that bring you joy and release the things that make you feel negative.
You may be skeptical at first, but you might find yourself surprised about the healing benefits of soaking in the tub.
Sometimes the body has aches and pains – it’s part of life, right? Compresses bring something unique to the hydrotherapy table because of its accessibility. Not everyone has a pool or sauna on hand in order to benefit from their watery healing - so this can help dramatically.
When you’re feeling achy, try using a hot water or cold-water compress on the areas of your body experiencing pain. Iced water can reduce inflammation, while hot water can help the blood flow properly. You can also use wet towels or socks to wrap yourself up. All of these methods can ease stiff and sore muscles - just make sure you dry yourself off and treat yourself to some tea afterward.
Our Thoughts Affect our Mood…
Scientist Masaru Emoto did a study about water and how it’s affected by certain words. Emoto placed water in several different containers, labeling each container with either pleasant or upsetting words and phrases. He looked at the molecular structure of the water in each cup and found that the water surrounded by loving words turned into snowflake-like, crystalline shapes of beauty and splendor. The containers of water with upsetting or hurtful words, however, turned murky, grey, and looked like it had been under attack.
Our bodies need water to survive, and this experiment was meant to show just how much our thoughts and vibrations can affect water - the very thing that makes up more than half of our bodies. Have fun testing these out yourself!
Waves ahead! Try A Shower Meditation to Cleanse Negativity next.