Hydrotherapy is an age-old tradition of using water on the body to promote health. Renowned spas around the world (and even locally at the Nordic Spa in Kananaskis) are rooted in providing hydrotherapy treatments. The benefits of hydrotherapy are numerous and include:
- Release of muscle tension
- Improved blood circulation
- Activation of the lymphatic system
- Promotion of detoxification
- Supportive of overall health and well-being
Naturopathic Doctors often include hydrotherapy recommendations as a part of a patient’s treatment plan. These are things that can be easily done at home and incorporated into one’s daily routine. Here are four common hydrotherapy treatments we recommend.
1) Dry Skin Brushing
The skin is the largest organ of the body and is quite sensitive to stimuli. Using a dry cloth or loofah, brushing the skin on a consistent basis can stimulate the lymphatic system underneath. Read here for more benefits and how to do dry skin brushing at home.
2) Alternating Hot and Cold Showers
Exposing the body to contrasting water temperatures can promote the release of endorphins that promote calmness and relaxation. Starting with a heat cycle, arteries become dilated and blood flows to the surface of the skin. It is then followed by a cold blast where arteries constrict and shunt blood into organs and tissues. This helps release muscle tension and supports lymphatic flow and detoxification. Running through a few cycles of hot and cold with every shower is also great way to stimulate the immune system.
3) Epsom Salt Baths
No one can argue the relaxation benefits of taking a nice bath and adding some good quality (ie. non-toxic) epsom salts can promote the relaxation even further. Epsom salts are also known as magnesium sulfate and soaking in it can help relieve muscle aches and pains. If you follow a nice warm Epsom salt bath with a cold blast in the shower, you will get even further benefit!
4) Steam Inhalations
Steam inhalation, also known as steam therapy, involves breathing in water vapour to help loosen and drain nasal mucous and minimize sinus congestion. Read here on how to properly do a steam inhalation.