In hydrotherapy, water is used as a therapeutic tool. Treatment may be as simple as a compress to as elaborate as full body immersions in cold and/or hot baths (like at Le Scandinave).
Hydrotherapy increases your circulation and can be used to detoxify or to care for acute injuries.
One of the advantages of hydrotherapy is that you can do a lot of it at home.
This is a great home treatment for injuries or swelling of the extremities. Arthritic joints can benefit greatly as well.
You will need:
- 2 basins or tubs of a size appropriate for the part to be treated (buckets work great for feet/ankles)
- hot water (not so hot as to redden the skin)
- cold water (add ice if you’d like to make tap water colder)
- vinegar if you have an open wound
What you will do:
- fill one bucket with hot water (about 103 F) – add 1/4 cup vinegar if you have an open wound
- fill the other bucket with cold water
- place the affected body part into the hot water for 3 minutes
- remove the body part from the hot and immediately immerse it into the cold bucket for 30 seconds
- meanwhile, add more hot water to the first bucket to increase the temperature again
- repeat hot then cold 4-8 times keeping the hot as hot or slightly hotter than the starting temp
- Once complete, dry off the wet body part. Do not allow yourself to get chilled during or after the treatment.
- If the body part that you want to treat is not submersible (like a shoulder), you can do this with hot and cold towels applied in the same manner. Keep the area covered with fleece or wool blanket throughout the treatment to avoid catching a chill.
Do not do this treatment if/when:
- diminished sensation
- injury is less than 24 hours old