Hydrotherapy is a historical therapeutic method based on an empirical approach to disease and health. Hydrotherapy considers that the one’s inherent natural defenses are capable of overcoming most diseases. The physician’s role is to stimulate or re-establish this exceptional potential present in each of us, with the help of medicines.
Hydrotherapy utilize the fluctuating stimulation of hot and cold water applied to the body. The basis for this modality is two essential principles:
- The application of warm water causes vasodilitation, or opening up of the blood vessels, increasing blood flow. This facilitates the loss of internal heat during fevers and facilitates movement when there is circulatory stasis, for instance, diabetic ulcers. The application of cold water causes the opposite reaction of blood vessel constriction, which facilitates to move blood from where it is stagnant. The orchestration of these in fluctuation is a powerful means to increase circulation and bring new oxygenation and healing.
- The feet and hands reflex to the head and heart. Utilizing hydrotherapy on the feet as Warming Socks treatment can help one sleep better through the night, and decrease nasal congestion due to colds and flu.
Hydrotherapy is also distinguished by the individualization of the treatment. For a Naturopathic Physician, there are no diseases, only sick people. Hydrotherapeutic modalities can specifically applied to a person for individualized treatment, or given generally to the entire body for tonification and overall wellness, as in Constitutional Hydrotherapy.