Hydrotherapy treatment varies greatly, depending on technique, temperature, and area of application. Showers, baths, compresses, and steams are a few examples of water therapy. Temperature, as well as length of treatment will also determine whether hydrotherapy is either stimulating or sedating.
Prescribing supplements or herbs and changing a person’s diet does not often correct neurological, muscular, or vascular dysfunctions if the issue is of musculoskeletal origin. Physical medicine holds an important and often neglected place in the scheme of holistic healthcare.
Although physical medicine is primarily a hands-on therapy (from assessment to treatment), various mechanical devices are sometimes used to increase treatment effectiveness.
Laser therapies and ultrasound assist in the reduction of inflammation and healing of connective tissue. Electric stimulation applied to acupuncture needles may increase the release of tension in muscles and promote blood circulation to the area.
Water is universally required for life and health. It has unique physical properties which make it a powerful therapeutic agent – the ability to absorb and communicate heat through contact, the intensity and range of temperatures it conveys, its fluidity and thus adaptability in treatment, and its action as a solvent, assisting nutrient delivery as well as toxic elimination. Often applied in an alternating fashion between hot and cold temperatures, water therapies can improve immune function, reduce inflammation and pain, promote circulation, and stimulate detoxification. In these ways, hydrotherapy is effective across the spectrum of health – treating issues ranging from acute to chronic and conditions that incorporate the body at large to those that are local or specific.
Both physical medicine and hydrotherapy incorporate techniques that can be performed in a clinical setting and at home. Our student clinicians improve health outcomes by teaching patients how to stretch, exercise, and apply hydrotherapy during daily life.