Principles of Steam Therapy
This section includes
- General Principles of
Steam Therapy (see below)
- Steam Therapy & the
Respiratory System Respiratory
- Steam Therapy &
Detoxification, Sweating & Hyperthermia
Steam therapy is an essential
therapeutic transformational option as a modality for
holistic health & wellness. From the most ancient traditions
of holistic health & wellness to modern times, steam therapy
has been an essential element of integrated and multiple
approaches in the pursuit of optimal health & wellness.
The following is a brief summary of ideas on steam therapy.
A complete description of these key concepts can be found in
the textbook on hydrotherapy that I authored, published by
Milady Publishing. The book will be available in Jan, 2008.
During a steam therapy
treatment, a therapist brings steam into contact with
client's body to create a therapeutic health & wellness
transformation. The first step of the process is that the
therapist prepares the steam to be used in the treatment in
various ways by including heating the water and adding
products to the steam. The steam is then brought into
contact with the client's body to produce a desired
therapeutic transformation. All water used for steam
therapy, as well as any other form of hydrotherapy, comes
from some source in the hydrosphere. The following is an
brief explanation of what is meant by the hydrosphere.
Steam Therapy & the
Steam therapy is such a
powerful transformational tool because the human body is
a dynamic fluid system. The essence of steam therapy is that
we use water to transform the behavior of water inside the
human body and in doing so, we can produce therapeutic
transformations at every levels of the anatomy & physiology
of the human body. Water is an essential dynamic component
of every element of human physiology. The following are some
of the elements of the human body from the paradigm of the
body as a dynamic fluid cellular system:
Human Body A&P
- 60% H2O
(water). This means that a person that weighs 140 lbs.
has 10 gallons of water (84 lbs. of water)
- 66% of the water inside
the cells (6.6 gallons), 27% (2.7 gallons) of the water
is in the interstitial fluid which is the fluid matrix
cells live in, 7% (.7 gallons) of water is in the blood
of Human Body Fluid Elements
- The heart pumps 3,600
gallons of blood a day through a vascular system of
arteries, veins and capillaries that is greater than
60,000 miles long.
Illustration of Human Body Circulation
- The main purpose of the
circulatory system is bring a continual supply of
nutrients and oxygen to each of the 100 trillion cells
of the human body.
- Each day, 5 gallons of
blood plasma will flow through the capillaries into the
interstitial fluid (to bring nutrients to the cells) and
each day 4.25 gallons of interstitial fluid will flow
back into the blood plasma in the capillaries and .75
gallons will flow through the lymphatic system back to
the blood plasma. This allows the removal of the
by-products of cell metabolism and purification of the
- Each day, 45 gallons of
blood plasma will be removed and processed by the
kidneys. About 44.5 gallons will be returned to the
blood plasma and about 2 quarts/liters will be removed
from the body in the form of urine.
- Each day, on average the
human body naturally loses 2.5 quarts of water, mainly
in the form of urine, sweat and evaporation from the
skin and lungs. More will be lost if there is sweating
due to the body being heated. The amount of water lost
each day must be replaced to stay optimally hydrated.
Every 20 days, a person will lose more than 12 gallons
Water can be used in steam
therapy to produce significant positive therapeutic changes
in the A&P of the body which can produce holistic benefits
to attain all health & wellness goals
- Increases the metabolic
activity of the cells of the body. For every degree
centigrade increase in the core temperature, there is a
12% increase in the metabolic activity of the cells.
- Increase of the core
temperature of the body has a stimulating influence of
the immune functions of the body.
- Circulation to cells can
be increased as increased cellular metabolism increases
circulation to the cells to provide more oxygen and
- General circulation,
including lymphatic circulation can be stimulated.
- Improvements can be
produced in vascular and cellular alignment. All cells
have a natural alignment relative to every other cell in
the body and no cell is more than 5 cells from a
capillary (exceptions are the epidermis and cartilage
- Heating the core
temperature of the body allows the body's fascial
matrix, ligament, tendons and muscles to stretch with
less resistance. This allows for greater alignment when
using therapeutic alignment approaches.
- Steam therapy
treatments, when properly done, create unique and
profound states of relaxation. Deep states of relaxation
helps balance the autonomic nervous system, which is
general over-stimulated. Greater autonomic balance can
have a beneficial influence on most physiological
activities of the body.
Another important element of
hydrotherapy is that every person has a natural connection
with water and our deepest connections with water come from
our first life experiences. All people are all born in the
warm fluid environment of the mother's womb and our earliest
memories are warmth, movement and gravity-free sensations.
And once we are born, our earliest experiences are of being
constantly touched and bathed in warm water while being
touched. These earliest memories of being nurtured,
comforted, loved are associate with our earliest experiences
of different sensations of water and are naturally awakened
during soothing, relaxing hydrotherapy treatments,
especially when touch is involved. In the same way that are
memories and associations with different smells can be
enlivened with aromatherapy, our earliest water memories and
associations can be enlivened by water treatments. And,
water therapies can be enhanced by the addition of other
sensory stimulations in the form of smells, sounds, sights
and tastes. Enlivening our deepest memories of nurturing,
comfort and security produce profound therapeutic benefits.
to make photos full size
History of Steam
Hydrotherapy has been an
essential component of all great holistic health & wellness
traditions, some which are more than a thousands of years
old and continue today. The history of hydrotherapy, from
ancient times, to within a few hundred years and to more
modern times demonstrates the use of hydrotherapy through
time and its ability to used for all health & wellness
transformations. The history of hydrotherapy is both
fascinating and the source of the wisdom of hydrotherapy.
Presentation on the History of
Steam Therapy? Summary
The following is a summary
of some the key reasons why offering hydrotherapy treatments
and programs offers such great potential to enhance a total
approach to health & wellness:
- Steam therapy uses water
as the essential transformation tool and these
treatments include hydrotub, hydro-massage, steam,
shower, misting, cryotherapy (ice), hydro-massage table
& hydration. Steam therapy treatments are a powerful
modality to help clients attain and maintain all of
their health & wellness goals.
- Steam therapy treatments
have an continuous history of use from ancient times to
modern time. Hydrotherapy has such a long and successful
history because they work.
- Scientific theory and
research offers support for the use of steam therapy
Scientific Theory & Research
- Steam therapy treatments
& programs can increase the number treatments and
programs that can offered to your clients. The positive
experiences of the treatments and the benefits can
increase the number of treatments current clients are
receiving, client retention and the number of new
clients getting treatments.
- Leaning the art &
science of new treatment modalities is rewarding and
enriching for therapists. Continuing education is not
just a requirement for professional therapists, but is a
natural part of a therapist's motivation to continually
develop their professional skills.
- Through education and
training in hydrotherapy, we learn more about the
natural universe we live in. Water, in all its beautiful
expressions, is one of key elements of the Earth's
dynamic natural systems. By becoming more aware and
conscious of all of the expression of water, how water
behaves and the nature of water as the essence of every
living system, we learn more about water in Nature and
increase our connection with water. From a distance, we
can view the total water system of Earth as one system
that unites and connects all living systems.
- And by using water as a
key element in health & wellness transformations, we
become more intuitively connected with the deeper
process of true healing and wellness transformations.
Water is the essence of the matrix of life and and a
part natural healing transformations of the human body.