Hydrotherapy 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, hydrotherapy
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 hydrotherapy. A complete description of these key
concepts can be found in the book, Hydrotherapy for Health &
Wellness, Milady Publishing, June, 2008.
During a hydrotherapy treatment, a therapist
brings water 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 water to be used in the treatment in
various ways, including heating or cooling the water, adding products to
the water, transforming the water into a shower, mist or underwater
hydro-pressure or in many other ways. The water is then brought into contact
with the client's body to produce a desired therapeutic transformation.
All water used for hydrotherapy, as well as any other purpose, comes from
some source in the hydrosphere. The following is an brief explanation of
what is meant by the hydrosphere.
There is a fixed amount of water on Planet
Earth, which scientist have measured to be about 332,000,000 cubic miles
of water. The hydrosphere is one ancient dynamic water system, that is in a
continual cycle of evaporation (purification), movement up into the
atmosphere as water vapor, cooling & condensation to form clouds and
eventual precipitation mainly in the form of rain & snow. Water then returns
to the Earth's surface (land, lakes, ocean, ice caps), completing natural
water cycle . Water
will then begin to flow from higher to lower elevations, under the force
of gravity, until it reaches the ocean or evaporates along the way. Even
water in the frozen state as snow or ice will eventually melt or evaporate
as part of this dynamic process. From the beautiful view of Earth and the
hydrosphere from NASA photos, we see that the Earth's water system as one
dynamic system in continual process of renewal that brings re-circulating.
purifed water to all living systems (including us) on the planet. See Photos
of the Hydrosphere.
In these photos, we see the beauty of this
one water system that connects and unites all living systems. And the
hydrosphere is comprised of many different elements, each that reveals a
different expression of essence of water. In these different expressions,
we see the beauty, synergy, orderliness and dynamic energy that makes
water the most essential element the very matrix of life itself. And, we
can experience these various dynamic expressions of water by direct interaction with
them, by riding an ocean wave, bathing in a hot spring or swimming in a
mountain lake. Much of the knowledge of hydrotherapy,
from ancient to modern times, has come from the direct experience of the
health & wellness benefits of water in natural settings. This link
takes you to a
presentation on the different expressions of hydrosphere on Planet Earth.
From modern science, we learn that water
has different behavioral properties that allows water to behave in a
variety of ways. We see these principles of the behavior of water
expressed in the dynamic behavior of water in the hydrosphere, in the
complex functioning of the human body and in the how therapists use
water for hydrotherapy. The following are the same dynamic basic
principles in each of the above:
- Heat Capacity/Exchange
- Movement (pressure): Evaporation,
Gravity, Pumping (muscle contraction in living systems), Osmosis
- Solvent (diffusion)
- Suspension (mixing)
Hydrotherapy & the Human Body
Hydrotherapy is such a powerful
transformational tool because the human body is a dynamic fluid system.
The essence of hydrotherapy 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 plasma. Illustration
of Human Body Fluid Elements Link
- 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 Link
- 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 interstitial fluid.
- 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 of water!
Water can be used in hydrotherapy to
produce significant positive therapeutic changes in the A&P of the
body which can produce holistic benefits to attain all health & wellness
- 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
- 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 nutrients.
- 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 disks)
- 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.
- Hydrotherapy 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.
Deepest Connections with Water
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
Click to make photos
History of Hydrotherapy
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 Hydrotherapy
Why Hydrotherapy? 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 &
- Hydrotherapy uses water as the essential
transformation tool and these treatments include
hydrotub, hydro-massage, steam, shower, misting, cryotherapy (ice),
hydro-massage table & hydration. Hydrotherapy treatments are a
powerful modality to help clients attain and maintain all of their
health & wellness goals.
- Hydrotherapy 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 hydrotherapy Scientific
Theory & Research
- Hydrotherapy 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
- 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.
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Light Therapy Hydrotherapy-Massage Table
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