Hydrotherapy = water therapy. This corresponds to the healing powers of water to stimulate the body's innate healing capabilities. When reviewing the history of naturopathic medicine, hydrotherapy is the oldest modality and the driving force that brought naturopathy into North America by Dr. Benedict Lust in 1896.
Based on the traditional European Sanitariums, hydrotherapy involves the use of water in many different forms to stimulate the body. When you plunge into a river, do you emerge feeling more vital and energized? The invigorating feeling accompanied by a cold dip is actually your body responding on a cellular level. As the human body is comprised of ~60% water, it is a necessary component to life.
Hydrotherapy treatments are generally prescribed at-home therapies, which may include but are not limited to:
- Warming Socks Therapy - frozen, wool socks put on the feet before bed to decrease head/sinus congestion, relieve hot flashes etc.
- Contrast Hydrotherapy Showers - alternating between hot and cold water to stimulate the immune system and boost metabolism
- Hot foot baths - soaking feet in hot water with added essential oils to decrease head congestion, headaches etc.