Use of water internally as well as externally has been believed-since the Roman times-to provide relief from ill health. Several common health problems such as inflamed joints and muscles, labour pain and skin problems have been known to be corrected with the help of hydrotherapy.
While it may be overwhelming to know all that water can do for us, it is important to know the effects that hydrotherapy has on our body.
The temperature of water plays an important role in initiating the therapeutic process. For instance, taking bath in cold water may make you feel revitalised. This is because cold temperature stimulates the endings of the nerves in the skin, thereby increasing blood circulation and eventually, invigorating the body. On the other hand, hot water stimulates the immune system and soothes the nerves, thereby creating a sense of relaxation all over the body. Several aroma therapists recommend that people add a few drops of lavender or other essential oils to a hot bath to relax. The essential oil tends to get absorbed by the skin and when it enters the central nervous system, it produces a sedative effect.
Some of the symptoms of cold and flu or congestion can be easily reduced with the help of steam. Inhaling steam clears the mucus that may be causing the congestion in common cold. A steam inhalation treatment is administered with the help of a bowl of steaming water and towel. The towel is wrapped like a tent over the face to ensure the steam does not dissipate. Adding a few drops of essential oils in the water can work wonders in reducing congestion.
Although, hydrotherapy is generally safe, it must not be done without keeping certain precautions in mind. For instance, there are some hydrotherapy techniques that can upset the body such as the colon hydrotherapy, which can disturb the natural balance of the digestive tract. If the water is not pure, it can cause skin problems because of the presence of bacteria. People with hypertension must be especially careful about the dangers of overheating the water as it can increase the blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends that people with high blood pressure avoid moving back and forth between cold and hot water. Cold water can narrow the blood vessels, thereby demanding more pressure to force blood flow through the arteries and veins.
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