Aquatic therapy, commonly referred to as hydrotherapy, has become a go-to solution for many individuals dealing with a variety of health problems. This apparently-unconventional treatment plan can provide remarkable improvements, and that is why it has increased in popularity over the years.
While the use of water for healing isn’t anything new, being for hundreds of years an integral part of medical practices, not that many people are actually familiar with the concept of hydrotherapy. If you’re not exactly sure what this treatment approach can do for your health and general well-being, you should start learning about its effects.
A simple definition of aquatic therapy would be the use of water in promoting physical wellness and alleviating discomfort. Water can have effective pain-relief proprieties if it’s incorporated into the right practices. Here are some of the most relevant things to learn on the subject:
Injured muscles rehabilitation
Damaged muscles and joints can trigger some unpleasant symptoms. The healing process can take quite a lot of time, and few are the options that can help you speed up the process. A water treatment, however, can provide you with the timely rehabilitation you are seeking.
Warm water works great in raising body temperature and increasing blood flow. Because hydrotherapy is usually done in a heated pool, the repair process of your injured tissue will be boosted, and your injured muscles will automatically heal faster. Your circulation will improve and your damaged joints or muscles will be rehabilitated much faster than they normally would.
Muscle tension reduction and general pain-relief
Dealing with sore muscle can happen for a variety of reasons. Regardless of what has caused you to experience stiffness, hydrotherapy can help you with that. Once you dive into a pool of warm water and practice the recommended exercises, you will immediately feel weightless. What this will do is relieve any tension in the limbs, ease your movement, and support aching muscles. This water-based treatment plan is known to stimulate the release of endorphins, which means muscle soreness can be reduced or eliminated in a natural way. Athletes usually rely on hydrotherapy pools to relieve pain that has been generated by intense training sessions. If muscle tension is something you’ve been confronting yourself lately, you should look into this healing approach to reduce stiffness and pain.
An immune system boost
If you seem to always be catching a cold, and your general health is fragile, perhaps you should focus more on boosting your immune system. You can effectively do that with the help of hydrotherapy. As specialists explain on the matter, this form of therapy increases blood flow and white blood cell circulation around your body. This allows immune system fluids to better be moved through the body, improving your immune system overall. The boost obtained through hydrotherapy here can help you combat illnesses more easily, including the common cold.
You already know that tight musculature will be relaxed during the session thanks to the increased temperature of the water. Besides easing soreness and alleviating pain, this form of therapy will also contribute to joint flexibility. The joint movement will increase in range, and you will ultimately feel more flexible and mobile.
Ameliorating depression symptoms
The feel-good factor cannot be neglected here either. As mentioned above, hydrotherapy supports the body’s natural release of endorphins. Once you start attending regular sessions of aquatic therapy, you will notice that you’ll be feeling more energized and less fatigued. Depression and anxiety have become actual epidemics in today’s society. If your mental state isn’t in the best place right now, a water-based treatment could be something that benefits you. The hormones released during hydrotherapy effectively combat the regular symptoms of depression. You can improve your mental health this way, and overall, improve your quality of life. It’s impossible not to happier and feel more relaxed at the end of a complete and thorough hydrotherapy session.
Whether it’s work-related or has something to do with your personal life, chronic stress can negatively impact not only your mental wellbeing but your actual physical health as well. Hydrotherapy can slow down the reaction of your body to increased levels of stress. It can effectively help you reduce or even combat stress entirely. This treatment is often recommended to individuals taking a de-stress holiday. So if you find yourself in this position, and don’t know how to control stress levels, it’s worth giving a shot to this particular option.
How to get started with hydrotherapy
- Find a facility with hydrotherapy pools – find a facility that has pools available for this type of therapy. For the plan to work well, you need to have access to the required amenities. Search for a facility that actually includes hydrotherapy in their offers
- Follow the indications of a specialized instructor – it’s best if you opt for a guided, custom hydrotherapy plan, instead of creating one yourself. A specialist will show you the techniques that target your particular health problem, speeding your healing process.
- Take it slow – make sure you take things slow and don’t engage in difficult under-water exercises from the start. Safety is the most important consideration, so each aquatic exercise chosen should be safe for you.
- Attend sessions regularly – for hydrotherapy to actually work, it’s important to actually include regular sessions into your schedule. An hour of doing exercises in warm water won’t provide you with the effects you expect. Optimal healing will be obtained over time.
While hydrotherapy might not have been your first thought, when aiming to ease the symptoms of a particular health problem, you can see why it’s an option worth considering. This sort of treatment brings to the table a variety of impressive benefits, and beside the physical effects obtained, your mental health can improve as well. Now that you know a bit more information on the topic, you can decide whether to give hydrotherapy a try for yourself or not. Search for a facility that can give you access to customized sessions that target your specific needs.
Hydrotherapy at home
If you don’t have any facilities in your area or you just want to cut the hassle of having to go all the way down there to enjoy hydrotherapy, you can luckily take it up at home too. What you need to do is go in the shower, turn the hot water on for 5 to 10 minutes and enjoy the soothing effect it has on your muscles, after which you take a deep breath to open up your lungs and turn the knob to the coldest point that you can handle. The shock that hits you will be considerable, so expect some screaming to be involved in this process. Repeat the process as many times as you can handle it or until you feel like you are freed of the sore muscles or issue that is afflicting you.
The environment will become a lot damper in the bathroom and the issue of mold and mildew can become an issue because of the excess steam. If you intend to perform hydrotherapy at home over a long period or you plan on making it a regular procedure, install a crawl space dehumidifier to wick away the excess moisture that forms or you risk inhaling mold spores when you take the therapeutic showers. This is something you must avoid at all costs as mold inhalation can take a serious toll on your health even if you don’t suffer from asthma or allergies. To make it easy for you to take as deep breaths as possible as this is an essential part of the therapy, we recommend that you spray some eucalyptus essential oil in the air during the shower sessions. It also makes the detox process go a lot smoother, all while creating a more pleasant ambiance in the bathroom entirely, so you shouldn’t stray from using it.
Good for a wide range of afflictions and situations, hydrotherapy is something all us modern folk should consider taking up at one point as the benefits to reap are plentiful. After all, immune system improvement or stress relief never actually hurt no one, so you should take it up regardless of your health state as you will notice a major improvement in your health as a whole. But if you do have certain afflictions, like sore muscles, pains, or depression, hydrotherapy should be an essential part of your recuperation process. Do it on your own at home as previously instructed or go to a local facility where hydrotherapy is performed and talk to an instructor, follow the schedule you will be provided with and don’t miss on any of your sessions, and you will be back on your feet in no time.