De-Stress at Home with Hydrotherapy: The Science of Baths

What is Hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy, or water cure, is the use of various water temperatures and pressures as a treatment for disease, mental health issues, and to generally maintain and optimize overall health. Water is thought to have many therapeutic properties. It can increase blood flow, store and carry energy, dissolve minerals and salts, and take pressure off of joints. Water is also very gentle on the body, so it is a wonderful option for those seeking pain relief with sensitive skin, joints, or muscles.

Hydrotherapy can utilize water in any form, such as liquid, ice, or steam.

Benefits of Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy can truly be for anyone. Whether you’re just looking to relax after a hard day, or you deal with a more serious issue such as disease or chronic pain, everyone can reap the benefits of hydrotherapy.

Some conditions that water therapy is commonly used for include:

  • Joint Pain
  • Arthritis
  • Migraines
  • Acne
  • Respiratory Illness
  • Congestion
  • Muscle soreness
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Nervous System Disorders

Types of Hydrotherapy

Aquatic Exercise or Physical Therapy

Performing aerobic workouts or physical therapy exercises in the water can alleviate a lot of the pressure that typically comes with exercising on land. This can be helpful for people with obesity or joint pain.

Baths

Soaking in warm water of approximately 90 degrees Fahrenheit can help increase blood flow and reduce inflammation in the body.

Saunas

Saunas are steam rooms created by pouring water onto heated stones. They are typically small and lined with wood on the inside. Saunas are common in spas and gyms to help people relax after a treatment or workout.

Ice Baths

Brief submersion into extremely cold water can be rejuvenating, sooth sore muscles, and improve breathing.

Cold vs Warm Water

Depending on your needs, you may benefit more from using hot water, cold water, or a combination of both. Think of this similarly to when you would ice and injury vs apply heat to it. The same principals apply to hydrotherapy.

Cold Water

  • Pain relief
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Lower body temperature
  • Kickstart immune system
  • Relieve muscle soreness

Hot Water

  • Improves blood flow
  • Relaxes joints and muscles
  • Pain relief
  • Removes toxins

How to Experience Hydrotherapy at Home

Hydrotherapy can be experienced in many ways. Many physical therapists and holistic doctors use it as a part of their treatment plans, but you can also experience the benefits of hydrotherapy right from your home. As long as you have running water and a bathtub, you’ll be able to perform your own water therapy treatments whenever you’d like.

Finding the form of hydrotherapy that works best for you can take some time. Focus on what issues you’d like to see relief from, and how you’d like to improve your health. You can stick to one method of hydrotherapy, or try a combination of the techniques below, based on your needs.

Warm Bath

Taking a warm bath is one of the most common types of at-home hydrotherapy, and for good reason! Soaking in warm water has many physical and mental health benefits including calming your muscles and relieving tension and stress. Think about it, how often do you see the main character in your favorite movie or TV show trying to relax with a warm bath and a glass of wine at the end of a hard day? It’s so popular because it works!

Some things to keep in mind when taking a bath are the temperature of the water and what you plan to do while you soak. It’s important that the water is around 90 F – 100 F degrees, as water any hotter than that can cause you to overheat and feel sick. Also, how are you going to entertain yourself while in the bath? While some people love simply soaking in silence and turning their mind off for a while, others need mental stimulation. Consider playing some calming music or reading a good book (just don’t drop it in the water!).

Contrast Shower

If you are not a morning person and need some help waking up in the morning and feeling ready and energized for the day, consider a contrast shower! Contrast showers are showers in which you alternate between hot and cold water every 60-90 seconds. Brief blasts of cold water will not only help wake you up, but also focus your mind, and boost your metabolism and circulatory system!

Steam Inhalation

Steaming is a wonderful solution for respiratory illnesses and chronic congestion. Inhaling hot steam will help open your airways and clear your pores! Talk about a two for one. You can find an at-home steamer machine online, or simply boil a pot of water and stand over it to inhale the steam. Be very careful and test the temperature of the steam first as to not burn yourself!

You can even add essential oils to the water to improve your steaming experience.

Foot Soak

Similarly to a hot bath, a foot soak at the end of a long day, especially if you work on your feet, can help relieve stress and pain. Be sure to follow with a foot moisturizer for optimum foot care!

Boost your Bath for the Ultimate De-Stressing Experience

 If you’re seeking the ultimate at-home spa experience, consider adding these tools to your routine to make the most out of your selfcare time!

Bath Teas

Bath teas are vegan bath bombs. These natural bath bombs are products for your bath that infuse the water with purifying clays and soothing minerals. These organic bath bombs are natural wellness products, making them both a wonderful option for your health and the health of the planet!

Show Your Skin some Love

Why not cover all your bases and show your skin some love as you’re destressing in the tub! Baths are a great time to do a facemask or exfoliate your skin. To exfoliate, use a natural loofah in circular motions all around the body. This also helps in improving blood flow! End your spa night by applying a soothing serum to leave your skin smooth and glowing.

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