What is hydrotherapy?

I’ve been obsessed with Hydrotherapy for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure if this is because I grew up with a pool, I’m a Pisces, or I was infatuated with waterparks from a young age, but all signs lead to my love of the water. I mean, our bodies are made up of 60% water, so there must be something to this!

Hydrotherapy refers to using water as therapy in any form. It may act as a treatment for temporary skin-related issues, such as burns and septic ulcers, or for chronic health conditions, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. You may choose to use Hydrotherapy to reduce muscle pain, stress, or even as a preventative measure.

Water therapy uses either hot or cold water, with the water pressure and flow varying among treatments. The intention is to ease both physical and mental symptoms. Some hydrotherapy practices are simple and can be done at home. Other practices involve specialist locations and equipment. 

Benefits of Hydrotherapy 

Reducing pain: The warm water may ease the signals for pain, relax the muscles, and increase blood flow, reducing pain in the area.

Improving mental health: Water-based activities improve mental health in some people. Excercise is known to release endorphines which can improve mood and release tension.

Reducing Arthritis symptoms: People with some types of arthritis may benefit from hydrotherapy, as well. Since water can reduce impact, strain, and allow a greater range of movement for fine muscle development.

Relaxation: Many forms of hydrotherapy also aid relaxation, both physically and mentally. Warm water may help ease tension in the muscles while promoting a relaxed state of mind and improving circulation.

Recovering from workouts: Athletes sometimes use hydrotherapies in which they alternate between warm and cold water. Many feel that this form of contrast hydrotherapy helps them recover from hard workouts and avoid delayed onset muscle soreness.

Pregnancy: Hydrotherapy may help with the general aches and pains that pregnancy can cause.

Research into the benefits and uses of hydrotherapy is ongoing. There is still a lack of evidence to support some hydrotherapy health claims.

Common types of Hydrotherapy:

Aquatic exercise: Aquatic exercise is a low-impact form of physical activity, which typically takes place in a pool using specialist equipment. It allows people to work the muscles and raise the heart rate without putting much stress on the joints.

Warm water baths: Soaking in a warm water bath is a form of hydrotherapy. The person may also add salts and minerals, essential oils, or other ingredients to enhance the bath.

Sitz Bath: A sitz bath is a shallow bath using either warm or cold water. Practitioners may recommend sitz baths for relief from issues such as cramps or hemorrhoids.

Wraps Compresses & Fomentation: Wraps and compresses using hot, warm, or cold water are also a form of hydrotherapy. These may provide targeted relief from mild symptoms and support treatment.

Saunas: Depending on the definition, saunas may include both wet and dry heat saunas, as well as cool or refrigerated saunas. These involve sitting in a room set to a specific temperature with either humid or dry air.

Water Circuit Therapy: Also known as contrast hydrotherapy, involves going through a series of hydrotherapy treatments one after the other, generally alternating between warm water, cold water, and room temp rest, to promote circulation and help ease symptoms.

Where can I find Hydrotherapy?

I’ve written a few blogs about Kitchener Waterloo, Ontario-based places where you can experience different types of Hydrotherapy.

Read about KW Sauna Here, Read about Azure Aqua Spa Here