Water is without doubt the most ancient of all medicine; it is used both internally and externally for therapeutic purposes.
Vincenz Priessnitz was an Austrian farmer who was the founder of the modern hydrotherapy. He set up a sanatorium in the Silesian Mountains and treated his patients with exercise, fresh air, diet based on fresh vegetables and cold water treatments in the mountain streams.
Sebastian Kneipp was a Bavarian priest, a pupil of Priessnitz, who elaborated the water cure. He was one of the founders of the naturopathic medicine movement.
There are different types of hydrotherapy such as foot bath, sitz bath, alkaline baths, herbal baths, fomentations (cold and hot wet packs) and neutral baths (water temperature between 92 and 97 degrees Fahrenheit).
Hydrotherapy and Heat
Heat is one of the most powerful of all vital stimulants. It increases vital activity, elevates the temperature and stimulates the nervous system.
Use of heat in hydrotherapy was often associated with Turkish baths. Hungary has one of the richest sources of thermal water in Europe
Hydrotherapy and Cold
Cold water improves blood circulation, strengthens immunity and stimulates the lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system aids the immune system in removing and destroying waste, debris, dead blood cells, pathogens, toxins, and cancer cells.
The lymphatic system absorbs fats and fat-soluble vitamins from the digestive system and delivers these nutrients to the cells of the body where they are used by the cells.
Since the lymphatic system does not have a heart to pump it, its upward movement depends on the motions of the muscle and joint pumps.
Muscle contraction squeezes the lymph upward toward the neck, the lymph passes through lymph nodes which filter it to remove debris and pathogens.
Cold showers cause whole-body contraction and this works excellently with the lymph system, squeezing the fluid up through the body.
Hydrotherapy and Alternating Temperature
Alternating between hot and cold water while showering, is an easy way to improve circulation. Having good circulation prevents such problems as hypertension, hardening of the arteries, and the appearance of varicose veins.
Good circulation improves the performance of your system and thus help looking and feeling better.