For some, “hydrotherapy” sounds quite medical and intimidating, but have no fear. Hydrotherapy can be as simple as a drink of water, a warm bath, or a cold compress to the head. Hydrotherapy has many benefits including stress relief. Note the simple applications mentioned in the excerpted article below.
Hot baths can do more than keep you clean. It has been found that warm baths (water temperature between 100 to 102 degree F) not only relax the muscles but help provide some quiet time as well. So when you need to escape, fill the tub, lie back, and relax.
Generally, heat quiets and soothes the body, slowing down the activity of internal organs. Cold, in contrast, stimulates and invigorates, increasing internal activity. If you are experiencing tense muscles and anxiety from your stress, a hot shower or bath is in order. If you are feeling tired and stressed out, you might want to try taking a warm shower or bath followed by a short, invigorating cold shower to help stimulate your body and mind. Experiment with different water temperatures and durations in the bath or shower to determine what water method works best for you. Remember, the goal is to use hydrotherapy to achieve a state of comfort, relaxation, and refreshment.
Water seems to have special powers in getting rid of stress and rejuvenating our body. It affects the skin and muscles. It calms the lungs, heart, stomach, and endocrine system by stimulating nerve reflexes on the spinal cord.
When you submerge yourself in a bath, a pool, or a whirlpool, you experience a kind of weightlessness. Your body is relieved from the constant pull of gravity. Water also has a hydrostatic effect. It has a massage-like feeling as the water gently kneads your body. Water, in motion, stimulates touch receptors on the skin, boosting blood circulation and releasing tight muscles.
The more the water is in motion, higher is its stress-relieving benefits. In a study of 40 persons at University of Minnesota, 85% of the participants preferred a whirlpool bath to a still bath. Only whirlpool was effective in reducing the participants’ reactivity to stress although both still and whirlpool baths were effective in reducing anxiety.
Herbal baths can be particularly soothing when you are experiencing a period of stress.
Source: “Hydrotherapy”. http://holisticonline.com