The use of water for therapy is no modern procedure. In fact, is has been carried out for hundreds of years and now forms an integral part of traditional medicine practices. Nonetheless, many of us are unfamiliar with the concept of hydrotherapy and how exactly it can benefit our health and wellbeing.
By definition, hydrotherapy is the use of water to relieve discomfort and promote physical well being. A number of therapeutic treatments and approaches draw upon the healing properties of water for pain relief, making use of the body's reaction to hot and cold stimuli. On the whole, cold water is used to stimulate and invigorate, increasing the body's internal activity, whereas warm water is used to calm and soothe, slowing it down. Alternating between hot and cold water treatments can help to heal injuries, enhance various bodily functions and reduce any inflammation.
The majority of spa holidays offer hydrotherapy suites giving you the opportunity to take advantage of the many positive effects of water therapy. Hydrotherapy encompasses a variety of treatments, including the use of hydrotherapy pools, thermal baths and water circuits, saunas, steam rooms, 'experience showers' and more, which can all help to improve a number of conditions. Modern day therapies are also enhanced with extras such as aromatherapy or Epsom salts. Thermal water circuits have a range of jets and water features which massage the body, stimulating the lymphatic system and flushing toxins whereas cold plunge pools or artificial ice and snow rooms will activate the body's circulation.
5 Health and healing benefits of hydrotherapy:
1. Reduces muscle tension and relieves pain
The weightlessness you feel when under water relieves tension in the limbs, supporting aching muscles and easing the movement as opposed to when on land. Plus, hydrotherapy stimulates the release of endorphins, acting as a natural pain reliever which will further reduce muscle soreness. Incorporating hydrotherapy as part of your fitness holiday is a great way to recover after a day's training.
2. Rehabilitates injured muscles
Being immersed in warm or hot water raises the body temperature, increasing blood flow around the circulatory system and so alleviating pain. The improved circulation will in turn help to heal injured tissues and rehabilitate damaged muscles or joints.
3. Boosts the immune system
The increased blood flow and circulation of white blood cells around the body allows lymph (an immune system fluid that helps collect and get rid of unwanted materials from the body) to be moved through the body more efficiently and therefore strengthens the immune system, helping to fight colds and illnesses.
4. Encourages detoxification
Saunas and steam rooms induce considerable sweating. This is the body's primary way of eliminating toxins and therefore the impurities and toxins are flushed out through the skin helping to detoxify the body.
5. Relieves stress
Hydrotherapy treatment can be effectively used whilst on a de-stress holiday. Hydrotherapy can help to reduce blood pressure caused by stress. It may also slow down the body's reaction to anxiety and release endorphins - a natural stress fighter.
To experience the benefits of hydrotherapy yourself, we recommend our top five healthy holidays that provide wonderful hydrotherapy treatments. The magnificent location and surroundings of all of these destinations, combined with the outstanding facilities create the perfect retreat where health and wellbeing is the primary focus.