My Mother Did Know Best – Hydrotherapy Has Moved Out of The Kitchen
The ancient Vedic literature in India contains numerous references to the efficacy of water in the treatment of disease. In more recent times, the therapeutic value of water was popularized by the Europeans. They raised water cures to an institutional level and employed it successfully for the treatment of almost every known disease. There are numerous spas in most European countries where therapeutic baths are used as a major healing approach.
Water creates beneficial effects on the human body. It equalizes circulation, boosts muscular tone and assists digestion and nutrition. It also tones up the activity of perspiratory gland and in the process eliminates the damaged cells and toxic matter from the system.
The common water temperature is: cold 50F to 65F, neutral 89.6F to 96.8F and hot 104F to 113F. Above 113F, water loses its therapeutic value and is destructive.
Water treatments can be used in the healing of various diseases in a do-it-yourself manner.
This is a local application using a cloth which has been wrung out in cold water. The cloth should be folded into a strip and dipped in cold water or ice water. The compress is generally applied to the head, neck, chest, abdomen and back. The cold compress is an effective means of controlling inflammatory conditions of the liver, spleen, stomach, kidneys, intestines, lungs, brain, eyes and pelvic organs. It is also advantageous in cases of fever and heart disease.
This is a hot compress covered in such a manner as to bring warmth. A heating compress consists of three or four folds of linen cloth wrung out in hot water which is then covered completely with dry flannel or blanket to prevent the circulation of air and help accumulation of body heat. It is sometimes applied for several hours. The duration of the application is determined by the extent and location of the surface involved, the nature and thickness of the coverings and the water temperature. After removing the compress, the area should be rubbed with a wet cloth and then dried with a towel. A heating compress can be applied to the throat, chest, abdomen, and joints. A throat compress relieves sore throat, hoarseness, tonsillitis, laryngitis and laryngitis. An abdominal compress helps those suffering from gastritis, hyperacidity, indigestion, jaundice, constipation, diarrhea, dysentery and other ailments relating to the abdominal organs. The chest compress also known as chest pack, relieves cold, bronchitis, pleurisy, pneumonia, fever, cough and so on, while the joints compress is helpful for inflamed joints, rheumatism, rheumatic fever and sprains.
EAlso known as rectal irrigation, an enema involves the injection of fluid into the rectum. In nature cure treatment, only lukewarm water is used for cleaning the bowels. The patient is made to lie on his left side extending his left leg and bending the right leg slightly. The enema nozzle, lubricated with oil or Vaseline, is inserted in the rectum. The enema can containing the lukewarm water is then slowly raised and water is allowed to enter into the rectum. Generally, one to two liters of water is injected. The patient may either lie down on his back or walk a little while retaining the water. After five to 10 minutes, the water can be released.
A warm water enema helps to clean the rectum of accumulated fecal matter. This is not only the safest system for cleaning the bowels, but also improves the peristaltic movement of the bowels and thereby relieves constipation. A cold water enema is helpful in inflammatory conditions of the colon, especially in cases of dysentery, diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, hemorrhoids and fever. A hot water enema is beneficial in relieving irritation due to inflammation of the rectum.
The hip bath is one of the most useful forms of hydrotherapy. As the name suggests, this mode of treatment involves only the hips and the abdominal region below the navel. The tub is filled with water in such a way that it covers the hips and reaches up to the navel when the patient sits in it. Generally, four to six gallons of water are required. Hip bath is given in cold, hot, neutral or alternate temperatures.
**Cold hip bath is a routine treatment in most diseases. The water temperature should be 50F to 65F. The duration of the bath is usually 10 minutes. It relieves constipation, indigestion and helps the eliminative organs to function properly. It is also helpful in uterine problems like irregular menstruation, chronic uterine infections, pelvic inflammation, piles, hepatic congestion, chronic congestion of the prostate gland, seminal weakness, impotency, sterility, uterine and ovarian displacements, dilation of the stomach and colon, diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhage of the bladder. The cold hip bath should not be used in acute inflammations of the pelvic and abdominal organs, ovaries and in painful contractions of the bladder, rectum or vagina.
**Hot hip bath helps to relieve painful menstruation, pain in the pelvic organs, painful urination, inflamed rectum or bladder and painful piles. This bath is generally taken for eight to 10 minutes at a water temperature of 104F to 113F. The bath should start at 104F. The temperature should be gradually increased to 113F. This also benefits enlarged prostatic gland, painful contractions or spasm of the bladder, sciatica, neuralgia of the ovaries and bladder. A cold shower bath should be taken immediately after the hot hip bath. Care should be taken to prevent the patient from catching a chill after the bath.
**Neutral hip bath helps to relieve all acute and subacute inflammatory conditions such as acute catarrh of the bladder and urethra and subacute inflammations in the uterus, ovaries and tubes. This bath is generally taken for 20-40 minutes. It also relieves neuralgia of the fallopian tubes or testicles, painful spasms of the vagina and prorates of the anus and vulva. It is also a sedative treatment.