One of the foundations of optimal health is proper circulation to internal organs and tissues. This is a necessity for optimal metabolic function, tissue repair, and overall well being. There are many ways to increase circulation. Hydrotherapy, the use of alternating hot and cold water, is one of the oldest and simplest. Most people have used hydrotherapy in their own homes without even knowing it (ice packs for a sprained ankle, steam inhalation for sinus or nasal congestion, etc.). There are dozens of specific hydrotherapy techniques valued by naturopathic doctors, with constitutional hydrotherapy being one of them.
What is Constitutional Hydrotherapy?
Constitutional hydrotherapy is a specialized technique involving the alternating application of hot and cold wet towels. To enhance the circulatory effects, a mild electrical stimulation is applied over various muscle groups during the treatment.
Who can benefit from this therapy?
The treatment is valuable for anyone wishing to stimulate the immune system, for acute infections like colds, flus, sinusitis, or pneumonia, or for chronic conditions from fatigue to bowel conditions to chronic pain. If you wonder if this treatment could benefit you, please call the office and talk to one of our doctors.
What happens during the treatment?
During the treatment the patient lies comfortably on a treatment table while alternating hot and cold moist towels are applied over the upper torso. The person is well-wrapped in a sheet and wool blankets. Sine wave current is applied to muscular areas around the spine and on the abdomen. A typical treatment takes around 1 hour. Most people feel very relaxed by the treatment.
How does it work?
Researchers have found that a reflex increase in blood flow occurs in internal organs when the circulation to the overlying skin is stimulated. This internal reaction is responsible for the long lasting and cumulative effects of a series of hydrotherapy treatments. Research has further shown that the beneficial effects on the immune system last for up to 24 hours making this a very effective therapy for any disorder involving immune function. White blood cell counts increase within a few hours of having the treatment. Other studies have found that this technique can help regulate blood sugar and blood pressure.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments required is determined by your condition and your doctor. For acute conditions, just a few treatments may help. In more chronic conditions, your doctor may suggest from 1 to 4 treatments a week for up to several weeks.