“The purpose of therapy is not to remove suffering but To Move Through.” From time immemorial water has been used as a valuable therapeutic agent .

Water exerts have beneficial effects on human system to eliminate damage cells & toxic matter.

It equalizes massage-2circulation, boosts muscular tone, aids digestion & nutrition.

It also tones up the activity of perspiratory gland.

During ancient civilizations, bathing therapies was considered an important measure for maintaining health and prevention of dis
eases.

It was valued for its remedial properties. Ancient Vedic literature contains numerous references about efficacy of water in several treatments.

The common water temperature chart is :

Cold 10ºC to ,

Hot 40°C to 45°C. ,

Neutral 32°C to 36°C

Above 45°C water loses its therapeutic value .

Various methods of water therapy are described below :

Enema Therapy:  Enema also known as rectal irrigation, an enema involves the injection of fluid (only lukewarm water 1 to ) into the rectum to clean bowls.

In this type of therapy, person has to lie on his left side extending his left leg & bending the right leg slightly, an enema nozzle containing lukewarm water, fully lubricated with oil or Vaselineimage004 to be inserted in the rectum.

An enema nozzle containing lukewarm water is then slowly raised to allow water into the rectum.

After filling water you may either lie down on your back or walk a little while retaining water in rectum for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, eject all water out along with the accumulated morbid matter to clean bowls.

A warm water enema helps to clean the rectum of accumulated faecal 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 and painful hemorrhoids. It also benefits women in leucorrhoea.
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Cold CompressThis is called a local application, using a cloth which have been wrung out in cold water or broad strip folded cloth dipped in cold or ice water. This compress is generally applied to head, neck, chest, abdomen & back.

Cold compress is very effective to control inflammatory conditions of liver, spleen, stomach, kidneys, intestines, lungs, brain & pelvic organs . It is also advantageous in cases of fever and heart disease.

Heat Compress: A cold compress covered in such a manner as to bring warmth. A heating compress consists of three or four folds of linen cloth.

In this compress the cloth wrung out in cold 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.

image006After removing the compress, the area should be rubbed with a wet cloth and then dried with a towel.

Heating compress can be applied to Throat,  Abdomen, Chest, and Joints.

Heating Compress on Throat relieves:

Sore throat,

Hoarseness,

Tonsillitis,

Pharyngitis and laryngitis.

Heating Compress on Abdominal helps person suffering from:

Gastritis,

Hyperacidity,

Indigestion,

Jaundice,

Constipation,

Diarrhea,

Dysentery and other ailments relating to the abdominal organs.

Heating Compress on Chest is also known as chest pack which Relieves:

Cold,

Bronchitis,

Pleurisy,

Pneumonia,

Fever, Cough and so on,

Heating Compress on Joints is helpful for:

Inflamed Joints,

Rheumatism,

Rheumatic Fever and Sprains.

HIP BATHS: 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.

A special type of tub is used for the purpose. The tub is filled with water in such a way that it covers the hips up to the navel when the person sits in it.

Generally, four to six gallons of water are required. If the special tub is not available, a common tub may be used. A support may be placed under one edge to elevate it by two or three inches. Hip bath is given in cold, hot, neutral or alternate temperatures.

COLD HIP BATH: The water temperature should be to . The duration of the bath is usually 10 minutes, but in specific conditions it may vary from one minute to 30 minutes. If the person feels cold or is very weak, a hot foot immersion should be given with the cold hip bath.

The person should rub the abdomen briskly from the navel downwards and across the body with a moderately coarse wet cloth.

The legs, feet and upper part of the body should remain completely dry during and after the bath.

The person should undertake moderate exercise like yoga asana, after the cold hip bath, to warm the body.

A cold hip bath is a routine treatment in most diseases. It relieves constipation, indigestion, obesity 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 and so on.

The cold hip bath not to be employed in acute inflammations of the pelvic and abdominal organs, ovaries and in painful contractions of the bladder, rectum or vagina.

HOT HIP BATH: This bath is generally taken for eight to 10 minutes with the hot water of temperature  to range. The bath should start at the temperature  and to be gradually increased to .

No friction should be applied to the abdomen. Before entering the tub, drink one glass of cold water and cover your head with the cold compress.

A hot hip bath helps to relieve painful menstruation, pain in the pelvic organs, painful urination, inflamed rectum or bladder and painful piles.

It 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 from catching a chill after the bath. The bath should be terminated if feels giddy or complains of excessive pain.
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NEUTRAL HIP BATH: The temperature of the water should be to . Here too, friction to the abdomen should be avoided. This bath is generally taken for 20 minutes to an hour.

The neutral hip bath helps to relieve all acute and sub-acute inflammatory conditions such as acute catarrh of the bladder and urethra and subacute inflammations in the uterus, ovaries and tubes.

It also relieves neuralgia of the fallopian tubes or testicles, painful spasms of the vagina and prorates of the anus and vulva. Besides, it is a sedative treatment for erotomaniac in both sexes.

ALTERNATE HIP BATH: This is also known as revulsive hip bath. The temperature in the hot tub should be to and in the cold tub to .

The person has to sit alternately in the hot tub for five minutes and then in the cold tub for three minutes. The duration of the bath is generally 10 to 20 minutes.

The head and neck should be kept cold with a cold compress. The treatment should end with a dash of cold water to the hips.

This bath relieves chronic inflammatory conditions of the pelvic viscera such as salpingitis, ovaritis, cellulitis and various neuralgias of the genito-urinary organs, sciatica and lumbago.

SPINAL BATH: The spinal bath is another important form of hydrotherapy treatment. This bath provides a soothing effect to the spinal column and thereby influences the central nervous system.

It is given in a specially designed tub with its back raised so as to provide proper support to the head. The bath can be administered at cold, neutral and hot temperatures.

The water level in the tub should be an inch and a half to two inches and the person should lie in it for 3 to 10 minutes.

The cold spinal bath relieves irritation, fatigue, hypertension and excitement. It is beneficial in almost all nervous disorders such as hysteria, fits, mental disorders, loss of memory and tension.

The neutral spinal bath is a soothing and sedative treatment, especially for the highly strung and irritable person. It is the ideal treatment for insomnia and also relieves tension of the vertebral column.

The duration of this bath is 20 to 30 minutes. The hot spinal bath, on the other hand, helps to stimulate the nervous, especially when they are in a depressed state.

It also relieves vertebral pain in spondylitis and muscular backache. It relieves sciatic pain and gastrointestinal disturbances of gastric origin.

HOT FOOT BATHS: In this method, the person has to keep his or her legs in a tub or bucket filled with hot water at a temperature of to .

Before taking this bath,  drink a glass of water and cover your with a blanket so that no heat or vapor escapes from the foot bath. The head to be protected with a cold compress.

The duration of the bath is generally from 5 to 20 minutes. The person should take a cold shower immediately after the bath.

The hot foot bath stimulates the involuntary muscles of the uterus, intestines, bladder and other pelvic and abdominal organs.

It also relieves sprains and ankle joint pains, headaches caused by cerebral congestion and colds. In women, it helps restore menstruation, if suspended, by increasing supply of blood especially to the uterus and ovaries.

COLD FOOT BATH: Three to four inches of cold water at a temperature of to should be placed in a small tub or bucket. The feet should be completely immersed in the water for one to five minutes. Friction should be continuously applied to the feet during the bath, either by an attendant or by rubbing one foot against the other.

A cold foot bath, taken for one or two minutes, it relieves cerebral congestion and uterine hemorrhage. It also helps in the treatment of sprains, strains and inflamed bunions when taken for longer periods.

It should not be taken in cases of inflammatory conditions of the genito-urinary organs, liver and kidneys.
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STEAM BATH: Steam bath is one of the most important time-tested water treatments which induce perspiration in a most natural way.

In this method you need to wear minimum loin cloth or underwear and sit on a stool/ bench inside a specially designed steam chamber cabinet.

Drink one or two glasses of cold water before entering the steam chamber and protect the head with a cold towel.

The duration of the steam bath is generally 10 to 20 minutes or until perspiration takes place. A cold shower should be taken immediately after the bath.

Very weak persons, pregnant women, cardiac persons and those suffering from high blood pressure should avoid this bath.

During the steam bath if you feel giddy or uneasy during then you should be immediately come out and have a glass of cold water and wash your face with cold water.

The steam bath helps to eliminate morbid matter from the surface of the skin. It also improves circulation of the blood and tissue activity.

It relieves rheumatism, gout, uric acid problems, and obesity. The steam bath is helpful in all forms of chronic toxemias. It also relieves neuralgias, chronic nephritis, infections, tetanus and migraine.

IMMERSION BATHS: This is also known as full bath. It is administered in a bath tub which should be properly fitted with hot and cold water connections. The bath can be taken at cold, neutral, hot, graduated and alternate temperatures.

HOT IMMERSION BATH: This bath can be taken from two to 15 minutes at a temperature from to . Generally this bath is started at and the temperature is then gradually raised to the required level by adding hot water.

Before starting this bath, drink a glass of cold water and also wet your head, neck and shoulders with cold water. A cold compress should be applied throughout the treatment.

This bath can be advantageously employed in dropsy when there is excessive loss of tone of the heart and blood. This bath also relieves capillary bronchitis and bronchial pneumonia in children.

It relieves congestion of the lungs and activates the blood vessels of the skin muscles. The bath should be terminated as soon as the skin becomes red.

In pneumonia and suppressed menstruation, the bath should be administered at to for about 30 to 45 minutes. This bath should be given when the menstruation is due and may be repeated for two to three days in succession. In dysmenorrhea, this bath should be given at to for 15 minutes.

In chronic bronchitis a very hot bath taken for 5 to 7 minutes should be accompanied with rubbing and friction. This relieves congestion of the mucous membrane and provides immediate relief after the bath, if necessary one can apply oil to the skin.

The hot bath is a valuable treatment in chronic rheumatism and obesity. It gives immediate relief when there is pain due to stones in the gall bladder and the kidneys.

The hot bath should not be taken in cases of organic diseases of the brain or spinal cord, nor in cases of cardiac weakness and cardiac hypertrophy.

COLD IMMERSION BATH: This may be taken for 1 to 20 minutes at a temperature ranging from to . Before entering the bath, cold water should be poured on the person’s head, chest and neck and the head should be protected with a cold moist towel.

During the bath, the person should vigorously rub his or her body. After the bath the body should be quickly dried and wrapped up in a blanket. If the climate is favorable, moderate exercise should be undertaken.image010

This bath helps to bring down fever. It also improves the skin when taken for five to 15 seconds after a prolonged hot bath, by exhilarating circulation and stimulating the nervous system.

This bath should not be given to young children and very elderly persons, also not to be taken in cases of acute inflammation of some internal organs such as

Acute Peritonitis,

Gastritis,

Enteritis,

Inflammatory Conditions of Uterus and Ovaries.

GRADUATED BATH: The person should enter the bath at a temperature of . The water temperature should be lowered gradually at the rate of per minute until it reaches . The bath should continue until the person starts shivering.

The graduated bath is intended to avoid nervous shock by sudden plunge into the cold water. This bath is often administered every three hours in cases of fever.

It effectively brings down the temperature except in malarial fever. Besides, it also produces a general tonic effect, increases vital resistances and energizes the heart.


NEUTRAL IMMERSION BATH: This bath can be taken from 15 to 60 minutes at a temperature ranging from to 28°C for long duration, without any ill-effects, as the water temperature is akin to the body temperature.

The neutral bath diminishes the pulse rate without modifying respiration and this treatment is the best sedative. It excites activity of both the skin and the kidneys, it is recommended in cases relating to these organs.

It is also beneficial for cases of organic diseases of the brain and spinal cord, including chronic inflammatory conditionimage011s such as meningitis, rheumatism and arthritis.

A neutral immersion bath taken for 30 to 60 minutes is highly beneficial in general dropsy, due to cardiac or renal diseases. It also helps those suffering from multiple neuritis, alcoholism and other narcotic habits, chronic diarrhea, peritonitis and chronic affections of the abdomen. In such cases the bath may be taken daily for 15 to 30 minutes.

This bath is also useful in the toxemic conditions caused by dyspepsia and pruritus. The neutral bath is not recommended for the person suffering from eczema and other forms of skin diseases where water aggravates the symptoms, nor in cases of extreme cardiac weakness.

EPSOM SALT BATH:  In this method the immersionimage012 bath tub to be filled with about of hot water at 40ºC. Add 1 – 1½ kg of Epsom salt  & dissolve properly in the water.

The person should drink a glass of cold water, cover the head with a towel and then lie down in the tub, completely immersing the trunk, thighs and legs for 15 to 20 minutes.

The best time to take this bath is just before retiring to bed. This is useful in cases of sciatica, lumbago, rheumatism, diabetes, neuritis, cold and catarrh, kidney disorders and other uric acid and skin affections.

Certain precautions are very necessary while taking these therapeutic baths.

Full baths should be avoided within three hours after a meal and one hour before it. Local baths like the hip bath and foot bath may, however, be taken two hours after a meal.

Clean and pure water must be used for bath and water once used should not be used again. While taking baths, temperature and duration to be strictly observed to obtain the desired effects.

A thermometer should always be used to measure the temperature of the body. Women should not take any of the baths during menstruation. They can take only hip baths during pregnancy till the completion of the third month.

FULL WET SHEET PACK: This is a procedure in which the whole body is wrapped in a wet sheet, which in turn is wrapped in a dry blanket for regulating evaporation.

The blanket should be spread on the bed with its edges hanging over the edge of the bed. The upper end should be about eight inches from the head of the bed. Then spread a linen sheet wrung out in cold water over the blanket so that its end is slightly below the upper end of the blanket.

The person should lie on the bedsheet with his shoulders about three inches below the upper age. The wet sheet should be weekly wrapped round the body of the person, drawn in, tightly tucked between the legs and also between the body and the arms.

The sheet should be folded over the shoulders and across the neck. Now the blanket should be drawn tightly around the body and tucked in along the side in a similar manner, pulling it tightly. The ends should be doubled up at the feet.

A Turkish towel should be placed below the chin to protect the face and neck from coming into contact with the blanket and to exclude outside air more effectively.

The head should be covered with a wet cloth so that the sculpt remains cold. The feet should be kept warm during the entire treatment. If the person’s feet are cold, place hot water bottles near them to hasten reaction. The pack is administered for half an hour to one hour till the person begins to perspire profusely.

One may take cold or hot water to drink. This pack is useful in cases of fever especially in typhoid and continued fevers, and benefits those suffering from insomnia, epilepsy and infantile convulsions. It is useful in relieving chronic cold and bronchitis and helps in the treatment of rheumatism and obesity.