Hydrotherapy, referred to as the ‘Water Cure’ in the 1800s is, according to Pizzorno and Murray, the use of water to maintain health or treat disease.

One method of hydrotherapy is the provision of contrast (i.e. applying hot then cold water to the area) to increase blood flow to and through the area.

Many practitioners suggest it supports pain relief by stimulating endorphins and increasing circulation through the area.

There are two ways of using hydrotherapy.  I’ve outlined the procedure using your hand as an example.

Method 1 uses two containers

Equipment

  • 2 containers capable of holding the hand (up to forearm)
  • Towel to cover the container containing the hot water
  • Water, as hot as you can handle
  • Cold water (with ice cubes to maintain temperature)

This method is a little fussy but you have the added advantage of being able to add herbs to the water.  Herbs you may want to consider include lavender, chamomile, self-heal or calendula.

Procedure

  1. Soak your hand in the hot water for 1 minute.  Keep the container covered with a towel and make the water as hot as you can handle (without burning yourself).
  2. Soak your hand in the cold water for 30-seconds.

Repeat step 1 and then step 2 for a further 6 times.

 

Method 2 uses your showerhead

This method is a little quicker and more convenient but doesn’t allow you to include herbs in the soak water.

Equipment

You need a shower attachment with a temperature dial

Procedure

  1. Shower your  arm and hand with water that is as hot as you can comfortably handle, working from the hand up to the shoulder and back down to the hand.  Do this for 1-minute
  2. Adjust the temperature to cold and shower your arm and hand with cold water, working from the hand up to the shoulder and back down to the hand.  Do this for 30-seconds.

Repeat step 1 and then step 2 for a further 6 times.