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The healing power of hydrotherapy

With a history stretching back to the times of Ancient Egypt and Rome, the therapeutic qualities of water have been championed around the world for millennia. It is now widely used to improve immunity and aid in the management of pain.

Let’s take a look at what hydrotherapy involves and, more importantly, what specific benefits it can bring to the body.

Hydrotherapy in Ireland

As the name suggests, hydrotherapy involves being immersed in water, with its thermal properties often employed to positively impact the body. The practice also includes the therapeutic use of water in its other forms – ice and steam. Resorts, spas and the wellness sector in general frequently apply the hydrotherapy tag when promoting jacuzzis or hot and cold jets in swimming pools. These can indeed prove relaxing and restorative, but hydrotherapy is also tasked with tougher work in more clinical, less recreational, settings.

Physiotherapists in hospitals across Ireland offer an exercise-based, involved form of physical water treatment for patients who are recovering from injury or dealing with chronic pain. The water buoyancy reduces the weight and strain on joints and muscles. The warm pool is at an optimum temperature of between 35.5 and 37°C.

There is much to be said for contrast bathing, where you immerse part of the body in both ice water and warm water and dip between the two before a period, always ending with the warm water. The warm water helps blood vessels to open, increasing flow, while the cold water closes them. This flushes the body’s circulation, draining toxins and exfoliating your skin. 

Benefits

There are many benefits that hydrotherapy has to offer:

● Enhances relaxation and wellbeing.

● Helps alleviate symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression.

● The massaging effect of the hydrostatic pressure increases blood flow and releases tight muscles.

● Reduces joint pain to allow for comfortable exercise.

● Floating weights can help to rebuild muscle.

● Improves flexibility and lessens chronic pain.

● Recommended for people who suffer from arthritis and back pain, as well as those with joint replacements.

● Frequently employed in athletic rehabilitation.

● Used in the treatment of a host of musculoskeletal, neurological and respiratory conditions.

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