Hydrotherapy involves the use of water for soothing pains and treating diseases. Its use has been recorded in ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilizations. Egyptian royalty bathed with essential oils and flowers, while Romans had communal public baths for their citizens. Hippocrates prescribed bathing in spring water for sickness. A Dominican monk, Sebastian Kneipp, again revived it during the 19th century in the United States. His book, My Water Cure, in 1886 was published and translated into many languages.
The first naturopathic physicians, at the turn of last century used hydrotherapy as a major treatment for illness. In Europe, water has a long history of use for all sorts of ailments in particular rheumatic disease. Clinics built on the seashore use seawater while other facilities built on hot springs use mineral water, for their medical value.
Sea water, acidic water and brackish water are all used in our therapies for relaxation and more precise physical therapy treatments for conditions such as arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, or spinal cord injuries, spasticity, stroke or paralysis. Relaxation is promoted from just floating in warm water, enjoying the caress of the soft breeze. Deeper emotional work may be accomplished in water such as facing fears and deepening trust. Watsu is a great aquatic therapy for that purpose.
Water can be used in several ways for therapeutic benefits:
- It can be applied to various areas of the body
- The body, or parts of it, can be immersed in water
- Additives such as essential oils, clays or Epsom salts can be used to alter its effects
- It can be used for its buoyancy and resistance to facilitate exercise and movement
- Short, cold applications stimulate circulation
- Long cold applications (>1min) depress circulation and metabolism
- Long hot applications leave the area congested and require cold applications to restore normality
- Short, hot applications (>5mins) stimulate circulation but long, hot applications drastically depress both circulation and metabolism Hot is defined as between 37 and 40ºC
- Cold is defined as 12 to 18ºC
- Ice has the effect of rapidly closing blood vessels and so helps reduce bruising
We offer the following water cure treatments:
Watsu is a gentle form of body therapy performed in warm water (around 95°F). It combines elements of massage, joint mobilisation, shiatsu, muscle stretching and dance. The receiver is continuously supported while being floated, cradled, rocked and massaged. The deeply relaxing effects of warm water and reduced gravity combine to create a bodywork modality with a range of therapeutic benefits. Moments of stillness alternate with flowing movements, which free the body in ways impossible on land. The warm water relaxes the muscles and allows the spine, joints and muscles to be manipulated and freed in a way unique to water work.
Watsu sessions in the Warm Pond, Natural Geothermal Pool Mix of Seawater and
Warm Fresh Spring Water, Sea Therapy