People who are interested in Eastern medicine may find themselves asking the question, “What is water therapy?” There are several different practices that fall under the guise of water therapy, and each has its own uses. Following is a discussion of the different answers to what is water therapy.
One answer to the question, “What is water therapy?” is ingesting a large amount of water immediately upon awakening in order to cleanse your digestive system. This requires drinking at least a liter of water all at once, but be careful, because ingesting much more water than this at one sitting can actually be dangerous.
Another answer to the question, “What is water therapy?’ is using water to cure pain from musculoskeletal problems like arthritis, rheumatism, and spinal cord injuries. This type of water therapy, which basically means bathing in spring water (sometimes hot, sometimes cold, depending upon your needs and the climate), is also used in modern times to help treat burns, strokes, paralysis, muscle spasms and other problems. It is the reason that in the 19th century many resort areas boasted springs as one of the major attractions, and though its popularity waned for a while, this type of water therapy is now experiencing a popular resurgence.
Yet another answer to the question, “What is water therapy?” is a method called contrast showers. Anyone who has ever stayed in a hotel that has a pool next to a hot tub will be familiar with the results of this treatment, at least. Contrast showers involves alternating hot showers with cold showers, with the hot shower cycles lasting longer than the cold. This practice is believed by some to boost the immune system, help the circulatory system function better, and easing muscular pain.
A final possible answer to the question, “What is water therapy?” is thalassotherapy, which specifically means the use of salt water to help the skin. This type of therapy was developed in Europe in the 19thcentury and rivaled the hot springs water therapies for popularity. Treatments at resorts in such areas went from simply breathing in the salt air, which has a relaxing effect on many people, to more elaborate routines like taking showers in warm seawater or applying total body wraps where a paste made out of algae or mud from the sea is applied all over the body and then warm wraps are put on over it to let it sink into the skin. These types of therapies have also experienced a wide reoccurrence today, largely in the form of spa experiences rather than as medical therapies. One area where thalassotherapy is extremely popular is in Israel, due to the extraordinarily high mineral content of the water in the Dead Sea. In fact, an entire cosmetics industry has sprung from the belief in this type of water therapy.