Hydrotherapy at Home

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Hydrotherapy at Home:

Hydrotherapy at Home

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Hydrotherapy is the therapeutic use of water, steam, and ice and has been used for centuries to effectively treat injuries, a wide range of illnesses, and within the last several years - also to give birth. Treatment techniques include baths (full body and specific body parts, such as foot baths), compresses, wraps, showers, sitz baths, steam baths, aquatic exercise and whirlpools.

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Hospitals, clinics, and spas world wide use forms of hydrotherapy as safe and effective methods for treating such conditions as AIDS, back pain, bronchitis and other respiratory problems, cancer, hypertension (high blood pressure) or hypo-tension (low blood pressure), muscle and joint pain and inflammation, and rheumatoid arthritis. Hydrotherapy is also useful in treating the discomfort caused by spinal trauma, poor circulation fever, anemia, edema, menstrual problems, and insomnia. Herbs and minerals may be added to baths and whirlpools to enhance the water's effects; water becomes the "delivery system" for their therapeutic properties. Temperature is a very important variable: Hot, cold and alternating temperature treatments have different effects. Pressure jets vary, depending on the problem. 

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Water is abundant around the world, hence is almost always available for application in therapy. It is one of the most economical substances known. Definitions that apply to hydrotherapy temperatures range as follows (using Fahrenheit scale):

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The largest organ of the body is the skin. Some writers have called it "keyboard of the hydrotherapist ." Through the numerous blood vessels and nerves of our skin, and their reflex connections with the internal organs, practically every organ of the body can be influenced by applications of heat or cold to the skin surface. Small muscle bundles are found in the dermis, connected with the hair follicles.

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Cold and heat directly affects blood vessels. Cold makes vessels contract and Heat dilates them. There are 3 categories of external hydrotherapy: hot water , cold water , and alternating hot and cold water. Neutral Bath: This therapy is where the body is submerged to the neck in warm water (92°F to 98°F). At this temperature, water feels neither warm nor cool. Lighting is dim to enhance soothing effects. It helps to soothe the body. Neutral baths are effective in calming nervousness and emotional upsets, relieving insomnia, anxiety, depression, hypertension, and peripheral edema, reducing joint swelling, and helping the body rid itself of toxins. The bath lasts 15 minutes to 1 hour, with up to 1 hour of rest afterward.

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A fomentation is described as a local application of moist heat by means of cloth wrung from boiling water or from steam tank. Hot fomentation's increase circulation and decrease chest congestion. They are a great treatments for a variety of acute conditions including bronchitis, coughs, chest colds, influenza, asthma, gallstones, dysmenorrhea and insomnia. Contraindications:  Do not use hot fomentation's over areas of decreased/absent sensation, hemorrhage, gastric ulcers, malignancy, peripheral vascular disease, conditions aggravated by extreme cold.

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Supplies:  2 Wool Blankets (polyester if wool unavailable, but not cotton) 3 Washcloths in a bowl of ice water 1 Sheet 6 Medium hand or face towels Hot water bottle 2 basins - one for hot (near boiling) water and the other for cold (ice) water Pillow

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Fomentations A fomentation consists of local application using moist heat to the body's surface . The fomentation cloth is typically made of blanket material - 50% wool to retain heat, and 50% cotton to retain moisture . The combination gives greater durability. Preparation:   1. Spread 2 blankets lengthwise on a bed and cover with a sheet.  2. Place the two water filled basins and the hot water bottle  nearby.  Put two towels in the hot basin and a washcloth in the cold. 

Procedure:  1. The person to be treated should disrobe down to their underwear and lie on their back atop the blanket and sheet.  Place the hot water bottle at their feet. To prevent overheating place a cold rag around the persons or forehead. Wrap the patient tightly with the blankets leaving the chest free.  2. Wring out 2 towels in hot water and apply them to the chest/abdomen.  Wrap sheet and blanket tightly around the whole body "mummy-style".  DO NOT BURN THE PATIENT.  It is advisable to test the towel on the patient's arm prior to placing on the chest.  3. Place a cold wash cloth on the patient's forehead and place two more towels in the hot water  :

Procedure:   1. The person to be treated should disrobe down to their underwear and lie on their back atop the blanket and sheet.  Place the hot water bottle at their feet. To prevent overheating place a cold rag around the persons or forehead. Wrap the patient tightly with the blankets leaving the chest free.  2. Wring out 2 towels in hot water and apply them to the chest/abdomen.  Wrap sheet and blanket tightly around the whole body "mummy-style".  DO NOT BURN THE PATIENT.  It is advisable to test the towel on the patient's arm prior to placing on the chest.  3. Place a cold wash cloth on the patient's forehead and place two more towels in the hot water 

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4. After three minutes, remove the towels from the chest and replace them with two fresh hot ones.  5. After three more minutes, remove the second set of towels.  Have the patient sit up, and briskly rub the patient's back and chest for 30 seconds with one of the cold washcloths. 6. Repeat the process one last time (for a total of three cycles). After the last round of hot towels are removed, apply the cold friction to the whole body starting with the hands and arms, chest and back, then the legs and feet.  Dip the washcloth into the cold water frequently during the friction rub. 7. Dry the patient and bundle warmly.  Have them rest for at least 30 minutes or go to bed.  If they are fighting an acute infection, this may help them to spike a fever and start the healing process.  

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Fomentations are very useful to relieve congestion from chest colds, coughs, bronchitis, and influenza. Fomentations can relieve pain in neuralgia, arthritis, and other inflammations. They may stimulate, when alternated with cold, or sedate in nervous conditions. For sedation, apply them to the spine, not too hot, but quite prolonged. Elimination of toxins is enhanced by sweating, especially when the fomentations are applied properly. Take great care to avoid burning the patient, particularly when there is paralysis, anesthesia, atherosclerosis, diabetes, edema, or recent surgery.

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Fomentations should not be used in cases of acute abdominal pain, heart failure, suspected heart attack, or gastrointestinal hemorrhages, such as from peptic ulcer. Nor should they be applied to the chest in pulmonary tuberculosis. Caution should be used in severely hypertensive patients also. Check the blood pressure frequently.

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A special type of fomentation, called revulsive compress is used in infectious states. The fomentation is applied and allowed to remain a few minutes, then followed with a hand towel wrung lightly out from ice water. This contrast spreads out over the surface after the fomentation is removed. Then, after drying the skin, another fomentation is applied. Alternating hot and cold is similar, except that instead of the cold compress, the therapist rubs a piece of ice back and forth over the skin between the fomentations. This produces a vigorous stimulant or tonic treatment, greatly enhancing the circulation, increasing the muscle tone. It usually produces a beneficial reaction.

Cold Mitten Friction:

Cold Mitten Friction One of the finest hydrotherapy measures for stimulating blood flow in the skin is the cold mitten friction (CMF).

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Enhanced circulation benefits the entire body. As a tonic, the skillfully performed CMF is better than anything found in a bottle. After fomentations, a CMF treatment is excellent to close the pores and tone up the skin. It heightens nerve and muscle tone, and skin sensibility. Heat production is increased, as well as tissue oxidation. Reflex effects in the internal organs induce stimulation of muscular, glandular, and metabolic activities. Helping to fight infections and fevers, the CMF increases antibody production and phagocytosis (where white blood cells destroy and "eat" harmful germs). Thus, it builds up general body resistance and is helpful for those suffering from frequent colds. For individuals sensing a lack of energy, particularly when the habits of coffee or tobacco are being eliminated, this treatment is invaluable.

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A wash cloth can be used to deliver the cold mitten friction. However, it is more effective to sew a thick hand towel into the form of a mitten. This mitten is dipped into ice water, wrung out lightly, and rubbed briskly on the skin, up and down two or three times. The upper extremities are treated first, beginning with the fingers and rubbing alternately up to the shoulders. Each extremity is dried and covered before the next portion gets treated. The chest and abdomen are rubbed briskly with the friction mitts, then dried and covered. The lower extremities are treated similarly, finishing with the back.

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The friction is given as vigorously as the patient can tolerate it, repeated until the skin is nice and pink. This so-called "vascular gymnastics" is one of the finest physiologic tonics known. A CMF is so simple that one can do it to him or herself after the shower each morning for a quick "jump start."

Hot Foot Bath:

Hot Foot Bath As you would expect from the name, a hot foot bath involves the immersion of both feet and ankles in water at a temperature ranging from 100° to 115° F . This increases blood flow , locally and reflexly , through the feet and entire skin surface. As a derivative effect, the hot foot bath produces decongestion in the internal pelvic organs as well as the brain. For this reason, it is often applied to relieve congestion in the head and chest, and as a treatment for headache. Pelvic congestion frequently responds. Even a nosebleed can be stopped by this simple treatment, combined with ice packs over the face.

It often helps to prevent or abort a common cold.:

It often helps to prevent or abort a common cold. If prolonged, the hot foot bath will induce sweating . The hot foot bath may be given in bed or in a chair. Remember to use a cold compress on the forehead to prevent congestion or headache.

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Alternating Foot Bath: Alternating baths may be used as a foot bath. The feet are submerged, first in hot water at 100°F for 5 minutes; then in cold water at 50°F for 30 seconds. This is repeated twice. The foot baths alternately dilate and contract vessels, moving the blood and lymph through the body. They stimulate the immune system by raising white-blood-cell levels, improved circulation and foster elimination of wastes. They are used to reduce swelling in the feet or legs; they may offer relief to patients with congestive heart failure.

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Find a metal foot tub or plastic container, large and deep enough to contain the feet and ankles. Even a five gallon can or plastic wastebasket will do. If a thermometer is not available, test the water temperature with your elbow or hand. Protect the bed or floor from spilled water. Combine any prolonged treatment to the feet with a cold compress to the forehead to facilitate the derivative effect and avoid head congestion, producing headache.

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Vascular disease in the extremities and complications of diabetes, in which the sensation is reduced, are contraindications to this treatment or require moderation of the temperature. Frostbite may be treated in a warm footbath, but very hot applications should not be used. Add hot water from time to time, increasing the temperature to tolerance. The treatment is continued for 10 to 15 minutes, changing the cold head compress frequently. When finished, lift the feet out of the water, pour cold water over them, remove them from the tub, and dry them thoroughly. For general perspiration, give an alcohol rub or a cold mitten friction, then dry the skin thoroughly.

Sitz Bath:

One of the oldest hydrotherapy procedures is the sitz or sitting bath. Water temperature varies, depending upon the effect desired. The following Fahrenheit temperatures will correspond to these relative hydrotherapy terms: Cold: 55° to 75° F. Neutral: 92° to 97°F. Hot: 105° to 110° F. Very Hot: 110° to 115° F. Sitz Bath

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Cold sitz baths are useful treatments for constipation and chronic pelvic inflammation. Hot sitz baths are used to treat pelvic pain during the menstrual cycle and in acute pelvic inflammatory conditions. They are also helpful to assist patients who are unable to urinate. Alternating hot and cold sitz baths are valuable for the treatment of hemorrhoids and prostate trouble, and after surgery of the perineum or rectum. Stay in the cold bath for 30 to 60 seconds only.

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Sitz Bath: As a form of hydrotherapy - the use of hot and cold water, steam, and ice to restore and maintain health - the sitz bath increases blood flow to the pelvic and abdominal areas, and thus can help reduce inflammation and otherwise alleviate a variety of problems. Sitz baths can use hot or cold water only, or can alternate heat and cold. Hot sitz baths are particularly helpful for such disorders as hemorrhoids, muscular disorders, painful ovaries, and testicles, prostate problems, and uterine cramps. Cold sitz baths are helpful in the treatment of constipation, impotence, inflammation, muscle disorders, and vaginal discharge. Alternating hot and cold sitz baths can help relieve abdominal disorders, blood poisoning, congestion, foot infection, headaches, muscle disorders, neuralgia, and swollen ankle

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AVOID DRAFTS! After these and most other hydrotherapy treatments, the patient should rest for 20 to 30 minutes. treatment in the home. When using alternating hot and cold baths, fill one basin with water of about 110°F, and a second basin with ice water. Immerse yourself first in the hot sitz bath, and remain there for 3 to 4 minutes. Then move to the cold sitz bath, and remain there for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat this 2 to 4 times, and towel yourself dry.

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  Migraines -Hot and Cold -- Put your feet in a bucket of hot water for about 15 minutes while applying a ice pack to your head. You can also use a hot water bottle for your feet. This works well for some people or some types of headaches. You can also put a cold compress on your forehead while putting something hot on the back of your neck . These techniques might not get rid of the headache but they almost always make them a lot more tolerable. You need the find the source of the headaches in order to totally illuminate them.

Heating Compresses:

Heating Compresses A heating compress is in actuality a cold compress, so covered as to prevent the circulation of air. This causes a rapid accumulation of body heat, warming the treated area for several hours. Most commonly these heating compresses are used around the throat. They are also effective over a joint, such as the knee or elbow. Using a larger cloth and wrapping, one can treat the chest or abdomen, giving great relief in certain conditions.

This remedy is effective in cases of sore throat, laryngitis, tonsillitis, and similar illnesses. :

This remedy is effective in cases of sore throat, laryngitis, tonsillitis, and similar illnesses. Heating compress to the neck. Put on at bedtime and remove in the morning. The heating compress used on the throat measures about three inches wide and thirty inches long. The wool flannel covering is about four by thirty-four inches, allowing it to completely encircle the other cloth

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Use a strip of cotton cloth or muslin, long enough to encircle the area twice and wide enough to cover the area being treated. This cloth is immersed in cold tap water and wrung "dry." After wrapping the moist cloth around the treatment area, a strip of wool flannel is then used to cover snugly. Pin the outer wrap in place with safety pins. Leave the compress on overnight, removing it in the morning. Finally, rub the skin briskly with cold water before drying. Heating compress to the upper arm. Apply a wet cotton strip or gauze, then cover with wool flannel. Hold it in place with a safety pin.

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A heating chest pack may be made in the same way. Apply it to the chest, rolling a broad cloth, about ten inches wide and seventy-two inches long, around the chest and over the shoulders diagonally, after first wringing it out in cold tap water. Secure it snugly at all points, but not so tight as to restrict respiration. After covering the moist cloth with a wool flannel one, secure the chest pack with safety pins. Leave it on overnight, then finish with a brief alcohol rub in the morning. A sweater or firm knit pajamas may be worn over this to aid in the heating effect. Chest packs are useful in treating pneumonia, bronchitis, pleurisy, and whooping cough. Materials for a heating compress to the chest should be kept available in every home.

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A similar cloth is used over the abdomen as a moist abdominal binder for the treatment of indigestion, constipation, and other digestive problems. When a heating compress is applied to a joint, such as the knee, it is likewise left on overnight, followed in the morning by a brief massage. Medications can be applied to the skin, such as diluted oil of wintergreen to aid the heating effect and relief of joint pain. You can purchase it at a pharmacy of health food store. The acutely painful joints of rheumatic fever, as well as chronic inflammation responds to these simple measures.

Medicated Steam Inhalation:

Medicated Steam Inhalation Colds, coughs, and influenza are particularly common during the colder seasons of each year. Significantly, a definite relationship has been found between a person's resistance to colds and the temperature of his skin, especially the upper chest and back. If your skin does not warm up rapidly after being chilled, the temperature of mucous membranes in the respiratory tract is also lowered. When this occurs, the resistance of these membranes to nose and throat infection is diminished. Congestion follows, and there is a feeling of stuffiness and excessive drainage. In cases of bronchitis or pneumonia, there follows a harsh cough, which becomes deep and raspy, as the sputum loosens.

Home adaptation for the steam tent. Use it to treat bronchitis and other respiratory conditions.:

Home adaptation for the steam tent. Use it to treat bronchitis and other respiratory conditions. A vaporizer which heats water electrically can generate steam most effectively The steam inhalation is an excellent agent to supply warm, moist air over the congested mucous membranes.

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Care must be taken not to burn the sick person with such a device. However, it most effectively increases the humidity. Water may also be boiled in the kitchen, on a hot plate or a wood stove, to increase the ambient humidity. This is especially important in northern winters, when central heating dries out the air, drying out the skin and also the mucous membranes. When a vaporizer is used, oil of eucalyptus or salt may be added to increase the potency of steam on mucous membranes.

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Drafts in the sick room should also be avoided. Particular care must be given in treating children, so that accidents are prevented. The steam inhalation or vaporizer effectively relieves cough and inflammation of the mucous membranes in the nose, throat, and larynx. It helps as well in throat irritation and draining sinuses. People who suffer from acute asthma usually do better using a cool mist humidifier. This device delivers a fine spray into the room, thereby increasing the humidity. It is not used with medication, as a rule, but helps in cases of wheezing or severe allergies. Clean these appliances carefully between use to prevent mold or mildew accumulation. Many asthmatic patients are allergic to the spores.

Wet Sheet Packs:

Wet Sheet Packs Fevers involving babies and small children respond particularly well to the wet sheet pack. Use it early in the course of an infection before high fever, chest congestion, or vomiting develops. This simple remedy may avoid the necessity for many emergency medical consultations and antibiotic prescriptions. As a preheating measure, give a full hot bath to draw blood to the skin and lessen congestion. Immediately after the hot bath, your child may be placed in the wet sheet pack and wrapped up quickly. This is comfortable and well tolerated, even with a small child.

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Several stages of response occur as time progresses. The first stage is one of cooling. To enhance this effect, before the sheet has been warmed to body temperature, the blanket may be folded back and cold water sprinkled on the patient over the sheet. He or she may be fanned then to hasten evaporation and thereby lower the temperature.

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The second or neutral stage begins when the temperature of the pack reaches or slightly exceeds that of the skin (about 94° F.). This stage may be prolonged by removing some of the dry coverings after the warming has well begun. The neutral stage has a marked sedative effect, inducing relaxation and sleep. It is especially helpful for those in danger of convulsions or excited and nervous patients. The third stage of heating begins when the skin temperature rises slightly, and ends with the beginning of a general perspiration. Tonic and heating effects may be prolonged by applying cold water to the head and neck continuously. This helps to check excessive sweating. For a tonic effect, this stage should be continued about twenty minutes.

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A fourth stage, of sweating, develops as the pores open and the body attempts to cool itself. Sweating may be increased by applying hot water bottles or fomentations within the folds of the dry blanket. Drinking hot sugar - free lemonade or hot water can promote your elimination of impurities through opening skin pores. Cold compresses on the forehead should not be very cold or renewed too frequently. This eliminating stage is salutary for delirious fevers, alcoholism, infantile convulsions, and many other common ailments. When the subject falls asleep, the pack gradually returns to a neutral stage, going through other stages as it cools.

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In giving a wet sheet pack properly, it is important that the wet sheet come in close contact with the skin at all points. A dry blanket applied over the patient must prevent entrance of air or chilling may result. Warming up begins immediately. During the entire treatment the feet should be kept warm. Administer only water - or clear fluids if pack extends through mealtime. The attendance of a sympathetic, interested therapist helps to allay fear and secure cooperation. With these few suggestions, a wet sheet pack will find increasing use in the treatment of infectious illnesses of obscure origin.

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Take Care! - Hydrotherapy is not advised in cases of diabetes, acute asthma, heart disease, kidney disease, or hemorrhaging problems. Pregnant women should avoid the temperature extremes of hydrotherapy. If you have questions about whether or not hydrotherapy is a safe treatment for your particular condition, consult with your health care provider before using this any therapy.

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Poultices are used to heal bruises, break up congestion, reduce inflammation, and draw out pus, toxins or embedded particles in the skin and to sooth irritation. Baths can increase or decrease body activities. Fill a stocking or cloth bag with 4-8 oz of herbs. Put the bag in the water. The second way is to make a gallon of infusion or decoction and add it to the bath. Salt baths will relax the body and draw out toxins. Use 1-5 pounds of Epsom salt. The greater amount used, the more perspiration is produced ~ which rids the body of toxins. Natural Treatments

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A ginger bath is good for circulation. Use 1/2 oz of powdered ginger in the beginning of the bath on very hot water. Let the bath water set for 10-15 minutes before entering. A clay bath is good for detoxification and relaxing. Use 8 oz of clay in the beginning of the bath on very hot water. Let the bath sit for 10-15 minutes before entering.

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Let me tell you how you can live forever. Whoever drinks this water( the worlds) will get thirsty again; But anyone who drinks the water that I shall give will never be thirsty again: The water that I shall give will turn into a spring inside welling up to eternal life. Jesus is the water that brings life to the soul. By drinking the living water one can live and never thirst again. Jesus is that Living Water. John 7:38 (KJV) He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. Jesus is the only thing that can quench the thirst of the spirit. Anything or anyone else will only wear out and leave the spirit thirsty again. Therefore, Jesus is what my spirit needs in order for me to be able to live eternally with Him. Without the Living Water my spiritual body will die just as my physical body would if I didn't drink any water or other liquids.

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