In this blog I discuss how our proprietary Medical Hydrotherapy® system can heal most, if not all, of the ailments that we take for granted as we age.
Water for Life
We all know that water is essential to life. The vast majority of our bodies are water, and over 75% of our brain is composed of water. You may not be a doctor, but you certainly know how to use water as a pain reliever for sore muscles, to treat injuries, ice strains, and as a method of stress reduction. Your own water treatments have been in the form of a hot soak, or a cold shower, and everything in between. Recently there has been a dramatic swing in medical theory and a long-overdue realization about “healing.” The best way to prevent, treat and in many cases cure illness is to give our body the right tools and let it go to work. It is not, as previously thought, to pop pills. Recent studies have confirmed that many of the medications our society has become dependent on, primarily antibiotics and pain relievers, often do more harm than good. For example, antibiotics can be extremely damaging to the liver and have an adverse effect on our natural immune system. The more often we turn to synthetic medicines to overcome infections, the weaker our natural defenses become and the more likely we are to have repeated incidences of infection. With the regular use of Medical Hydrotherapy®, and the proper intake of healthy water, the right minerals and nutrients our bodies can overcome almost anything. When it comes to better health and aging safely in place, the best offense truly is a good defense.
What is Medical Hydrotherapy®?
In its simplest form, hydrotherapy can be described as the treatment of illness and injury through the use of water. This includes the use of both hot and cold water, and various methods of use, from soaking to massage. Hydrotherapy treatments help your body get rid of toxins that may be causing joint pain and inflammation, help relax muscles and help relieve pressure on joints and bones. It also relaxes you, both mentally and physically.
Hydrotherapy has been around for thousands of years. Bath houses were the center of social interaction in ancient Rome, and hydrotherapy spas are still popular in Europe, where many were built in large mansions and estates during the 18th and 19th centuries. Hydrotherapy is fast becoming a popular and beneficial home health treatment, especially among seniors. It is used to treat common ailments like muscle cramps, muscle weakness, diabetes, circulatory diseases, arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, muscle, bone, and connective tissue injuries, balance disorders, and stress and stress-related disorders.
Hydrotherapy makes you healthier in two ways:
Thermal Effects: Warm and cold baths alike create certain reactions in your body tissues that help lessen pain and discomfort and improve the healing process. Warm baths open up your capillaries (the small blood vessels in your body that are closest to tissues), which leads to increased blood flow and circulation, helping your body to oxygenate and heal tissue better and get rid of toxins faster. Heat also slows down your internal organs, and is good at lessening certain types of aches and pains.
Heat increases the production of beneficial body hormones and stimulates the immune system. Warm, moist air from a hot bath can help open up congested or constricted airways in your lungs, throat and sinuses.
Mechanical Effects: The gentle tingling, massaging action of air bubbles creates beneficial chemical reactions in your skin and tissues. This leads to increased circulation, which helps oxygenate tissues and evacuate toxins. In water, your body weighs only 10% of its normal weight, so there is a large amount of physical stress removed from your joints and bones, helping to relive pain and discomfort.
This partial weightlessness also helps relax the body, because muscles don’t have to work as hard to keep the body in position, and are given a chance to relax.
Benefits of Hydrotherapy for Arthritis
One in six Americans has some type of arthritis. It’s a fairly common disease that affects our joints, and it usually progresses as we age. Generally, joints swell and become painful and sometimes hard to move, especially after heavy or moderate exertion. As a general rule, the older we get, the more pronounced the symptoms.
Many doctors recommend warm hydrotherapy for treating arthritis. It helps by dilating blood vessels in the body, which in turn relieves pain and eases the tension in nearby muscles, which usually become tense as a result of the pain. It has been shown that warm water treatment is far more effective than dry heat treatments, like heating pads.
In some instances, doctors will recommend alternating hot and cold treatments, especially for treating the hands and feet. The repeated dilation of the arteries generally has a more profound effect on the reduction of pain in these areas.
Benefits of Hydrotherapy for Lower Back Pain
Behind colds and the flu, back pain is the #2 reason in the United States for doctor visits. Back pain can be caused by a number of things, including stiff or sore muscles, diseases, disorders or injuries of the vertebrae and connective tissue, and pinched nerves. Studies conducted over the last ten years have shown that people who suffer from back pain and who use hydrotherapy as a treatment experience marked reductions in pain versus those people who do not use hydrotherapy. In addition, people who treat their back pain with hydrotherapy use fewer drugs to control their pain, so they don’t experience any of the negative side effects associated with some of these drugs.
All the thermal and mechanical benefits of hydrotherapy go to work against different types of back pain. Depending on the type of back pain you have, you may experience a substantial decrease in pain, or even a complete eradication of the pain after starting a hydrotherapy regimen. Either way, hydrotherapy makes living with back pain more manageable and provides a relaxing outlet for relief.
Stay tuned for the next installment of the Bentley Baths blog, in which I continue to discuss how Medical Hydrotherapy® can turn ordinary bathtub water into a healing machine.