As naturopathic physicians, we are trained in naturopathic hydrotherapy and have learned techniques to address specific health conditions. These treatments are often tailored to the individual patient to achieve the appropriate level of stimulation. While certain hydrotherapy treatments must be performed in the clinic, we also instruct patients on how to perform some hydrotherapy treatments at home.
What is Hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy is a modality that uses water as treatment. Hydrotherapy has a rich history in medicine, with some of the first written treatments dating back to the 1600’s. Benedict Lust and Henry Lindlahr, known as the fathers of naturopathic medicine in the United States, expanded upon these early ideas to develop a system called naturopathic hydrotherapy. This system was further developed by other prominent naturopaths and remains a foundational treatment of naturopathic medicine today. “The working hypothesis of naturopathic hydrotherapy is that health, and therefore healing, is proportional to normal flow of healthy blood…the hydrotherapist seeks to improve the quality of blood in circulation” (Boyle & Saine, 1988). To achieve this, hot and/or cold applications can be applied to the patient to help direct circulation.
What Can Hydrotherapy Treat?
Examples of common illness that can be helped with hydrotherapy include sore throats, ear infections, headaches, common cold, influenza, pneumonia, bronchitis, strains and sprains, adrenal dysfunction and chronic fatigue. As you can see, hydrotherapy can treat a wide array of conditions. One specific in-office treatment that we offer, Constitutional Hydrotherapy, “enhances the immune response, improves overall nutrition, promotes detoxification and helps restore nervous equilibrium” (Boyle & Saine, 1988). When it comes down to it, hydrotherapy can help stimulate the healing response in all individuals!