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Benefits of hydrotherapy

Written by  Wilfred Weihe

HydrotherapyWater has been known for speeding up recovery from muscle aches and general body discomfort since the ancient times hence the term hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy involves the using the thermal properties of water and its ability to exert pressure to bring about healing, promote comfort and eventually promote the overall well-being of a person.

Hydrotherapy can be implemented at a basic level in just a bath of warm water although further benefits can be had from a whirlpool bath with body massage jets that will act to further massage and manipulate the muscles and body tissues. Hydrotherapy or 'water therapy' can be implemented by relaxing in a bathtub which contains warm water. This helps to warm your muscles and also to restore muscle fibers which might have been torn or misaligned when carrying out your daily activities or any sports. Moreover, the warm water increases blood circulation to aching tissues and pain is alleviated in the process making it an ideal way to nurse injured muscles and joints.

When in water, the weightless feeling relieves tension in the legs and the hands and therefore supporting them and the body in a stress free state. This eventually brings about an eased motion as opposed to when on land subjected to gravity and the body's weight. Hydrotherapy plays a major role in stimulating the release of a pain reliever called endorphins which further reduces muscle ache and pains. Muscle aches are usually caused by straining activities such as weight lifting physical exercises but even ordinary everyday activities like hanging out the washing or straining to hang the washing can have the same effect on the body.

Stress management is essential for healthy living. Hydrotherapy alleviates stress by reducing the blood pressure and enhancing blood circulation. This is usually administered during de-stressing sessions. Hydrotherapy also facilitates the supply of nutrients alongside oxygen to injured tissues. In addition, cold and warm water can be applied alternatively to injured parts to speed up recovery by aiding muscle tone and blood vessels integrity. The heat application results in surface blood vessel expansion while application of cold water results in surface blood vessels constriction and therefore makes the blood to return to the organs. Apart from aiding healing of muscles and joints, it also maintains and strengthens muscles. Stronger muscles increase your chances of 'getting back to your feet'.

Further to the earlier mentioned benefits, hydrotherapy helps relieve the following conditions;
  • Shoulder pains
  • Back pains
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lymphedema
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fatigue
  • Sports injuries
  • Balancing and coordination challenges
  • Strengthening before joint replacement operation
  • Recovery therapy after joint replacement operation or fracture repair.
Hydrotherapy is usually used either on its own or together with other recovery therapy programs by sports people and 'regular Joe's' alike, In the case of sports persons the benefits of hydrotherapy are commonly used to aid people to recuperate much faster. In addition, its ability to relieve pain, increase joint mobility and also restore strength should not be underestimated.

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