HydroBlog March 23, 2020

Combating COVID-19: Practical Suggestions

Hydrotherapy Experience 

Places you can go for a hydrotherapy experience...

Whether you need it for medical reasons, or just want to enjoy the relaxing and healthful effects of water, there are many places in which you can experience hydrotherapy.  Hospitals, clinics, spas, natural hot springs, waterfalls and health centers are just a few of the places where you can find a hydrotherapy experience. Some may be a bit pricey or far away for some, but others may be surprisingly affordable and even within a days drive. Right at home can be one of the best places to experience hydrotherapy as well. 

The word "hydrotherapy" is typically used for techniques which use water as a means to transfer temperature to the body, causing responses of the body's thermoregulatory mechanisms.  However, activities that involve experiencing water in nature also have many therapeutic effects of different kinds.  For example, the negative ions, cool mist and soothing sounds of a waterfall have therapeutic effects, and swimming or exercising in water helps to equalize the circulation and respirations as well as providing buoyancy for arthritic joints.  So, for the purpose of being inclusive all therapeutic water experiences will be included on this page.  But, throughout the rest of the website the focus will be on specific techniques which use water as a means to transfer temperature to the body.

Hospitals or Medical Clinics
Hydrotherapy is a used in many different forms in modern medicine today, and most hospitals have aquatic therapy pools, tanks and whirlpools in use for rehabilitation of burns, inflamed muscles and joints and musculoskeletal injuries.  Hot and cold sitz baths, hot soaks, and cold compresses are also frequently recommended by doctors for specific conditions such as skin inflammation, eye problems, and surgical incision healing.  As current medical practice and research expands in new ways some hydrotherapy practices such as the use of water to ease labor pains are becoming more and more accepted as well.

Spa’s and Health Centers
Many spa's and health centers have hydrotherapy, Jacuzzi, sauna or heated pool facilities where you can experience the therapeutic benefits of hydrotherapy.  Some health centers are especially experienced at using hydrotherapy modalities.

Home Hydrotherapy
Many hydrotherapy techniques can be done right in the comfort of your own home.  Providing therapeutic benefits, hydrotherapy at home can be almost as good as going on an expensive spa vacation- without ever leaving home!  Helping someone you love to experience hydrotherapy can be one of the nicest ways to make them feel cared for- it's something that can bring families closer together.  Many hydrotherapy techniques can be suitable for children also, if done with care to avoid burns or overheating and with keeping the time and temperature a little lower than for adults.  Consult with primary care provider regarding specific medical conditions.

Hot Springs
Deserving special mention, hot springs are in a category all their own. Hot springs resorts or spas often have pools or streams available for visitors to soak in. People with chronic conditions such as arthritis, pain or inflammatory conditions have often found improvement from frequenting hot springs. Well-known hot springs areas in different countries have also drawn tourists from all over the world to experience the benefits of hydrotherapy.  It's advisable to first consult with your primary care provider regarding what's appropriate for any medical conditions you may have.  See here for more about places where you can have  hydrotherapy experience  thermal springs areas in the United States.

The Beach  
Many people don’t realize that part of the reason visiting the beach can make you feel so good is because of the therapeutic effects of sea water, fresh ocean breezes and sunshine.   A trip to the beach can be one of the best day spa’s there is, yet virtually for free.  Wading, swimming or exercising in water enhances strength and coordination, and has many of the same effects as pool hydrotherapy recommended by physical therapists.   Choose a beach with low levels of pollution, and observe safety precautions and posted signs for swimming, as well as wearing sun protection.

There’s something about the ceaseless flow of a waterfall that seems to carry stress away with it.   The negative ions created by moving water have been shown to have therapeutic effects such as reducing free radicals and possibly even having effects on depression.   Just watching a water fall and feeling the cool spray and breezes it creates can be beneficial, but even better if you can get closer to it if there are places to safely wade in the pool at its base.

Other Naturally Occurring Hydrotherapy
Local creeks, streams or lakes can provide opportunity for a hydrotherapy experience, besides being a chance to spend some time in nature's spa of the great outdoors. For some of the same reasons beaches and waterfalls can be therapeutic, virtually any place that  water is naturally occurring and safely accessible to swimming, wading or exercising can become an opportunity to experience naturally occurring hydrotherapy.  Water often beckons us to play, which will get you exercising without even thinking about it, as well as enjoying a day away from worry and stress.

Naturally occurring hot springs waterfall in Taiwan.

Hot springs foot bath stream in Taiwan.

For more about Taiwanese hot springs, see the following link;