For several centuries water has been an integral part of treatment of several diseases among the ancient Egyptians, Hebrews, Greeks, Persians and Hindus. The Chinese used water as a remedy several centuries before Christ, the Japanese used cold water for treatment of several diseases almost eight hundred years ago. Hippocrates, father of modern medicine, also used hot and cold water successfully for management of diseases such as fever, ulcers, bleeding, inside or outside the body, etc.
There is something almost magical about hot water, something that heals. Slipping into a warm bath reminds you to let go of mental and physical tension, to give up all the striving and activity, to just be held by the penetrating warmth.
Hydrotherapy is a branch of healing systems that deals with the management of diseases such as headache, constipation, high blood pressure, etc. by using water, either as an external application or taken internally or both.
A bath is a daily ritual, but few people understand its purpose or importance. That is why most of us merely throw water over our heads and the bodies and think that we have done our duty. Throwing water over the body is beneficial but it is not what a bath is.
Any treatment that uses cold as a destructive medium is called cryotherapy. In Naturopathy, cryotherapy is given either by dipping Turkish towels in crushed ice and water or ice bags filled with ice and covered with cold or large size of ice cubes. Cryotherapy is very effective for management of several painful conditions, especially after surgery and to reduce sensations in any part of the body.
Organs like eyes, head, anus, vagina, spine are given separate baths to cure specific problems. Here is a summary :
Here you will find a variety of baths with their procedures and benefits :
An enema with warm water (one to one and a half litres) should be taken daily when you are on a diet of fruits or are fasting. If you do not take an enema, there is no benefit to be derived from fasting on fruits alone. Such enema can help when constipation is very severe or when you are seeking naturopathic treatment.
Bathing, no doubt, is not merely a ritual but it has multiple benefits also, as water has remedial and relaxing properties. When bathing is preceded by an essential oil massage, it has multifold salutary effects. In Hindu religion, bathing is a way to healthy and hygenic life. Even in Greek and Roman cultures, bathing was accorded a significantly important place. Bathing with essential oils can calm the agitated nerves, stimulate blood circulation, relax and deodorise the foul smelling body, uplift mood and remove the harmful foreign matters that cling to the body. There is a large list of essential oils out of which you can choose the most suitable oil(s) depending on your individual requirement and state of health.
Experts consider affusions a characteristic hydrotherapeutic treatment. One typical feature of affusions is the precise regulation of the direction of the water stream on the body. Affusions have a tonic effect. There are both simple affusions, making use of a stream of water without pressure, and affusions under pressure. Thus, there are two factors to consider in calculating the amount of stimulus : thermal and mechanical.